Here are some things we'll be watching this Sunday when the Eagles travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. The Inquirer's full game preview will be in Sunday's paper and online here at philly.com.
Vick record alert
Michael Vick is only 71 yards from passing former Eagle Randall Cunningham (4,928) for the most rushing yards ever by a quarterback in NFL history. He’s already had two games in which he’s rushed for more yards – 97 at St. Louis and 75 last week against the 49ers.
Red zone disparity
Yards are tougher to come by inside the 20-yard line, but not if you’re the Bills offense and not if you’re playing against the Eagles defense. Buffalo is second in the league in red zone efficiency, scoring touchdowns 12 of 16 times. The Eagles, meanwhile, are last in the league, allowing eight scores on 10 red zone possessions.
Fourth quarter blues
The Eagles defense’s problems in the fourth quarter have been well documented -- three straight leads blown in the final frame. If the Eagles are ahead once again in the fourth don’t count out Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bills quarterback has a 117.5 passer rating in the fourth quarter, second-best in the AFC.
The Eagles account for the most sacks in the league per pass play, while the Bills are second best in the NFL in not allowing sacks. Something’s got to give.
Danny Watkins will get his first career NFL start at right guard on Sunday. The Eagles’ top draft pick was demoted just before the season, but after a 1-3 start and Kyle DeVan’s so-so performance there was no point in holding back the rookie. So Watkins will learn on the job. It could get scary for the former fireman.
Of the Eagles’ five fumbles, four have come in the red zone. That can’t happen. The Eagles offensive skill players need to do a better job of tucking the ball away and protecting it from turnover-hungry defenders.
It’s become a weekly chore trying to find where Nnamdi Asomugha is lined up in the Eagles defense. Defensive coordinator Juan Castillo admitted this week that he has asked too much of his cornerback. Could that mean more of Asomugha in strictly man cover situations?