Can the Buffalo Bills go on a late season run? On paper, the Bills could build off of their win over the Texans and sweep the likes of Philadelphia, Washington, Dallas and the Jets. That said, Buffalo has had trouble stringing together wins this season. That said, tomorrow’s game is certainly one of their most winnable games. Here’s five Bills predictions for their matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Darby cements himself as DROY favorite
Stephon Gilmore has been ruled out for the Bills on Sunday. That means that Ronald Darby will be asked to lock down Philadelphia’s top receivers on Sunday. While the rookie has had a few rough outings, tomorrow Darby shows why he deserves to be the favorite to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Darby could face off against the likes of Jordan Matthews (now listed as questionable), Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor, and others on Sunday. He's seen more difficult matchups this season but will shine on Sunday against the Eagles.
LeSean McCoy finishes with over 150 total yards
Early in the game, the Eagles defense is going to focus on stopping McCoy by any means necessary. That could lead to some terrific opportunities for Tyrod Taylor and the Bills passing game. However, McCoy will still get close to 20 carries on Sunday and a handful of looks in the receiving game.
Philadelphia’s defense is 26th in yards allowed (383.4), 24th in pass yard allowed (258.8) and 27th in rush yards allowed (124.7) so there will be plenty of opportunities for McCoy to pick up yards against his former team. When the dust settles on the game, McCoy will have surpassed 150 total yards on Sunday. This will extend McCoy’s streak of 100 total yards or more to seven consecutive games.
Sproles learns that Schmidt happens
It’s not often that a punt returner is one of the biggest concerns heading into a matchup, but Darren Sproles is that good. Last week, Sproles had an 83 yard punt return for a touchdown against the Patriots. Against the Bills, Colton Schmidt will make sure that Sproles doesn’t have the opportunity for a big return.
Schmidt has worked on his directional punting this season and he’ll put it to use against Sproles and the Eagles. Even if it means sacrificing a few yards, Schmidt won’t give Sproles any opportunities to break off a big return for the Eagles.
Sproles has the ability to flip the field and seize momentum for Philadelphia in the punt return game, but Schmidt won’t allow that to happen on Sunday.
Rex Ryan throws the kitchen sink at the Eagles on his birthday
Ryan will be celebrating his 53rd birthday on Sunday when the Bills play the Eagles. On his birthday, Ryan will attack the Eagles with an aggressive defense. Without Gilmore in the secondary, Ryan will want to give Sam Bradford as little time as possible to attack the secondary.
Bradford is actually among the best quarterbacks under pressure according to Pro Football Focus. They rate his accuracy percentage (including crediting him with drops) as third best in the league. However, Bradford has thrown five interceptions under pressure and his receivers have been credited with 11 drops.
Pressuring Bradford is in the best interests of a banged up Bills defense and on Sunday, Jerry Hughes and company will get after Bradford and the Eagles throughout the game.
Final score prediction
View the Wochit video above to see Sunday’s final score prediction.