WALKED IT OFF - 38 Immediate Takeaways from Eagles 37, Bills 34 (OT)
This team just finds a way to get it done. It’s incredible.
Ugly start, crap weather – you name it, it wasn’t going well. The Eagles found themselves down 10 at halftime, then the game turned when Eli Ricks successfully broke up a pass that was thrown directly at his rear end. From there, the Birds went on to score 24 second half points, Jake Elliott banged home a 59-yard field goal to send it to overtime, and then Jalen Hurts walked it off to seal an instant classic.
The Birds are 10-1. LET’S FUCKING GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…
…to the observations:
1) Regardless of whether or not Lane Johnson could have played in this game, Buffalo meant a lot less than San Fran and Dallas for seeding purposes. Gunner provided this update right before kick off:
I’m told Lane Johnson popped scar tissue in his groin on Friday similar to what Sua Opeta did when he missed the Dallas game .. Lane is expected to return to action next week vs San Fran ….
— Derrick Gunn (@RealDGunn) November 26, 2023
3) Jack Driscoll was beat on the first offensive play of the game. Not exactly a portent, but symbolic, perhaps.
4) Awesome first drive! Missing your All-Pro right tackle, so let’s throw the ball three times a row, in the rain, at home.
At least Big Dom showed good hands:
— Brian P. Hickey (@BrianPHickey) November 26, 2023
5) The CBS chyron was driving me crazy the way it cut off the Bills and Eagles logos. There’s a better way to crop and fit this:
6) Shout out to James Cook for dropping a touchdown pass. Couple of pre-snap penalties later, and the Bills were out of field goal position on their second drive, instead punting from the Eagles’ 40 yard line.
7) Buffalo’s Jordan Phillips blowing up the first brotherly shove was a laugher. If you’re gonna get flagged for encroachment, you might as well get your money’s worth.
8) The second drive went 10 plays and 73 yards for a score. They actually didn’t convert a single third down in that possession, getting a 3rd and 10 flag and then converting a 4th and 1 shove instead. You got a little bit of the best of both worlds there – 1) staying ahead of the chains with those running plays, and 2) using the push to give yourself 1st and 9 instead of first and 10.
9) Thought the Eagles got a bit of a break when Josh Allen decided to throw seven yards short of the sticks on 3rd and 10, which set up a field goal. The Birds sent an extra rusher, but it looked like the offensive line blocked it rather well and Allen just got rid of it quickly.
10) The Jalen Hurts interception? That play wasn’t going anywhere even if he got it through to Jack Stoll. Leonard Floyd played the pull perfectly and the ball just popped straight up in the air. That was Hurts’ 10th interception, a career-high.
11) The drive following the interception was total butt. They get a big run from Boston Scott to move the sticks, then incomplete on 2nd down, a four yard run on third, incomplete on 4th, and out comes Braden Mann to punt.
12) The defense gave up four third and longs in the first half. Pretty bad. Pass rush wasn’t good on those plays.
13) This play was a little annoying. Dalton Kincaid dropped an almost-dime from Allen, but James Bradberry kind of holds up at the last minute. If he lays the wood here, clean and legal, he’s probably jarring the ball loose in the case of Kincaid actually reeling it in:
Josh Allen to Dalton Kincaid falls incomplete. James Bradberry on the coverage. Should’ve had it. pic.twitter.com/V92qHinUGG
— DIE-HARD 🦅 Fans (@Eaglesfans9) November 26, 2023
B Dawk would have lowered the shoulder.
14) Hurts at halftime: 4 for 11, 33 yards and an interception.
15) Huge swing on the Allen/Reddick sequence right before halftime. We went from a possible horse collar tackle to intentional grounding and a loss of down. It moved Buffalo back to the Eagles’ 16 yard line for a 3rd and goal try that resulted in an incomplete pass and then blocked field goal…
16) …which then saw the Birds give it right back to Buffalo on a ridiculous mishap. Hurts gave the ball to Gainwell, who wasn’t expecting it, and they just coughed it up completely:
Fumble will be charged to Jalen Hurts pic.twitter.com/TqWLLZWDCa
— DIE-HARD 🦅 Fans (@Eaglesfans9) November 26, 2023
Watching that again, you see Hurts double clutch. The left side of the line is run blocking. Same with Julio Jones. So it looks like some kind of read play that Jalen just screwed up. My best guess is that Gainwell felt the first pull and then wasn’t expecting Hurts to try to stick in the bread basket a second time.
