Every week we take our Temperature Gauge takes a look at who's hot (5) who's cold (1) and who is in between heading into Sunday's match up. Our full Eagles-Bills preview runs Sunday in the Inquirer and here on Philly.com. Here's one piece:
4 - Michael Vick is coming off of a 416-yard passing game in which he was sharp, under control and moved his team. Now he needs to finish drives with touchdowns instead of field goals and prevent turnovers. He’s given the ball up in each of his past 10 regular season games.
3 – It’s on King Dunlap to ensure that Jason Peters’ injury isn’t too much to overcome. Dunlap has played better in his backup role than many give him credit for. The big lineman swatted a field goal last week. He has a chance to contribute in a more conventional way Sunday.
3 – So far the only person to stop LeSean McCoy is Andy Reid. After Shady ran for 122, 95 and 128 yards the first three games, Reid gave him just nine carries last week. (McCoy is now the only running back the Eagles have shut down this year). Still, McCoy remains second in the NFL in touchdowns and fifth in rushing. After a quiet week, the Eagles would be smart to get him involved again.
5 – Jason Babin is one free agent signing who has earned his money: seven sacks in four games is quite a haul. But the pressure rises this week with Trent Cole out and a potent offense on the opposite side of the ball. The Eagles will need Babin to be huge against the run and pass.
2 – The opposite of Babin has been Nnamdi Asomugha, who, after looking like the prize of free agency in July has disappointed early on. Many have argued that the Eagles need to put him in man coverage, but if you’re one of the best corners in the game, and paid like it, shouldn’t you be able to play zone? It’s not like Juan Castillo is asking him to switch to punter.
2 – Lost in the teeth-gnashing over Asomugha is this: Asante Samuel is playing way off of his man and teams are taking advantage underneath. Worse, he is again backing off of tackles and seemed to give up on some plays last week. With only one interception, Samuel doesn’t have his usual counter-argument to his critics.
1 – Alex Henery is eight for 11 on field goals, and his two fourth quarter misses Sunday were huge. Now we see how quickly the rookie can put those out of his head and bounce back.
4 – Bad news for the Eagles beleaguered run defense. Fred Jackson is averaging 5.8 yards per carry and is fourth in the league with 369 rushing yards. The Bengals slowed him down, holding him to 66 yards last week. The Eagles couldn’t do worse than the Bengals. Could they?
3 – The six-foot-two Steve Johnson is quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s favorite target and has two eight catch games this season, though he only grabbed four last week. Johnson is averaging 13.1 yards per reception and has 314 yards on the season.
5 – The Bills are tied for the NFL lead with eight interceptions. Safety George Wilson has two of them – one in each of the last two games – and is one of the team’s leading tacklers, to boot.