Boastful Bills knew exactly how to beat the Birds


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.The Bills were ready for the Eagles. And they had no problem telling everyone just how ready they were.

In fact, they bragged about it.

The Bills had prepared for the Eagles' wide nine scheme.

They didnt bother testing the Eagles highly-touted secondary. Using shovel passes and screen passes, Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21 of 27 passes for a whopping 193 yards.

That's barely a half of work for Michael Vick.

It was something we wanted to take advantage of with them being in that wide nine, running back Fred Jackson said of the shovel pass. Hats off to our coaches scouting. They see things like that.

They saw it so much that they tried something new.

"We hadn't run the shovel pass all year, and we put it in there, so we really worked on it," Jackson said. "It was something we thought we could take advantage of."

Jackson led the Bills with six catches for 85 yards49 coming on one screen pass. Teams throw screens to exploit a pumped-up pass rush.

Again, wide nines, Jackson said. They like to get upfield, and we knew as long as we could get that nine upfield, we could get under him and be able to spring off it.

Naturally, the Bills also capitalized on the Eagles' ragged run defense, which entered Sunday ranked 30th in the league. Jackson rushed 26 times for 111 yards (4.3 per attempt) and a touchdown.

"I mean, who didn't know we were going to run the ball?" receiver Stevie Johnson said. "They've been exposed in the run game the entire season."


What's more, the Bills believed they were the tougher team.

I think we thought wed be able to outplay them physically, Fitzpatrick said.

We felt our offensive line could move them off the ball, Jackson said, and they took that challenge to heart, and they were able to go out and move them off he ball and get beyond the safety every time.

The Bills also were ready to take the ball from the Eagles, who entered the game tied for 30th in the league with a minus-6 takeaway-giveaway differential and one of only six teams with double-digit turnovers.

The Bills entered the game first in the league in interceptions with eight and tied for second in takeaways with 11.

So, not surprisingly, they recorded five more Sunday.

Linebacker Nick Barnett, who with two picks recorded the first multi-interception game of his nine-year career, knew the Eagles were ripe for the picking.

A couple of guys have been loose with the ball, Barnett said. Carrying it around, hanging it out, trying to make big plays. All week weve been focusing on trying to rip that ball out and trying to cause turnovers and things like that. It paid off.
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