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The Eagles Soared to Victory with a ‘Great Ball Play’ Against the Bills

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PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia Eagles lost the overtime coin toss on Sunday when team captain and All-Pro trash-talker Brandon Graham delivered a succinct message to the Buffalo Bills’ Gabe Davis, who quickly mimed that his team wanted the football and the opportunity to win with a touchdown.

It don’t matter,” hollered Graham, who set a franchise record Sunday by playing in his 189th regular-season game.

And it didn’t in what turned out to be an exciting 37-34 Eagles win that pushed Philadelphia to a league-best 10-1 and sent Buffalo tumbling to .500 at 6-6 entering its bye week in what has become a terribly disappointing season for the Bills.

It wasn’t easy, though, because Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen kept making plays, converting two consecutive 3rd and 9 opportunities before Eagles linebacker Nicholas Morrow tacked on another 15 yards for roughing Allen.

Set up at the Philadelphia 26-yard line, visions of a walk-off by the Bills was short-circuited after Latavius Murray was stuffed by Jordan Davis and Kevin Byard, and a four-yard Allen scrabble was derailed by a hustling Davis generating over 16 miles per hour with his 340-pound frame.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) reacts before opening kick off against the Buffalo Bills at Lincoln Financial Field.

© Bill Streicher, USA TODAY

That left a 3rd and 6, and this time, the Eagles defense was up to the task, as an Allen pass to Davis fell harmlessly incomplete.

A Tyler Bass 40-yard field goal with 5:52 left gave Nick Sirianni concrete instructions on what needed to be done.

With four downs to play with you got the feeling that Buffalo was going to need to generate a turnover to keep Philadelphia at bay and the Bills almost got it on a bang-bang incompletion to A.J. Brown that was nearly a catch and fumble.

Once that was averted two completions to DeVonta Smith, including a 3rd and 3 conversion to the Buffalo 28-yard line had the Bills on their heels.

Next came a 16-yard run off left end by D’Andre Swift, setting up what Jalen Hurts told SI.com’s Eagles Today was “just a great ball play.”

Philadelphia set up in a 3×1 set with the three receivers bunched to Hurts’ right. Behind the QB was Swift, who motioned out to the right, signaling bubble screen.

The overaggressive Bills’ defense reacted with three defenders flowing toward Swift’s motion, a reaction that alerted Hurts to kill the pass option and turn to the quarterback draw backside with All-Pro center Jason Kelce pulling for a kick out block and star left tackle Jordan Mailata sealing things inside.

Hurts ran virtually untouched to the end zone and the Eagles were the ones walking off.

“Yeah there are reads on every play but I think it was just a great ball play,” said Hurts before turning his switch to the macro and Philadelphia’s ability to constantly persevere. “For us, I just shake my head and I don’t really know how to feel at times.

“I just want to lead and play to the standard at all times. As a team we play together, we lean on each other, and have each other’s backs. We just find ways to win against really good teams. So we just need to continue to get better.”

Related: ‘Never a Doubt!’: Jalen Hurts, Eagles Continue to Win ‘By Any Means’

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