Three key matchups in Bills vs Eagles

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We’re just days away from the return of LeSean McCoy and what could prove to be a pivotal point in the Eagles’ race for a playoff spot. Needless to say the stakes are high but confidence after an upset against the Pats could well be higher. Here are the three most important matchups for this weekend’s clash against Buffalo.

Sammy Watkins vs Eric Rowe
7 days after his baptism of fire against Calvin Johnson in which he allowed three touchdowns, Eric Rowe bounced back in his first ever Eagles start to contain Tom Brady’s Offense and make some huge plays. We have already posted an article on just how impressive Rowe was to bounce back in the way he did when the stakes were so high..but he has another tough challenge ahead of him…containing Sammy Watkins.

The likelihood of Rowe matching up against Watkins with Carroll injured seems high. Maxwell appears to be targeted against big name receivers maybe 3-6 times a game which is going to put a lot of pressure on Rowe when he does line up against last years 4th overall pick.

Watkins averages 18.7 yards per catch and with over 600 yards to his name to go with 6 touchdowns this year, he has become a force to be reckoned with. He’s quick, physical and rarely puts a foot wrong..making Rowe’s matchup against the Bills favourite receiver absolutely crucial if they are to have a chance of winning this game.

Lane Johnson vs Jerry Hughes
The Eagles Offensive Line has been inconsistent at best this season but showed tremendous improvement against the Patriots, one man in particular showed a lot of character and that man was Lane Johnson.

Johnson played through and AC Joint sprain en route to the Eagles win over the Patriots and over the last few weeks has improved significantly in terms of giving up fewer penalties and rarely losing his matchup.

But Johnson will face a big test this weekend in the way of Jerry Hughes. With 2 forced fumbles and 4 sacks to go with his 27 tackles, Hughes enjoyed a season high six tackles against the Texans.

Hughes is a force to be reckoned with and the Eagles ability to protect the ball and Bradford will play a huge part in their success against the Bills. Johnson seems to have snapped the rubber band recently and taken all of his frustration out on the opposing team in some passionate and aggressive displays, another showing like we saw against the Patriots will be needed if Sam Bradford is going to make fast, accurate reads to topple a Bills Secondary with 12 interceptions.

LeSean McCoy vs Kiko Alonso
We have already published an article on how Kiko Alonso has cost the Eagles in recent weeks and how Chip simply can’t afford to let the same weaknesses flourish against McCoy because not only will they be punished..they will be humiliated.

McCoy has over 100 Offensive yards in each of his last 5 games and with Kiko Alonso playing a large role in the Eagles recent lack of run blocking, something has to change. Alonso was a brutal force in his opening games for the team but since his early injury has been a shadow of his former self.

His snaps are increasing..his form is decreasing. The Bills would be crazy not to try and exploit his poor decision making..especially when McCoy could fool a Fighter Jet Pilot into swerving the wrong way.

A play like this against the Bills is only going to result in a huge loss of yardage.

The Eagles have to prepare for McCoy..if anybody knows how to stop him, it’s a coach who spent two years watching him run in his system or a Defense of which some players had worked with McCoy for close to 3-4 years.

If Alonso begins to show signs of hesitation then Kelly HAS to take him out of the game or adjust..this will be a matchup that will undoubtedly have a big impact on the momentum of the game.

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