The Philadelphia Eagles essentially put the nail in the Buffalo Bills coffin on Sunday in a 23-20 win in LeSean McCoy’s return to Philly. This was a game the Bills could have and should have won with ease, but Buffalo failed to come away with a victory in yet another emotional game. It looks like the Bills 15-year playoff drought is gonna be 16-years long.
Here are 5 reasons The Buffalo Bills lost to the Philadelphia Eagles.
One of the major reasons the Buffalo Bills lost to the Philadelphia Eagles was due to playing very undisciplined. As usual, the Bills shot themselves in the foot on multiple occasions with costly flags on big plays. 11 of the Bills 15 penalties were callled against either the team’s offensive line or defensive line.
Buffalo had four Neutral Zone Infractions during crucial 3rd and longs which enabled the eagles to move five yards closer to a first-down. On the offensive side of the ball, guards Richie Incognito and rookie John Miller were routinely abused by whoever they matched up with, leading to multiple holding calls.
The offensive line was flagged seven times as a whole. Some of these penalties wiped out some crucial Tyrod Taylor scrambles and an 18-yard gain by LeSean McCoy in critical points in the game– particularly in the fourth quarter.
Eagles’ DE Fletcher Cox
This spot could go to any of the defensive lineman from the Eagles, but Fletcher Cox was the most disruptive out of all of them. He had a sack on the Bills first series to end the drive right in its track and proved to be disruptive throughout the rest of the game, registering four additional quarterback pressures and drawing two holding penalties.
Richie Incognito, who has arguably been the Bills’ best offensive linemen throughout the season admitted that Cox “ate his lunch” following the game. However, it wasn’t just Incognito who struggled, as John Miller and center Eric Wood both got flagged while matched up against him. Cox had the performance we expected to see out of J.J. Watt a week ago, and it was frustrating to see Greg Roman fail to make the adjustments necessary to contain such a disruptive force.
CB Leodis McKelvin’s Inconsistencies
Although he had an amazing interception, Leodis McKelvin struggled mightily. allowing five catches for 56 yards in addition to missing two key tackles that resulted in big gains for the Eagles’ offense.On an obvious pick play by Josh Huff, which wasn’t called for some reason, Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz caught the ball and ran 41 yards up the field as he easily stiffed armed Leodis. That play was huge because of the blown call and Mckelvin not making the play.
He once again showed off his subpar ability to track the ball in the air, an aspect of his game that he’s struggled with throughout his career.
On the Eagles first drive they targeted him deep with Riley Cooper, who had a big gain until he couldn’t come down with the catch. It is clear the Bills are missing their top corner, Stephon Gilmore.
OC Greg Roman’s Questionable Play-Calling
Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman had a fantastic game plan against a very good defense last week versus the Houston Texans. This week? Not so much. Although they were never down by a substantial amount they got away from a somewhat successful run game in the second half. There were also some very questionable play calls on 3rd down. Multiple times he called for a deep pass in third-and-short situations. Roman game-calling has been very on and off, he needs to find some consistency.
Marcus Thigpen’s Blunders
Marcus Thigpen has had a rough go with it when in Buffalo. He was cut earlier in the season and after Denarius Moore and Leodis McKelvin couldn’t provide a spark in the return game, Thigpen was brought back.
There hasn’t been much of a difference in the return game since his return until the game against the Eagles. Bryan Braman recovered Marcus Thigpen’s muffed punt at Buffalo’s 37-yard line, which resulted in a 53-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Algholor on the ensuing drive.