Eagles-Bills NFL Week 8 predictions 2019

Eagles-Bills NFL Week 8 predictions 2019

The Eagles (3-4) travel to Buffalo to take on the Bills (5-1) on Sunday at New Era Stadium. 

To the predictions: 

Reuben Frank (3-4) 
I'm not picking the Eagles to lose because of anything Orlando Scandrick said. I'm not picking them to lose because the anonymous ESPN source. I'm not picking them to lose because I think there's any sort of fracture in the locker room. I'm picking them to lose because I just do not like the matchup between an Eagles offense that's managed just five touchdowns on 35 drives in its last three games against a Bills defense that's allowed just 10 offensive TDs all year. Honestly, the Eagles' offense hasn't looked quite right all year, and I don't like the odds of them turning that around against Sean McDermott's Buffalo defense, which is No. 2 in the NFL in points allowed, No. 2 in yards allowed, No. 3 against the pass, No. 5 against the run and fourth in takeaways. Maybe they'll surprise me. But … 

Bills 23, Eagles 16

Dave Zangaro (2-5) 
The Eagles have lost their last two games by a combined 45 points and now head to Buffalo to face a 5-1 team that’s their third road game in three weeks. When you put it like that, I’d be crazy to pick the Eagles. I guess I’m crazy. 

While I certainly don’t trust the Eagles at this point, I know their season is pretty much cooked if they can’t get this win. It wouldn’t be impossible to make the playoffs at 3-5, but it would be really darn hard. I expected the Eagles to respond last week in Dallas and they did the opposite, so I feel silly expecting them to do it this week … but here we are. As you’ve already probably noticed, the Bills haven’t beaten very good teams to get to 5-1. And even though the Eagles don’t qualify as a “good team” right now, they’re better than the Jets, Bengals, Giants, Titans and Dolphins. I think they do just enough to pull their record to .500 and give the city some much-needed hope. 

Eagles 23, Bills 20

Derrick Gunn (2-5) 
Coming out of that Minnesota debacle the Eagles said all the right things. They were embarrassed, they knew what corrections needed to be made, they took ownership. Then they went down to Dallas and played worse than they did against the Vikings! So when Doug Pederson said a few days ago, “This team is mad. They’re upset and they’re disappointed in how we’ve lost these last two games. They’re embarrassed from the other day, which is good,” it fell on deaf ears as far as I’m concerned. Talk is cheap. The Birds’ defense is leaking badly. A once proud run defense has given up 122 and 189 yards rushing the last two outings. And don’t even get me started on their pass defense. 

As for the offense, where is the imagination? Plays of misdirection, plays of deception. The run game lacks consistency. Receivers can’t get much separation. Carson Wentz is holding the ball too long and taking way too many hits. Now, the Birds’ offense is about to face a Buffalo defense that’s better than both Minnesota and Dallas. 

The Bills’ D is ranked third overall. They’re fourth against the pass (201.3 yards per game), and third in points allowed (15.2). They have one of the best young cornerbacks in the game in Tre’Davious White and arguably the best safety tandem in the league in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, who was an Eagles’ seventh-round draft pick in 2013 but was released by the Birds in October of that year. Buffalo’s offense relies on its run game (135.8 yards per game). QB Josh Allen is still a work in progress (7 TDs, 7 INTs) and will give the Eagles’ defense an opportunity to pick off a few passes. The Birds’ pass rush had better get to Allen before he can get the ball to speedster John Brown (eight catches of 20 or more yards) or the crafty Cole Beasley. This Bills’ offense is not explosive and the Birds have a chance to win, but I don’t trust them yet. 

Bills 21, Eagles 17 

Ray Didinger (3-4) 
I expected the Eagles to bounce back last Sunday in Dallas — coming off a bad loss in Minnesota, playing the hated Cowboys, prime time stage, etc. — and, in the words of Carson Wentz, they didn't show up. I don't know what to think now. I just know I don't trust them. How could you based on what we've seen the past two weeks?

You can argue the season is not lost. If the Eagles win Sunday — and Buffalo isn't a juggernaut despite the 5-1 record — they will be back to .500 with the sputtering Bears coming to the Linc next week and a bye coming up the week after that with a chance to rest and regroup. Sure, it sounds good but I just don't like what I see with this team. The Eagles looked old and slow as well as uninspired in Dallas.

The Bills are not an explosive team so they won't blow out the Eagles the way the Vikings and Cowboys did. It figures to be a close, low-scoring game, but for me it comes down to this: I know for a fact the Bills will come out and play hard on Sunday. I can't say the same for the Eagles.

