1. Bills offensive line handling their business
Buffalo’s offensive line will be busy with a deep defensive front from Philadelphia, but in assessing his team’s play up front on offense, there have been some positives as head coach Sean McDermott sees it. Most notably the team’s top 10 ranking in rushing yards per game (7th) and yards per carry average (9th).
“I like some of the things we’ve been able to do, led by Mitch (Morse) and Jon Feliciano,” said McDermott. “I like our pad level. It’s such a fundamentally driven position and a mindset-driven position. I like some of the signs I’ve seen with much work to do.”
As for handling blitzes and such, Buffalo’s sideline boss believes there is still ground to cover and improvement to make.
“Probably like a lot of things, there are some thing we’ve done well and some things we need to improve on as it relates to pressure, but that is a whole offense thing because one thing is affected by another with pressure. I think that’s an ongoing deal, whether it’s pressure or a four-man front or a three-man front.”
2. Best defensive line in football
Coach McDermott has a healthy amount of respect for every opponent his team faces, but he had supremely high praise for Philadelphia’s defensive line.
“We’re going to have to block probably the best defensive line in the league this week, if not one of the best,” said Buffalo’s head coach. “They have a lot of talent on that football team with guys like Fletcher Cox. You look at Brandon Graham and what he’s been able to do in his career.”
The Eagles defensive line is made up of three former first-round picks, spearheaded by the four-time Pro Bowl DT Cox. Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham are the other former first-round selections. Tim Jernigan is a former second-round pick, who was acquired from Baltimore via trade.
“Really their front eight on defense there isn’t a guy in that any defensive coordinator wouldn’t want to start on their team,” said McDermott. “They have eight guys they push at the quarterback and that’s hard to defend.”
3. Injury updates on Johnson, Williams and Milano
They’re all practicing here on Wednesday, but two players injured in last week’s game and one who missed the game with a hamstring injury will all be limited in practice today at One Bills Drive.
Matt Milano, who missed last week’s game, has made progress according to head coach Sean McDermott.
“He’s done a good job,” said McDermott. “He’s maximized those (injury) treatments. He’ll be limited today.”
As for cornerback Kevin Johnson and wide receiver Duke Williams, they too will be limited. Johnson suffered a stinger in last Sunday’s game against Miami. Williams sustained a shoulder injury, but returned to the game last weekend.
Philadelphia’s defensive line however, has been the victim of the injury bug. Jernigan is recovering from a broken foot and fellow defensive tackle Malik Jackson is on I-R with Lis franc foot injury. The Eagles also lost Hasaan Ridgeway this past week to an ankle injury and he’s considered week-to-week.
That’s why the Eagles signed free agent defensive tackle Anthony Rush and defensive tackle Albert Huggins for depth earlier this week.