The Eagles entered the second quarter tied 7-7 with the Bills, but a crucial turnover by Buffalo early in the second quarter set Philadelphia up for a 53-yard scoring strike from Sam Bradford to Nelson Agholor to put them up by a touchdown. The teams traded field goals before halftime to make it 17-10 Eagles at intermission. Here are a few takeaways from the first 30 minutes of action ...
Another Week, Another Huge Special Teams Play
With the Eagles' offense coming off its third consecutive three-and-out, they punted away out of its own end zone. Donnie Jones booted it 52 yards down field to Marcus Thigpen, who mishandled the ball, which bounced a few yards before Bryan Braman recovered it at the Buffalo 37. That turnover set up the Eagles' second touchdown of the day.
A Touchdown Snagholor
Rookie first-round pick Nelson Agholor came into today's game with just 16 catches for 163 yards with no touchdowns. But early in the second quarter the USC alum broke free down field on a second-and-26 play, getting open for a 53-yard touchdown catch on a perfectly placed ball thrown just short of the goal line by Sam Bradford. After a converted extra point by Caleb Sturgis, the Eagles went up 14-7 with 10:38 left until halftime.
The Three-Headed Monster
With Ryan Mathews returning to the lineup after missing three weeks with a concussion and groin injury, the Eagles decided to activate four running backs on Sunday. Through the first half, all four – Mathews, Darren Sproles, DeMarco Murray and Kenjon Barner – have gotten snaps out of the backfield, and their touches have been split to this point. Mathews leads the way with seven rushes for 30 yards to go with two receptions for 4 yards. Sproles has run the ball three times for 20 yards and a touchdown to go along with two catches for 4 yards. Murray has gained 13 yards on three carries to go along with two catches for 3 yards. Barner has yet to touch the ball, but has been on the field as a blocker out of the backfield.
Peters Briefly Forced Out Of Action, But Later Returns
Early in the second quarter, Jason Peters appeared to be shaken up on the failed third-down play that set up the punt return fumble recovery by Braman. The veteran left tackle came off the field under his own power, but when the offense came back on the field moments later Dennis Kelly had taken his place on the left side of the line. Kelly remained on the field for the remainder of the drive, but when the Eagles took over possession a few minutes later Peters had returned to the game.
The Eagles returned to Lincoln Financial Field to face the Buffalo Bills in their first of three home games in December. View the full gallery here...