Here is what we will be watching in Sunday's game between the Eagles and Buffalo Bills:
The Red Zone Highway. The Eagles had the league’s worst red-zone defense in more than a quarter century last season. Incredibly, after four games, their 2011 red-zone failure rate is even worse. Opponents have managed to score touchdowns on 8 of 10 trips inside the 20 on Juan Castillo’s bend-and-break defense. That’s the bad news. The worse news is the Bills are second in the league in red-zone offense, converting 80 percent of their trips inside the 20 into TDs.
The Turnover Issue. The Eagles enter Sunday’s game with a minus-6 turnover ratio, which is the second worst in the league. They already have 10 giveaways. Opponents have scored 28 points off those turnovers. The Bills are second in the league in takeaways with 11, including 8 interceptions.
Fourth-Quarter Peril. Heading into this season, Andy Reid-coached teams seldom let fourth-quarter leads slip away. The Eagles were 90-15 under Reid in games in which they took a lead into the final period. Even last year, with a defense that got Sean McDermott fired, the Eagles were 7-1 in games in which they had the lead after three quarters. This year, the fourth quarter has been quicksand. They’ve blown leads in the final period three straight weeks. They’ve been outscored 36-0 in the fourth quarter the last three games. Oh, and now, they’re about to face a team whose quarterback has a 117.5 fourth-quarter passer rating.