17) You can actually be whistled for a horse-collar tackle even if your hand is outside of the neck/pad area. The rule states that you can’t grab the jersey “at the nameplate or above.”
18) Wretched sequence coming out of halftime. Hurts pulled and had Brown open on a 1st down slant, decided not to throw it, and went down for a sack. Then he threw a duck to his left that Brown dropped, followed by a 3rd and 14 perimeter screen for Julio Jones. HIDEOUS!
19) I was borderline comatose until Eli Ricks broke up that pass with his ass, followed by the missed Buffalo field goal. What a swing!
20) Amazing what happens when you just give the ball to your best running back, D’Andre Swift. Let the offensive line cook. ROLL THAT BLOUNT!
21) I love that little split back shotgun look they use on 3rd and short to hit the tight ends after the pull. They got Stoll for a nice gain on the second touchdown drive and it moved the Birds down to the goal line.
22) Reed Blankenship had a shot at Allen on the second Buffalo touchdown run. Just couldn’t make the play. They sent 6 without a spy and Allen cooked ’em. Defensive line looked totally gassed at the end of that drive, and I don’t blame them because Buffalo was almost doubling the Birds in time of possession at that point.
23) Jim Nantz did a Hal Greer/Hal Lear mix up in the third quarter. Hal Greer was from WV. Hal Lear was from Philly.
24) The rain turned the Eagles kelly green jerseys darker, to the point where they didn’t match the helmets. Looked like a bad Baylor uniform by the 4th quarter.
25) The key to the third touchdown drive, which was a great response, was that 3rd down run in which Hurts just beat the spy 1v1. They don’t convert on that, they’re kicking a field goal in the rain and at best, cutting the lead to 4 instead of seven.
26) It was only a matter of time until Allen finally threw a pick, right? Selfishly, I wanted Bradberry to follow that Jordan Davis block, because the thought of Davis just clobbering people is wonderful.
27) This is backyard football right here. Jalen keeping it alive – “just go deep man I got you”” –
MAGIC FROM JALEN HURTS
— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2023
28) Tony Romo really had to try hard to mask his disappointment with the Eagles comeback. Hayden Christensen did a better acting job in the Stars Wars prequels.
29) They sacked Allen in the fourth quarter with a three-man rush and had one of the ends spy him instead.
30) Defense looked cooked at the end of the fourth. Run defense couldn’t stop anything, probably because Fletcher Cox and Zach Cunningham were ruled out and everyone else was on the field for 35:54 by the time the two-minute warning hit. They got totally gashed on the first five plays, which featured 1st and 10 four times in a row. Buffalo optioned off Christian Elliss on the touchdown and Bradberry didn’t have any help inside. Didn’t even get a hand on Gabe Davis.
31) Jason Kelce committing two false starts on the final drive was no bueno. Flinched twice, cost them 10 yards. Didn’t like the execution on anything during that stretch, and it resulted in them having to throw Jake Elliott out there for a 59-yarder in the rain.
32) But Jake Elliott is a fuckin’ DAWG
JAKE ELLIOTT FOR 59 🤯
— PFF (@PFF) November 27, 2023
33) Slay got away with a clear DPI in overtime. Stefon Diggs returned the favor with a 2nd down drop.
34) That Allen run to convert in overtime was the same time from earlier. Three-man rush and a spy, Reddick just couldn’t get there.
35) The “roughing the passer” call probably deserves its own column. Allen tossed his head back and sold the contact, but might have gotten the whistle even if he didn’t do that, because you know how the NFL treats QBs in 2023.
36) Thought for sure Buffalo had the game-winning touchdown. Slay was beat, Davis and Allen just weren’t on the same page. Incredible.
37) Tell ya what, that A.J. Brown review at the end could not have been tighter. Gene Steratore came in immediately and noted that the “football move” thing wasn’t fully triggered before the ball came out. It did look like a fumble in real time, but when they slowed it down, the ball was definitely out early. Great call! We all love and respect the refs!
38) CHAMPIONSHIP DNA!
— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2023