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Week 8 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 31, Buffalo Bills 13


What you need to know

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles gutted out a road win in blustery conditions in Buffalo in Week 8. The Eagles’ run game dominated the ball with Jordan Howard rushing for nearly 100 yards and Carson Wentz avoiding mistakes and throwing just 24 passes. Miles Sanders left the game with a should injury but was an impact big-play threat again with a long touchdown run, two-point conversion, and chunk screen pass. Speed is still a missing element in the pass game, outside of Sanders, with DeSean Jackson out of the lineup.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills struggled in a loss to the Eagles on Sunday. The game was played in heavy winds, but Josh Allen struggled with accuracy and was late on critical throws, limiting the passing game against a suspect Philadelphia secondary. Frank Gore played ahead of Devin Singletary early in the game, but Singletary saw the passing game work and added a touchdown with a good run after the catch. John Brown again topped 50 yards a feat he has accomplished every game this season while Cole Beasley added a red zone touchdown despite lower passing volume than recent weeks.

Philadelphia Eagles

QB Carson Wentz, 73 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 24 - 172 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 35 - 0
Battling the wind and a tough Buffalo defense, Wentz emerged with the impressive road win in a run-centric offensive attack. Wentz’s play focused on timely passes to continue drives more than an air-raid approach with the wind being a substantial impact especially in the quarters driving towards the gust. Wentz’s best plays came on third down, including a scramble, designed run, and deep out to Alshon Jeffery, all to extend drives. Wentz paired with Jeffery on a perfect sideline throw for nearly 40 yards for his longest play of the game and nearly added a touchdown on a deep out to Zach Ertz down to the goal line on another occasion. With DeSean Jackson still out of the lineup there is a deep element missing from the Eagles passing game as Miles Sanders to some extent has served as a proxy. However, Sanders exited with a shoulder injury.

RB Jordan Howard, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 23 - 96 - 1, Rec: 1 - 15 - 0 (2 targets)
Howard had the perfect storm for a season-high 24 touches against the Bills in Week 8. The windy conditions shifted the Eagles to a more ball-control offense and Howard continued his clear advantage over Miles Sanders for interior work. Howard ground through contact regularly, especially in the fourth quarter as the Eagles salted away the road win. Howard churned up the gut for 20 yards and two more for 10+ yards in his best moments. Howard’s lack of passing game involvement remains a limitation to his overall production, seeing two targets overall even with Miles Sanders playing an ancillary role. Howard did convert his lone reception into a 15-yard screen pass gain this week, his second-highest receiving yardage total of the season. Howard has nine receptions in eight games as a touchdown and volume-centric option as a runner alone.

RB Miles Sanders, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 74 - 1, Rec: 3 - 44 - 0 (3 targets)
Jordan Howard was the clear preferred option on interior runs again against Buffalo this week in the windy conditions. Sanders, however, is the home run threat of the two, breaking on two huge plays, one for a touchdown. Sanders benefited from a Howard lead block through a small hole inside, showing his speed all the way for a 65-yard touchdown. Sanders also cut across the field on a screen pass for 25 yards through the air. Sanders has not received 10 touches or more since Week 5 and yet had another quality performance this week. Sanders exited in the second half with a shoulder injury but is not expected to miss significant time by early reports of the Bears matchup in Week 9.

WR Nelson Agholor, 55 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 7 - 0, Rec: 4 - 7 - 0 (4 targets)
Agholor logged a second straight non-factor performance, this time against the Bills. Agholor converted a quick out on third down and a jet sweep for 15+ yards as his highlights but was stuffed for a massive loss on another rushing attempt and was invisible for most of the game as a route runner. Agholor has not been a big factor in the passing game since Week 2 despite DeSean Jackson being out of the lineup and the offense leaning on Miles Sanders as the speed threat as a proxy, not Agholor during Jackson’s absence.

WR Alshon Jeffery, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 64 - 0 (6 targets)
In a low-volume attack against Buffalo, Jeffery led the team with six targets. Much of his production came on a perfect deep throw from Carson Wentz for 38 yards. Jeffery flashed his ball skills on a full-extension grab on another occasion and Jeffery added a third-down deep out route conversion as well. Jeffery had a 50/50 back shoulder target which was not converted. Jeffery has been a consistent intermediate target for the Eagles this season but looks to have lost a step or two from his prime to expect consistent big plays or a legitimate vertical dimension to the offense.

