Recent history: The Eagles last faced the Bills on Sept. 28, 2003, a 23-13 win in Buffalo.


Eagles: 355.9 yards per game, 6th.

Bills: 277.5 yards per game, 31st


Eagles: Donovan McNabb was decisive and accurate against the Saints, averaging 7.5 yards per attempt and throwing three TD passes. Eagles rolled him out of the pocket more than they have all season, another indication of his returning mobility.

Bills: Rookie Trent Edwards' NFL progress will get a big test from Jim Johnson's blitz schemes. Edwards has, for the most part, managed games well since becoming the Bills' starter, but threw three interceptions last week vs. the Giants, including two in the fourth quarter that were returned for touchdowns.


Running back

Eagles: The Bills have struggled against the run, giving up 291 rushing yards to the Giants last week. So both Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter should get a lot of work. Westbrook, who has a career-high 361 touches, has averaged 5.4 yards per carry in the last three games.

Bills: Rookie Marshawn Lynch is an explosive runner with nice size and good straight-line speed. He's not particularly elusive, though, and is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. He'll be going up against an Eagle defense that has held four of its last six opponents to fewer than 80 rushing yards.



Eagles: McNabb completed a season-high 19 of his 24 passes last week to wide receivers, including six apiece to Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown. Curtis and Brown have combined for 126 receptions and 10 TDs this season. Rookie tight end Brent Celek has five catches for 85 yards in the last two games.

Bills: WR Lee Evans is a dangerous receiver who can get deep on any cornerback in the league. But with a rookie at quarterback, he is not having one of his better seasons. Buffalo likes to utilize tight ends Michael Gaines and Robert Royal in the passing game. They've combed for 45 catches and five TDs.


Offensive line

Eagles: C Jamaal Jackson has not had a very good season, but came out last week and took it to Saints DT Hollis Thomas. RG Shawn Andrews, who sat out last week with a knee injury, is expected to return. But second-year man Max Jean-Gilles also is expected to get some reps.

Bills: This unit had been playing well, but after Pro Bowl LT Jason Peters left last week's game in the second quarter with a groin injury, they really struggled, particularly in pass protection. Giants blitzed on 27 of 67 offensive plays. They can expect the same aggressive approach from Jim Johnson.


Defensive line

Eagles: DT Mike Patterson has been a disruptive force in the Eagles' penetrating defense all season. So, too, has been second-year man Brodrick Bunkley. They've combined for more than 170 tackles and seven sacks. RE Trent Cole has 12 1/2 sacks, but LE Juqua Thomas has just two in the last 12 games.

Bills: Bills have a very light front four who average just 276 pounds per man. They don't really have a run-stuffing DT, which is one of the many reasons they're allowing 4.4 yards per carry. Bills have just 22 sacks this season. RE Aaron Schobel is the only player with more than two.



Eagles: With MLB Omar Gaither nursing a quad contusion, impressive rookie Stewart Bradley probably will get his first MIKE start. He had six tackles, a sack and an interception in his first significant action last week. Another rookie, Akeem Jordan, will make his second start at WILL.

Bills: SLB Angelo Crowell has a team-high 122 tackles. He has good quickness and speed, but is sometimes slow in reading blocks. WLB Keith Ellison is a former strong safety who can match up with most running backs. But Brian Westbrook isn't most running backs.



Eagles: FS Brian Dawkins injured his foot last week vs. Saints, and while it isn't serious, he isn't expected to play Sunday. J.R. Reed will replace him. Joselio Hanson has quietly developed into a solid third corner behind Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown.

Bills: The Bills are 27th in the league in pass defense, but have given up just 18 touchdown passes in 15 games. CB Terrence McGee has the speed and athleticism to be a good corner, but takes too many chances and is susceptible to double moves. SS Donte Whitner is one of the league's top young safeties.


Special teams

Eagles: The Eagles have shown improvement on kickoff returns in their back-to-back wins, averaging 26.0 yards per return. P Sav Rocca needs to be consistent with his hangtime Sunday against the Bills' dangerous returner, Roscoe Parrish. PK David Akers is 2-for-10 from beyond 40 yards this season.

Bills: PR Roscoe Parrish and KR Terrence McGee both are dangerous and have returned kicks for TDs this year. P Brian Moorman is one of the league's better punters. Bills' coverage units are among the best in the league this season.


Hot and not


Eagles: QB Donovan McNabb. Threw three TD passes and had a 119.1 passer rating vs. Saints.

Bills: RB Marshawn Lynch. Has averaged 4.2 yards per carry in the Bills' last three games.


Eagles: DE Juqua Thomas. Has just two sacks in the Eagles' last 12 games.

Bills: QB Trent Edwards. Completed just nine of 26 passes and threw three interceptions in loss to Giants.

Key matchups

1. Eagles RDE Trent Cole vs. Bills LT Kirk Chambers. Chambers is replacing injured Pro Bowler Jason Peters. He's no match for Cole. Advantage: Cole

2. Eagles RB Brian Westbrook v. Bills WLB Keith Ellison. Ellison is a former safety with pretty good speed. But few LBs can deal with Westbrook in space. Advantage: Westbrook

3. Eagles MLB Stewart Bradley vs. Bills RB Marshawn Lynch. Bradley is a more physical player than injured Omar Gaither. Lynch is a 1,000-yard rusher. Advantage: Lynch.

What we're watching

Five keys that fans should keep their eyes on:

1. The Turnover Battle. There are a lot of reasons that the Bills are 7-8, but turnovers aren't one of them. They have a plus-8 turnover differential, which is the seventh-best in the league. Before he threw three interceptions last week against the Giants, rookie Trent Edwards had gone 14 quarters without a pick. Eagles have eight takeaways in the last four games.

2. Success Inside the 20. Neither the Bills nor the Eagles have been very effective in the red zone. The Eagles are ranked 24th in red-zone production (just 22 TDs in 48 opportunities) and the Bills are 27th (13-for-30). But the Eagles converted two of three trips inside the 20 into TDs in last week's win over the Saints.

3. Marching With Marshawn: The Bills use their ground game to set up the pass. Rookie Marshawn Lynch has rushed for 1,010 yards, but is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. The Eagles are fifth in the league against the run, holding teams to 92.7 rushing yards per game and 3.8 yards per carry. They've held four of their last six opponents to fewer than 80 rushing yards.

4. Brian's Song: Brian Westbrook is on the verge of setting franchise records for rushing/receiving yards and receptions. While opposing teams have managed to contain him in the passing game (6.3 yards per catch in the last six games), he's averaged 5.4 yards per carry the last four games and has four 100-yard rushing performances in the last seven games.

5. The Kick Coverage: The Eagles' coverage units have struggled. They are 28th in punt coverage and 14th in kickoff coverage. The Bills have two dangerous returners in PR Roscoe Parrish and KR Terrence McGee. Both have TD returns this season. Parrish is first in the league in punt returns with a 17.7-yard average.

Domowitch's pick

Eagles 33, Bills 16