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  • Alex Hand

Breakdown: Shady vs. Philly D, DeMarco vs. Buffalo & Bradford’s future

Shady’s back… Tell a friend.

This Sunday marks the return of LeSean McCoy to Lincoln Financial Field and the chance for Kiko Alonso to play against his former team. With Rex Ryan being Rex Ryan, he has already named Shady as a captain for the game against Philadelphia, and the offense will likely be trying to match him up against Alonso. But let’s take a look at whether the entire Philly defense will be able to stop their former teammate and the Eagles all-time leading rusher.

So far, Shady has racked up 792 rushing yards and 249 yards through the air. He is also running in an offense that features first year starter Tyrod Taylor, who has compiled 318 rushing yards as well. That makes this Bills offense very unpredictable and will likely require a spy-linebacker, i.e. Connor Barwin or Mychal Kendricks.

The Eagles rank 27th in rushing yards allowed, but only 4th in rushing touchdowns. Considering that Buffalo is ranked 14th in red zone scoring per, the Eagles should be able to keep Shady out of the end zone, at least from a statistical standpoint.

As far as keeping McCoy from doing what Doug Martin did to the Eagles just three weeks ago, that will be up to the front seven just following basic procedure and technique. One of the biggest takeaways from the 2013 and 2014 Eagles roster was the stellar play at run defense, now they just have to return to that level of dominance.

Week 14 or Trade

DeMarco Murray, regardless of what he might say during the pressers, is clearly not happy. Whether it is with the role he is currently residing, his own personal production, or he just feels homesick and would rather return to Dallas. Running the ball well against Buffalo at home, admits all the chaos and questions marks on whether he even wants to be here, will be his testament to prove that not only does he want to be here, but that he is still the dominant running back from last year.

The Bills are ranked in the middle of the pack of run stuffing at 14th in yards and 13th in scoring. The team in blue is also going to have their hands full as all four running backs; Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles, Kenjon Barner, and Murray, are healthy.

Bradford vs. the World

Sam Bradford is having a low-key solid year with the Eagles, even though most analysts and fans have been criticizing every ounce of his playmaking ability. Over his last three games active, Bradford’s QB rating has been 103.4, 118.1, and 99.3 (it’s amazing what happens when receivers start catching the ball), and against New England, he was able to rack up 120 yards passing and two touchdowns despite the dominance of the defense and special teams in that game.

Right now, Bradford needs to capitalize on his recent success by defeating another AFC East team, then the Arizona Cardinals, then the Washington Redskins, and then the New York Giants. Because not until he dismantles all the teams listed, will he see a lucrative contract or be given any type of job security heading into the 2016 season.

The Eagles will likely draft a quarterback in this upcoming draft regardless of current QB play, but if Bradford can own this offense, then the Eagles can draft someone like Jacoby Brissett in the later rounds and not give up multiple players and picks for Paxton Lynch early in the first.

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