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Eagles 20, Bills 16 - Bills lose a lousy preseason matchup

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Don’t go seeking a replay of this one.

The Buffalo Bills lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-16, in a forgettable preseason game Thursday night.

The entire Bills starting offense, except for LeSean McCoy, came out flat and never got going. With Sammy Watkins gone and his replacement sidelined, Buffalo’s receiving corps did not look pretty. Anquan Boldin looked miscast as an outside receiver in 2-WR sets, being beaten on his route for a Ronald Darby interception. Zay Jones started to come into his own late in the first half, with three receptions for 42 yards and a toe-tapping endzone grab that just barely missed succeeding for a touchdown.

Tyrod Taylor had one of the worst performances in memory, going 8-for-18 for 53 yards and two interceptions, with no touchdowns. He wasn’t helped by a lousy offensive line or his receiving corps, but his throwing accuracy was lousy all evening long.

The starting defense held its own, though. After Taylor’s first pass attempt was intercepted to give the Eagles a goal-to-go situation, the defenders held them to four yards, forcing a field goal. Philadelphia failed to convert its first nine opportunities on third down, eventually succeeding for the first time in the fourth quarter. Their starters were limited to 67 yards on 17 plays.

The game was extremely ugly. The Bills had 18 penalties (15 accepted), while the Eagles had nine penalties of their own accepted. There were 7 combined turnovers.

Nate Peterman came in near the end of the first half, completed 10/20 passes for 167 yards, and again looked comfortable in the Bills offense, albeit limited in the consistency of his throws.

T.J. Yates, playing on the third string, led a valiant comeback attempt. A last-second goalline effort ended with an interception to close out this game.

Injuries:

WR Rod Streater injured his foot, was carted off the field, and didn’t return.

S Shamiel Gary left the field with an injury.

S Trae Elston was shaken up on one play and left the field.

Miscellaneous:

While Darby had a pick in his Eagles debut, new Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines had one of his own... Nick O’Leary and Peterman had a great rapport going - O’Leary grabbed three passes for 50 yards... Reggie Ragland barely saw the field (along with most of the third string defense), eventually appearing in the fourth quarter... Brandon Reilly had a touchdown catch and converted two first downs (one on a 4th down), showing off his reliable hands... Rookie CB Greg Mabin robbed a catch from an Eagle and carried the interception nearly to the end zone... Jerry Hughes had a great sack against Lane Johnson in the first quarter.