Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial Field – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sunday, December 13, 2015, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS, NFL Sunday Ticket
Opening Line: Philadelphia -1
Current Line: Philadelphia pick (-120)
Opening Total: 47
Current Total: 47
Opening Money Line: Eagles -115 / Bills -105
Current Money Line: Eagles -115 / Bills -105
The 5-7 Philadelphia Eagles host the 6-6 Buffalo Bills Sunday. Despite the fact that both teams are playoff contenders in their respective conferences, the focus has been on some negative comments Buffalo running back LeSean McCoy made about Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly. McCoy was traded to Buffalo from Philadelphia in the off-season.
Buffalo is in third place in the AFC East behind the 10-2 New England Patriots and 7-5 New York Jets. Buffalo is a game behind three 7-5 teams for the two wild card spots in the AFC. The Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts are also 6-6 but one of them will likely win the AFC South Division.
Philadelphia is part of a three way tie for first in the NFC East with the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. The Dallas Cowboys are only a game behind at 4-8 in what is widely considered the worst division in football as all four teams are below .500. Still, one of them will make the playoffs.
The series between Buffalo and Philadelphia is tied at 6-6. The Bills have won 5 of the last 7 games against the Eagles dating back to 1990. Buffalo won the last meeting 31-24 in 2011 at home to snap a two game losing streak against Philadelphia.
Buffalo is coached by Rex Ryan. Buffalo has home wins over the Indianapolis Colts 27-14, Miami Dolphins 33-17 and Houston Texans 30-21 last week, plus road wins over the Dolphins 41-14, Tennessee Titans 14-13 and New York Jets 22-17. The Bills have home losses to the New England Patriots 40-32, New York Giants 24-10 and Cincinnati Bengals 34-21, road losses at the Patriots 20-13 and Kansas City Chiefs 30-22, plus a loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-31 in London.
Buffalo was a three point favorite against Houston and the total was 42. Buffalo took a 21-13 lead into halftime. Neither team scored in the third quarter. The Texans tied it up at 21 midway through the fourth with a touchdown and a two point conversion. Buffalo scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 40 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyrod Taylor to tight end Charles Clay with 1:53 left. Buffalow ould miss the extra point though. After Houston turned the ball over on downs, the Bills put the game away with a field goal with 33 seconds left. The win might have kept Buffalo’s playoff hopes alive. The Bills are 6-5-1 ATS and the total is 7-5 this season.
Philadelphia is coached by Chip Kelly. The Eagles have road losses at the Atlanta Falcons 26-24, Redskins 23-20, Carolina Panthers 27-16 and Detroit Lions 45-14, plus home losses to the Dallas Cowboys 20-10, Miami Dolphins 20-19 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers 45-17. Philadelphia has road wins at the New York Jets 24-17 and Cowboys 33-27 in overtime, and Patriots 35-28 last week, and at home against the New Orleans Saints 39-17 and Giants 27-7.
Philadelphia was a 9 point underdog at New England and the total was 49.5. The Eagles had lost three straight games including being out scored 90-31 by the Buccaneers and Lions. The Patriots had only one loss coming into the game, but were ravaged by injuries notably to leading receivers Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. The Patriots jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. However, the Eagles scored 35 straight points including 21 points off a blocked punt, a 99 yard pick six and an 83 yard punt return. New England rallied to within 35-28 with 3 minutes to go in the fourth. After the Patriots recovered a Philadelphia fumble at their own 28, New England would turn the ball over on downs. The Eagles ran out the clock to secure the upset. The Patriots had almost 200 more total yards, but had two turnovers to one for the Eagles. Philadelphia is 5-7 ATS and the total is 5-7 this season.
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Buffalo is outscoring teams 25-23 this season. The Bills are #10 in scoring. Buffalo averages 351 total yards per game on offense including 210 passing and 141 rushing yards. The Bills are #29 in passing and #4 in rushing. Buffalo allows 360 yards per game on defense, including 256 passing and 104 rushing yards. The Bills are #20 in total defense but #23 against the pass. Buffalo is 64/174 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 62/169. Buffalo has forced 18 sacks and allowed 31 this season. The Bills are +4 in turnovers. Buffalo has three defensive touchdowns and has allowed two as well this season.
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor missed two games with a knee injury, but has played the last five games. E.J. Manuel started in his place. Taylor has completed 64.9% of his passes for 2,171 yards with 17 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, and also has 63 carries for 318 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is probable Sunday with a shoulder injury. Manuel has thrown for 561 yards with 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions along with 15 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Running back LeSean McCoy has 173 carries for 792 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 27 catches for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. Karlos Williams has 66 carries for 376 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 6 catches and 2 touchdowns. He is out with a shoulder injury, and has missed several games this season. Boobie Dixon and Daniel Herron could get some carries. Cierre Wood is out for the season with a knee injury.
The Bills are banged up at receiver. Percy Harvin (hip) and Marquise Goodwin (ribs) are both on injured reserve. Receiver Sammy Watkins has 34 catches for 635 yards and six touchdowns. Tight end Charles Clay has 50 catches for 519 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is questionable with a knee injury. Robert Woods has 38 catches for 402 yards and 3 touchdowns. Chris Hogan has 30 catches for 376 yards and 2 touchdowns. Harvin had 19 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown, along with 31 rushing yards. Nine defensive players are listed on the injury report.
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Philadelphia is being outscored 25-23 this season. The Eagles average 352 total yards on offense including 236 passing and 116 rushing yards. On defense, Philadelphia is allowing 383 yards per game including 259 passing yards and 125 rushing yards. The Eagles are #24 or worse in all defensive categories. The Eagles are 65/179 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 78/179. Philadelphia has forced 30 sacks and allowed 28 this season. The Eagles are +1 in turnovers. Philadelphia has 6 special teams/defensive touchdowns and has allowed 2 defensive touchdowns.
Philadelphia quarterback Sam Bradford has completed 63.5% of his passes for 2,417 yards with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, along with 18 carries for 30 rushing yards. He missed two games with a shoulder injury, but returned last week against the Patriots. Mark Sanchez started in place of Bradford. He has thrown for 616 yards with 4 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, and has 22 rushing yards.
Running back DeMarco Murray has 163 carries for 569 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 39 catches for 295 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Mathews has 75 carries for 427 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown. He is probable with a concussion. Darren Sproles has 62 carries for 234 yards and a touchdown, along with 40 catches for 292 yards and a touchdown. He also has two punt returns for touchdowns.
Receiver Jordan Matthews has 61 catches for 661 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tight end Zach Ertz has 40 catches for 403 yards and a touchdown. Brent Celek has 21 catches for 310 yards and 3 touchdowns. Riley Cooper has 16 catches for 277 yards and 2 touchdowns. Miles Austin has 13 catches for 224 yards and a touchdown. Josh Huff has 20 catches for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns. Nelson Agholor will also get some catches. Seven defensive players and three offensive linemen are listed on the injury report. Kicker Cody Parkey is out for the season and has been replaced by Caleb Sturgis.
Buffalo is 4-1 ATS after rushing for 150 yards or more, and in December, 3-1-1 overall, 8-3-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, 7-19-2 after a straight up win, and 1-4-1 after a cover. The Bills have covered 4 of the last 5 games in the series and were the underdogs in each of those contests.
Philadelphia is 10-4-1 ATS in week 14, 4-9 in December, 2-5 at home, 1-4 after a straight up win and a cover, 4-16-1 after allowing more than 350 total yards, and 2-8 on grass.
It is hard to trust either of these teams. Both won much needed games last week after losing streaks. This should be a high scoring game as both defenses struggle. I like the Bills to pull off the mild upset on the road.