Playoff hopes dwindle after 23-20 loss to Eagles

Posted at 6:10 AM, Dec 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-14 06:10:49-05

The Eagles spoiled LeSean McCoy’s return to Philadelphia and put the Bills postseason chances on life support with a 23-20 win over the Bills on Sunday.

Penalties were once again a central theme for Buffalo (6-7) as they were flagged 15 times for 101 yards.

“Penalties, we got ourselves to blame. You can’t have that many penalties. It’s a no brainer when you jump off-sides. I don’t know how many holding calls, but it was probably a record out there,” Head Coach Rex Ryan said. “We have ourselves to blame on this one.”

Buffalo out-gained Philadelphia 412 to 348 but penalties continued to stall drives.

"We had 15 penalties. That's not a winning formula. We know that as a team," quarterback Tyrod Taylor said. "We shot ourselves in the foot early on the season like that and we definitely can't have those types of games."

“Get a first down, penalty. We moved the football,” Ryan said. “We never let ourselves get into any kind of rhythm.”

McCoy, who said he didn’t want to make his return to the “City of Brotherly Love” personal, joked earlier in the week it’d be nice to score six or seven touchdowns.

The Eagles defense kept Shady contained for the majority of the second half, holding him out of the endzone. He rushed for 74 yards, with his biggest run of the afternoon coming on a 24-yard burst that led to a Dan Carpenter field goal to pull the Bills within 14-10 in the second quarter.

McCoy also had 35 yards receiving.

One of the biggest blunders on the day came from special teams star Marcus Thigpen. After a forcing the Eagles to punt, Thigpen fumbled and Philadelphia recovered.

Sam Bradford fired deep to Nelson Agholor on a 53-yard touchdown to give the Eagles a 14-7 lead. Philly would take a 17-10 lead into the half.

Trailing 20-10 in the third quarter, Tyrod Taylor led to the Bills on back-to-back scoring drives highlighted by Mike Gillislee’s 19-yard touchdown run to pull Buffalo even with the Eagles at 20 a piece.

But late in the fourth quarter, Sam Bradford connected with Zach Ertz for a 41-yard gain.

Leodis McKelvin missed a tackle as Ertz rumbled 41 yards into Bills territory.

Three plays later Caleb Sturgis connected on what proved to be the game winning field goal.

Taylor, who hadn’t thrown an interception since Week 2, was picked off by Ed Reynolds to end the game.

As for the Bills napping a 15-year postseason drought, Ryan said “this team will fight to the end. That’s a given.”




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