What: Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills
When: Sunday, October 27 at 1:00 pm ET
Where: New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York
How (TV): FOX
Looking for power rankings? Take a look at our NFL Week 8 Power Rankings here!
Latest point spread: Eagles +1.5, Bills -1.5
It’s time for the 3-4 Philadelphia Eagles to start winning football games or start kissing their postseason hopes and dreams goodbye, whereas the Buffalo Bills finally look like a football team at 5-1 and they would love to snag a home win and improve their playoff wildcard chances.
The Eagles were severely wounded by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 by a score of 37-10 and could use a huge road victory over the Bills to remind themselves that they’re fundamentally talented, but it would please Buffalo immensely to stab the fluttering Eagles with another big loss and put another nail in their 2019 coffin.
These two teams are about equally effective on offense, but one of them is far superior on the other side of the ball, so we take a quick look at how they measure up for their Week 8 encounter.
Want to know where to place your bet in Week 8? Be sure to check out our new video on NFL Week 8 Picks & Best Bets (w/ Adam Forsyth & Ryan Sullivan)!
The Philadelphia Eagles went to Dallas last week and got embarrassed by the Cowboys, and it didn’t (and doesn’t) help that Carson Wentz has been inconsistent lately, passing for under 200 yards in three of his last four games and completing just over 60 percent of his passes.
Another problem the Eagles have these days is with giving the ball away, which they’ve done 13 times this season (5 interceptions and 8 lost fumbles), tied for fourth-most in the league, something that has played a factor in each of their losses.
The Eagles will need their offense to be healthy (see below) against these stingy Bills, and Philly’s playmakers (talking to you DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, Zach Ertz and Jordan Howard) have to start playing like their season depends on it, because at this point (3-4) it kinda does.
Some football fans are finding it hard to believe that the 2019 Buffalo Bills are actually 5-1, which is the best start they have had in over a decade, but this team is proving to the be for real, at least against five teams who have only won a combined 6 games in 2019.
Regardless of their competition, the Bills are all about their defense, only allowing their opponents to score about 15 points per game so far this season, with some rising stars in the mix, like rookie defensive tackle Ed Oliver and middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, both helping to make their squad the third best in the league right now.
Second-year quarterback Josh Allen has to get better controlling the ball (the man has as many picks as he does touchdowns, with is 7, by the way) and running back Frank Gore has to continue to push his ‘old’ legs for 4.5 yards a carry if Buffalo’s offense expects to rise to the level of its D.
These two divisional rivals have met 13 total times (including 0 postseason games), with Buffalo winning 6 of those times and Philadelphia winning the other 7 games.
These two football franchises haven’t played each other since the 2015 season, when the Bills went to Philadelphia in December and got beaten by the Eagles by a score of 23-20.
If the Eagles win this matchup, they’ll move to 4-4-0, with one more chance to go above .500 in the NFC East and keep within a win of the Dallas Cowboys before their Week 10 bye.
Who’s favored to win this Week 8 Eagles-Bills matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Eagles and the Bills next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Passing attack: The Philadelphia Eagles have the 20th ranked passing offense in the league right now, averaging 228.1 yards per game through the air after seven weeks.
Quarterback Carson Wentz is currently ranked the 17th most productive passer in the league having completed 147-of-240 passes for 1,649 yards and 13 touchdowns with 4 interceptions and a completion percentage of 61.3.
The Eagles’ leading receiver after seven weeks is tight end Zach Ertz, who is currently 31st in the league with 35 catches for 404 yards and 1 touchdown.
Rushing attack: The Eagles’ rushing attack is ranked 14th in the NFL after averaging 111.7 yards on the ground per game.
Jordan Howard is the Eagles’ best runner and he is currently the 19th best in the NFL with 77 carries for 347 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
Philadelphia has scored 171 total points this season, or 24.4 per game, which is the 11th best total in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 8: running back Darren Sproles (quadriceps), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen) offensive tackle Jason Peters (knee).
Injury notes: running back Corey Clement (shoulder) and offensive tackle Jordan Mailata (back) have been placed on injured reserve.
Passing attack: Buffalo has the 17th best passing attack in the league right now after averaging 361.2 yards through the air each game.
Quarterback Josh Allen is the 23rd most productive NFL passer after completing 118-of-189 passes for 1,324 yards and 7 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and a completion percentage of 62.4.
The Bills’ best receiver is currently John Brown, who has caught 33 passes for 473 yards with 2 touchdowns in seven weeks, ranked 17th among NFL receivers right now.
Rushing attack: Buffalo has the 7th ranked rushing attack, so far averaging 135.8 yards on the ground per game.
Frank Gore is the Bills’ best runner and now he is the 17th most productive in the NFL with 86 carries for 388 yards and 2 touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards per carry.
Buffalo has scored 121 points in 2019, averaging 20.2 per game, which is currently the T-24th highest scoring average in the NFL.
Listed as questionable for Week 8: wide receiver Duke Williams (shoulder) and offensive guard Quinton Spain.
Injury notes: tight end Jason Croom (hamstring) and LaAdrian Waddle (quadriceps) have been placed on injured reserve.
Both of these teams have about the same level of passing attack but the Bills have the edge on the ground right now, so they have a slight offensive advantage on Sunday, that is if Josh Allen can be a bit more accurate and keep the ball away from the Eagles’ secondary.
Pass coverage: The Eagles have the 27th best pass defense in 2019 so far, allowing opponents to throw for 270.6 yards through the air per game.
Philadelphia’s defense has 8 team picks and they have 17 sacks total.
Run coverage: The Eagles are the 6th best NFL team against the run right now after allowing opponents to run for 89.4 yards per game.
