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Birds' offense awakens, offsets Shady's strong 1st half

LeSean McCoy's only pregame hug went to Jeffrey Lurie.

Once that was out of the way, the Bills and the Eagles played a solid, competitive first half, which ended with the Birds leading, 17-10.

The Eagles got touchdowns on a Darren Sproles run at the end of a 10-play, 61-yard drive, and on a beautiful 53-yard bomb down the middle to rookie Nelson Agholor, vs. safety Corey Graham. It was exactly what fans needed to see from Sam Bradford, and from Agholor, the first-round draft pick who earlier dropped a sure first-down conversion.

The Bills got a 47-yard TD catch from Sammy Watkins, who ran past Byron Maxwell, then was missed by Ed Reynolds. They added a 38-yard field goal, set up by a 24-yard McCoy run to the right side.

Longterm for the Eagles, maybe even more important than the lead was Bradford's 16 for 22, 139-yard performance, which included a couple of drops and a throwaway.

McCoy hit halftime with 63 yards on a dozen carries. It was 11 for 39 without the 24-yarder, but of course, the 24-yarder counts.

The Eagles had two drives killed by penalties. They recovered a punt fumbled by Marcus Thigpen, Bryan Braman coming up with it. The Birds moved backwards two plays in a row, with Dennis Kelly taking back-to-back penalties as an emergency fill-in for Jason Peters, who was getting an ankle injury taped. But two plays later, Bradford hit Agholor for the TD.

The Bills sent McCoy out to the coin toss as their only captain, and tried several razzle-dazzle plays, including McCoy as a wildcat QB.