TE Dallas Goedert, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 22 - 1 (5 targets)
Goedert found the end zone for the second straight week, seeing more targets than teammate Zach Ertz. Goedert scored on a goal-line slant and added a screen pass for 10 yards of note. Goedert also had a reception called back in the game. Goedert was largely invisible until the last three weeks where he has piled up 17 targets for a hearty 12-139-2 stat line. The Bears offer a quality matchup for opposing tight ends to continue his promising play in Week 9.

TE Zach Ertz, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (4 targets)
Ertz looked notably frustrated at times during the Eagles’ road win over Buffalo with a paltry two receptions. Even without DeSean Jackson active for most of the season, Ertz is a significant pace behind his 2018 season. Ertz got down to the goal line on one of his receptions and also added a third-down defensive pass interference penalty beyond the box score. Ertz was stuffed on a third-down dump off and also had a one-handed contested opportunity for a highlight play but was a high degree of difficulty. While never a high touchdown rate option in his career, Ertz has a mere one touchdown on 37 receptions in 2019 as a regression candidate over the second half of the season.


Buffalo Bills

QB Josh Allen, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 16 - 34 - 169 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 8 - 45 - 0
Josh Allen struggled on Sunday against the Eagles. Allen struggled with ball security, including fumbling three times, two of which were in the pocket and a third on a running attempt which he lost. Allen ran frequently in the game, on both scrambles and designed runs, and was able to avoid big hits from defenders, something he has worked to avoid in recent weeks. He threw two touchdown passes. The first was to Cole Beasley in the red zone, where Allen moved from the pocket and kept his eyes up to see Beasley on a crossing route for an easy score. The second was to Devin Singletary on a flat pass where Singletary did the hard work after the catch for the score. Allen played the game in heavy winds, which resulted in some errant throws, including a missed deep ball to Robert Foster. He also missed a critical opportunity late in the game on a late throw to John Brown that was broken up by an Eagles defender. Allen will get a good matchup next week against Washington.

RB Frank Gore, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 34 - 0
Frank Gore started for the Buffalo Bills against the Philadelphia Eagles working ahead of rookie Devin Singletary early in the game before Singletary’s role grew in the second half. Gore had success on the interior early in the game, but Singletary had a more pass centric game script as the game went along limited Gore to only nine carries. Gore should have plenty of positive game script next week against Washington at home.

RB Devin Singletary, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 3 - 19 - 0, Rec: 4 - 30 - 1 (6 targets)
Devin Singletary played behind Frank Gore against the Eagles on Sunday but grew into a larger role as the game progressed. Singletary was inconsistent during the game. On the positive side, he was able to turn a dump-off pass in the flat into a touchdown by making a defender miss and setting a block up on the perimeter. He also had a chunk play on the first offensive play in the second half that was called back by penalty. On the negative side, Singletary had two drops in the passing game. Singletary is a role player in the Buffalo offense that needs a score for fantasy viability while he is playing behind Frank Gore. He will get positive game script in week nine against Washington.

WR John Brown, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 54 - 0 (8 targets)
John Brown had a strong first half but turned in a quiet second half against the Philadelphia Eagles. Brown was the best threat in the Buffalo offense early in the game, working both the perimeter and interior of the field, including a diving catch on a comeback along the sideline. Brown was quiet in the second half because of a combination of heavy winds and Josh Allen errant throws. For example, Brown won on a deep in route on fourth down in the second half, but Allen was late on the throw which allowed the Philadelphia corner to make a recovery play on the ball. Brown will have a good matchup next week against Washington.

WR Cole Beasley, 49 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 41 - 1 (7 targets)
Cole Beasley had a low volume but effective fantasy day against the Eagles on Sunday. Beasley had a touchdown in the first half on a crossing route in the red zone where Josh Allen extended the play with his feet and pulled the defense away from Beasley for an easy score. He had a quiet remainder of the half before catching an out route and extending the play with a run after the catch. The remainder of Beasley’s work came in garbage time when Buffalo was trailing, including two errant passes by Josh Allen. Beasley will have a good matchup next week against Washington.

TE Tyler Kroft, 36 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (4 targets)
Tyler Kroft led the Buffalo tight ends with two receptions on Sunday against the Eagles, making a tough catch along the perimeter and holding the ball through contact. He also had a flat reception with easy run after the catch yardage. While Kroft’s numbers were low, his usage is notable, because Buffalo schemed up two vertical perimeter shots to Kroft, both of which were incomplete. Kroft was used ahead of Dawson Knox and could continue to grow in role as he integrates into the office after returning from injury. He will get a good opportunity next week against Washington.