Philadelphia has allowed their opponents to score 186 total points, or 26.6 per game, which is the T-27th lowest in the NFL (or 5th highest).
Watch for free safety Rodney McLeod in the Eagles’ secondary, the man can tackle (41 total) and he’s also got an interception and 4 passes defended.
Definitely check out Philadelphia defensive end Brandon Graham, he’s already got 4 sacks, 9 quarterback hits, a fumble recovery and 23 tackles (6 for a loss).
Eagles’ linebacker / strong safety Nate Gerry is terrific, so far with 2 interceptions (one of those for a 51-yard pick-six), plus he has 6 passes defended and 24 tackles (1 for a loss).
Listed as questionable for Week 8: defensive tackles Fletcher Cox (hand) and Tim Jernigan (foot), linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle)
Injury notes: cornerback Avonte Maddux (foot) is listed as OUT, while cornerback Cre’von LeBlanc (foot), defensive tackles Malik Jackson (foot) and Hassan Ridgeway (ankle) and defensive end Joe Ostman (knee-ACL) have all been placed on injured reserve.
Pass coverage: The Bills’ defense is 4th best against the pass, allowing their opponents to throw for an average of 201.3 yards per matchup.
Buffalo’s defense has 6 interceptions on opposing quarterbacks and they have 13 total sacks after seven weeks.
Run coverage: The Bills are 10th best against a rushing attack, allowing opponents to run for an average of 91.3 yards per game.
Buffalo has allowed their opponents to score 91 total points this season, or 15.2 per matchup, which is 3rd fewest in the NFL.
Watch out for Buffalo middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, he’s got 43 tackles so far this season (5 for a loss), plus 5 passes defended, and a quarterback hit.
For your sacking pleasure, there is Bills’ defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who already has 4 of them, plus 6 quarterback hits, a forced fumble and 12 total tackles (6 for a loss).
Tied for the second-most interceptions in the league is cornerback Tre’Davious White, with 3 picks and 6 passes defended this season, 2 forced fumbles and 26 total tackles (1 for a loss).
Listed as questionable for Week 8: linebackers Matt Milano (hamstring) and Corey Thompson (ankle), cornerback Kevin Johnson (undisclosed) and safety Kurt Coleman (hamstring).
Injury notes: linebackers Tyrel Dodson (suspension) and Corey Thompson (ankle) are listed as OUT, while defensive end Mike Love (pectoral), defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (knee-ACL) and linebacker Vosean Joseph (shoulder) have all been placed on injured reserve.
The Eagles are slightly better than the Bills when it comes to defending against the run, but Buffalo is far superior than Philadelphia against the pass, so they have the defensive advantage on Sunday.
Philadelphia’s punter, Cameron Johnston, has been with the Eagles since the 2018 season, and this year he has punted 25 times for a net average of 44.6 yards per punt, 3rd best in the NFL.
Buffalo’s punter, Corey Bojorquez, is in his second NFL season, and so far in 2019 he has punted 29 times for a net average of 34.4 yards per punt, 37th best in the league.
Philadelphia’s placekicker, Jake Elliott, is in his third NFL season, all with the Eagles.
Elliott has made 8-of-8 field goals this year, his longest a 53-yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (17/17).
Buffalo’s placekicker, Stephen Hauschka, is in his 12th NFL season (3rd with the Bills).
Hauschka has gone 7-for-9 this season, his longest a 46-yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (12/12).
One of Philadelphia’s punt returners, running back Darren Sproles, is ranked 17th in the league in return average.
Sproles has returned 9 punts for 84 yards, averaging 9.3 yards per return, his longest for 17 yards.
One of Buffalo’s punt returners, wide receiver Andre Roberts, is ranked 36th in the league in return average.
Roberts has returned 14 punts for 76 yards, averaging 5.4 yards per return, his longest for 13 yards.
The Eagles have a more accurate placekicker and a more effective punter, so they will have the special teams advantage on Sunday against the Bills.
These Eagles could beat the Bills on Sunday simply because of how desperate they are – they really need this win to stay alive in their division because recovering from a 3-5 start has not proven to be easy in the NFL.
To win, Carson Wentz must have one of those big-armed games that he has had in the past where everyone watching is reminded of why he was the 2nd overall draft pick and how he took his team to the playoffs twice (sorta).
And since the Bills are slightly weaker against the run, it wouldn’t hurt if Jordan Howard had another big-legged game like he did against the Green Bay Packers in Week 4 when he ran for 5.8 yards per carry, 100+ yards from scrimmage, 2 touchdowns on the ground and another one through the air.
The Buffalo Bills will win this game because their defense is going to completely get after Josh Allen and make him sorry he ever suited up because coordinator Leslie Frazier’s secondary is tough to throw on (6 picks) and his defensive line eats quarterbacks for kicks (13 sacks).
In fact, this game should be an easy win for the Bills since they are at home and the Eagles are pretty banged up right now, limping towards their bye week, so if they can eliminate Howard’s run game and force Wentz to make some panicky throws, they can keep the Eagles out of the endzone and settling for field goals.
Despite Allen’s youth, periodic inaccuracy and lack of NFL experience, he does have a cannon for an arm, so he and Buffalo receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley should make easy work of the Eagles horrible pass defense – expect a few brilliant (and deep) pass receptions turned touchdowns in this one.
The Buffalo Bills by two field goals – the better defense in this matchup will win, and that happens to belong to the team from Orchard Park.
John Breech of CBS Sports predicts the score as Bills 20, Eagles 17.
My prediction for the final score is Bills 26, Eagles 20.
|Sportsbook||PHI Eagles||BUF Bills|
|Sportsbook||PHI Eagles +1.5||BUF Bills -1.5|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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