Bills 20, Eagles 17 

Andrew Kulp (4-3) 
It's just going to be one of those years where nothing ever comes easy. As I'm sure several people already pointed out, the Bills haven't beaten anybody yet — but do the Eagles really qualify as "anybody" at this point? It's pretty much impossible to give this team the benefit of the doubt at this point. So once again I'm torn.

The one thing I think they have going for them is the Bills are a bit of a one-dimensional offense, and the Eagles are usually pretty good at stopping that dimension (though they certainly weren't last week). It's probably going to be sloppy and low-scoring, which is usually a Buffalo style of game ... but it may actually be to the Eagles' advantage at this point since they usually can't stop their opponent or score enough to keep up.

So yeah, I'm going Eagles again. Sue me.

Eagles 22, Bills 20

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Add Ronald Darby to the list of injured Eagles

Add Ronald Darby to the list of injured Eagles

Starting cornerback Ronald Darby popped up on the Eagles’ injury report Friday with a hip flexor strain and is questionable for the Eagles’ game Sunday against the Redskins.

Darby wasn’t on the injury report Wednesday or Thursday and was a full participant in practice. He’s listed as a limited participant on Friday, which likely means he either got hurt during practice or an injury he suffered Monday night against the Giants got worse.

In either case, it’s yet another injury for an injury-riddled team. The only defensive players to start all 13 games are Malcolm Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Rodney McLeod.

The Eagles do have some depth at cornerback, since they’re carrying seven corners on the 53-man roster.

Jalen Mills is expected to be OK for Sunday after hurting his elbow in the Giants game. He was a full participant on Friday after being limited on Thursday.

Rasul Douglas would likely be the starter opposite Mills if Darby can’t play. Douglas has started 17 games in his three-year career, including five earlier this year.

Avonte Maddox can play outside but has been in the slot for the nine games he’s been healthy, averaging 46 snaps per game. Sidney Jones, who started four games earlier this year, is also available. Cre’Von LeBlanc is being brought back slowly after being on IR most of the year, and Craig James hasn’t played a defensive snap in nearly two months.

Darby missed half of the 2017 season with an ankle injury, half of last year with a torn ACL and four games earlier this year with a hamstring injury. He’s played only 29 of a possible 50 games since he got here in the summer of 2017.

The Eagles have don’t have a cornerback who’s played defense in every game this year. They’ve used eight different combinations of starting corners in 13 games.

The Eagles signed the 25-year-old Darby to a one-year contract worth $6.5 million. He has two interceptions in nine starts.

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Eagles vs. Redskins 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

Eagles vs. Redskins 2019: TV schedule, storylines, game time and more

The Eagles (6-7) are visiting the Redskins (3-10) at FedEx Field on Sunday afternoon. 
Here’s everything you need to know:  

•12 p.m.: Eagles Pregame Live on NBCSP
•1 p.m.: Eagles at Redskins on FOX 
•4 p.m.: Eagles Postgame Live on NBCSP 
•10 p.m.: Birds Outsiders on NBCSP 
The FOX broadcast crew for this game is Thom Brennaman (play by play), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Shannon Spake (sideline). You can also stream the game on FuboTV.
Merrill Reese, Mike Quick and Howard Eskin will have the call on 94WIP. 
The Eagles opened as 6-point favorites in some places but that has slipped to around 4 1/2 points. The over/under is 39. 

The referee for Eagles-Redskins is second-year referee Shawn Smith. This is his first game reffing an Eagles game. The Eagles were 2-1 with him as an umpire in 2016 and 2017. 

Keep it going

The Eagles got off to a terrible start against the Giants last week before they turned it around, scoring the last 20 points of the game and getting a huge overtime win. So which team shows up on Sunday? The team that fell behind 17-3 to the Giants or the team that rallied to a win? 

It’ll be key for the Eagles to find what works for Carson Wentz in this game a little earlier. They got him into rhythm last week, but that didn’t happen until the third drive of the third quarter. 

No receivers left 

The Eagles began the season with DeSean Jackson, Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. That was nice for that one game. Going into Week 15, with Agholor’s status uncertain, the Eagles’ top three receivers might be J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward and Rob Davis. Not exactly what the Eagles had in mind this offseason. 

A rookie QB 

The last time the Eagles faced Washington, in the opener, Case Keenum was the starter. So this will be their first time facing rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. While the Redskins have won two of three, they’re still a mess of an organization, so who knows what the future holds for Haskins. They have an interim coach and it’s possible the next head coach will want to pick his quarterback, which could leave Haskins in limbo. But there’s also a possibly Haskins is still their long-term QB. It’ll be interesting to see what happens down there.  

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