Not many teams have been able to run off the Buffalo Bills defense this year, but the Philadelphia Eagles made one of the top run defenses in the league look mortal. Philadelphia had a season-high 218 yards against Buffalo in a 31-13 victory, the most rushing yards they had in a game since a Thanksgiving win over Dallas in 2014.
Jordan Howard was the bell cow of the rushing attack, running the ball 23 times for 96 yards and a touchdown in the win. Howard’s bruising running style wore down the Bills defense in the fourth quarter, specifically when the Eagles were trying to run out the clock up 11 points in the fourth quarter. Howard had 11 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown in the final quarter, knowing the Bills defense was feeling the aftershock of the Eagles’ ground game.
“We were able to wear the defense down,” Howard said, via Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “You could tell at the end of the game they really didn’t want to tackle us.”
The Eagles were able to run for 5.3 yards per carry on the Bills, running the ball a season-high 41 times. Heading into the game Buffalo allowed just 3.9 yards per carry and 91.3 rush yards per contest. The Eagles increased those numbers to 4.2 yards per carry and 109.4 rush yards a game. Both are outside the top 15 in the NFL after Buffalo entered the game with a top-10 rush defense.
It’s the first time the Eagles had three different players with a rushing touchdown in a game in six years (Week 16 in 2013 against the Bears). Miles Sanders had three carries for 74 yards in the win, including a 65-yard touchdown run to give the Eagles a double-digit lead on the second play of the third quarter. That was the longest rush touchdown by an Eagles player since Bryce Brown in 2013 and the longest run of the year for the team by 35 yards.
The Eagles average 125 rushing yards a game, 13th in the NFL, but they believe that number will go up the second half of the year.
“We feel like we can do that vs. anybody,” said right guard Brandon Brooks. “The key was that guys executed across the board. we weren’t shooting ourselves in the foot, and we started off a little bit faster than we usually do.”