The Buffalo Bills lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 31-13 thanks to a lethargic offense and a shaky, second-half run defense. Multiple inopportune fumbles also didn’t help. As such, it’s perhaps understandable that most of the team’s rookies didn’t make many positive contributions. However, it must be said that the younger players were very rarely the problem or even the main culprit.
More about the performance of each rookie below.
DT Ed Oliver
Don’t blame the rookie defensive tackle for the team’s poor run defense. On most snaps, Oliver was able to push his man, usually Eagles guard Isaac Seumalo, into the backfield or at very least held his ground. He wasn’t able to get much pressure in the passing game, as the coaches didn’t rely on many stunts or games played by the lineman.
OT Cody Ford
As usual, Ford was swapping with Nsekhe for most of the game, before getting injured and leaving in the fourth quarter. Drawing a match-up with a wily veteran like Brandon Graham wasn’t an easy task, and the rookie was schooled several times thanks to Graham’s various pass-rush techniques, including a low shoulder dip. Ford was utilized on some effective run calls but, in general, it was another day to forget for the rookie tackle.
RB Devin Singletary
With 49 scrimmage yards and a touchdown run, Singletary might have been the offensive MVP of the Eagles game, despite having limited opportunities as a rusher. His touchdown catch off a flare pass was a display of nice open-field moves and good balance. For whatever reason, though, the Bills didn’t utilize Singletary on outside runs as much as they usually do, which severally limited his touches to only three—outside of one run that was called back.
TE Dawson Knox
Surprisingly—considering the Bills were facing a team forced to start their backup linebackers—Knox was only targeted once during the game. On that play, Knox ran a short curl route, but had Malcolm Jenkins draped all over him, forcing an incompletion.
LB Vosean Joseph
The former fifth-round linebacker remains on injured reserve following shoulder surgery.
S Jaquan Johnson
Johnson was active in the game and even saw defensive snaps, and accumulated a single tackle.
TE Tommy Sweeney
With the return of Tyler Kroft, Sweeney was again a healthy scratch this week against the Eagles.
DE Darryl Johnson
The highlight of Johnson’s day was a series late in the first half. First, he was able to pressure Wentz on a stunt. Then on the final play of the drive, Johnson feigned rushing, backed into coverage and made a tackle of Zach Ertz short of the sticks. Outside of those plays, Johnson wasn’t much involved, either because he was easily handled by Lane Johnson or the Eagles didn’t choose to attack his side in the run game.