Both the Buffalo Bulls (6-6) and Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) currently sit on the outside of the playoff picture in their respective conferences but can dramatically improve their chances with a win at Lincoln Financial Field in Week 14. The Bills are in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot while the Eagles are in a three-way tie for the NFC East, but trail Washington due to a tiebreaker.
One of the storylines on Sunday will be LeSean McCoy’s return to Philadelphia and his home state of Pennsylvania. McCoy spent six seasons with the Eagles, scoring 44 touchdowns and compiling 6,792 yards before being traded to the Bills last offseason. Buffalo is coming off a 30-21 win over Houston last week where McCoy thrived, gaining 112 yards on 21 attempts. McCoy and has 792 rushing yards through his first 10 games with the Bills.
Tyrod Taylor threw for 211 yards and three scores but ran for another against Houston, making it seven touchdowns and zero interceptions over his last two games. Taylor, who hasn’t thrown a pick since Oct. 4, is completing 64.9 percent of his passes and has 17 touchdowns to just four interceptions on the season. Sammy Watkins caught three balls for 109 yards and a touchdown last week and has 267 yards to go with three scores over the last two games.
Buffalo ranks No. 10 in scoring offense (24.7 points) while the Eagles rank No. 25 in scoring defense (25.2). Despite winning last week, Philadelphia has given up 1,378 yards and 118 points over its last three games.
Buffalo sits one game back of a playoff record and plays three games outside the conference against NFC East teams before closing the season at home against the Jets.
Philadelphia came up with one of the more improbable wins of the season last week when they defeated the Patriots, 35-28 and snapped a three-game winning streak. The Eagles were outgained by 179 yards but scored two special teams touchdowns and intercepted Tom Brady twice, including a pick on the Philadelphia 1-yard line that went 99 yards the other way for a score.
Sam Bradford threw for just 120 yards but didn’t throw an interception for a third straight game, his longest stretch of the season. Bradford now has 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on the season.
One of the few negatives in the win came from DeMarco Murray, who rushed for 24 yards on eight attempts and is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry this season. Murray was given fewer attempts than both Darren Sproles (15) and Kenjon Barner (9). Murray’s decreased workload reportedly prompted a conversation with team owner Jeffrey Lurie on the flight home about the lack of playing time and his fit inside Chip Kelly’s offense.
Buffalo ranks No. 14 in run defense (104 yards allowed) but gave up 126 rush yards to Houston. The week before, they allowed 158 yards on the ground to Kansas City. The Eagles are tied for 11th in rushing yards per game (115.7).
Prediction: Both teams need to win this game and the oddsmakers have it as a toss-up. Both are coming off wins but Philadelphia pulled off a shocker and manages to now be tied for the division lead. Murray should play a bigger role, and the Eagles will probably do enough to win at home, 27-24.