Bills defense vs. Eagles offense
Taking advantage of New Orleans' depleted secondary and weak linebacking corps, the Eagles put up 435 yards and scored five TDs last week, which was their most productive offensive game since a Week 3 romp over Detroit. Quarterback Donovan McNabb has completed 47 of 76 passes for four touchdowns and 471 yards without throwing an interception in the last two games and wants to end the season on a high note. Running back Brian Westbrook needs just two yards to break Wilbert Montgomery's single-season franchise record for yards from scrimmage (2,006) and three catches to break Irving Fryar's single-season reception record of 88. He could have a big rushing day against a team that yielded 291 yards on the ground to the Giants last week. Westbrook has a chance to lead the NFC in rushing. He trails Minnesota's Adrian Peterson by 14 yards going into the final week. The Bills' defense is ranked 30th in the NFL, but it is ranked fourth at stopping teams from scoring TDs inside the 20-yard line. The Bills have forced 29 turnovers, including 17 interceptions. Eleven players have interceptions for Buffalo, with Terrence McGee's four leading the way. Buffalo's 22 sacks are the fourth fewest in the NFL.
Bills offense vs. Eagles defense
The Bills have gone 5-3 in rookie quarterback Trent Edwards' five starts this season, but they have lost the last two games, falling from 7-6 to 7-8 and out of playoff contention. Edwards, a third-round pick out of Stanford, threw three interceptions in the Bills' lost last week to the New York Giants and was sacked three times. With Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters out because of a groin injury, Eagles defensive end Trent Cole could add to his team-leading 121/2 sacks as he goes against Peters' replacement, Kirk Chambers. With Edwards struggling in recent weeks, look for the Bills to hand the ball to rookie Marshawn Lynch, who went over 1,000 yards for the season last week against the Giants. That's playing into the Eagles' strength, because defensive tackles Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley have played a huge role in turning the Eagles into the NFL's fifth-ranked defense against the run.
Like almost every other team this season, the Bills are superior to the Eagles in this department. Roscoe Parrish is the NFL's leading punt returner with a 17.2-yard average, including a 74-yard return for a touchdown. Kick returner Terrence McGee also has a touchdown return. Bills kicker Rian Lindell has connected on 21 of 24 field-goal attempts, an 87.5 percentage, which is tied for the eighth-best percentage in the NFL.
Both teams have a chance to finish .500 and that's probably just as important for the Bills as it seems to be for the Eagles, who are trying to put together a three-game winning streak for the first time this season. The statistics say the Eagles are the more talented team.