Eagles vs Bills: Inactives, Keys to Game and Pick
The Eagles opened the month of December with a win after three straight November losses, they will face an old friend today when they host LeSean McCoy and the Bills.
Last week, the Eagles had a thrilling 35-28 victory over the Patriots in Foxborough, while the Bills knocked off the Texans 30-21.
Overall, it marks the 13th meeting, between the two teams, with the series knotted at 6-6. In Philadelphia, the Eagles are 3-2 all-time against the Bills, and won the only meeting at the Linc back in 2007.
(Listen on 97.3 ESPN, coverage starts at noon, Kick-off at 1pm)
Sal Pal on Eagles vs Bills:
Outside View: Bills offensive coordinator, Greg Roman
Matchup to Watch: Eagles secondary vs Sammy Watkins
While the return of McCoy will grab most of the headlines, the Eagles need to be concerned with Sammy Watkins. They have had problems with bigger wideouts this season and Watkins fits that mold. A big play receiver, Watkins caught three balls for 109 yards and a touchdown in the Bills' Week 13 win over the Texans.
Watkins repeatedly beat Texans rookie corner Kevin Johnson, expect to see Greg Roman try to match him up with Eric Rowe a lot in this game. While Rowe held his own when matched up with Lions wide out calvin Johnson, he was beaten in the game for three scores.
While the Eagles season isn't on the line here, it's a game that can help the team turn the corner and prove that the three week stretch of bad football is behind them. The win over New England showed that the team hadn't quit on coach Chip Kelly, a win today can go a long way in showing they can make a run to an NFC East crown.
This is a tough matchup, with Tyrod Taylor, the Bills have a dual threat quarterback coupled with a big physical wide out in Watkins who over the past four weeks has had three 100-yard games and three touchdowns.
McCoy's return will be a big deal, I am sure the Bills will want to try and get him involved early and they should. McCoy is averaging 22.2 touches and 122.8 total yards per game with three total touchdowns over the last four weeks after some early season nagging injuries.
For the Eagles, they should get Ryan Mathews back and more involved in the offense then he was before he got hurt. coupled with Darren Sproles, the Eagles should look to get the more explosive players on the field. Reports today are that the Eagles will go with Sproles as the "featured" back with Murray serving in a limited role behind Mathews and Barner.
The McCoy vs Murray dynamic is an interesting one, with McCoy wanting to prove the Eagles wrong, and how the Eagles use, or don't use Murray should be interesting to see.
I think sitting Murray is the right thing to do, I have said from the start of the year, Mathews the better back, Murray the better resume - its time to play the better players. If the Eagles stick to that, they should be able to stay on track with a win today.
The Pick: Eagles 26, Bills 23