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December 13, 2015

Instant observations: Eagles 23, Bills 20

It wasn’t pretty, but the Philadelphia Eagles found a way to beat LeSean McCoy and the Buffalo Bills, 23-20. The Birds improve to a 6-7 and are still tied with Washington atop the NFC East. Here’s what I saw:

The good

•    While I don’t think it was a catch, terrific play by Leodis McKelvin to rip the ball away from Brent Celek on a well-thrown deep pass by Sam Bradford. I would hope that even Bradford critics can live with that kind of interception.

•    Great play Fletcher Cox to tackle McCoy for a 10-yard loss and completely blow up a Buffalo drive. It’s also good to see Fletch getting the recognition he deserves. After surrendering a quick 10 points in the second half, the defense buckled down and won this game.

•    Ed Reynolds didn’t really do anything on the game-winning interception, but he caught it!

The bad

•    A play after unsuccessfully spying Tyrod Taylor, Kiko Alonso badly whiffed on Mike Gillislee’s 19-yard touchdown run. I retract my first-half statement. The Bills clearly won the trade now.

•    Josh Huff’s decision making with the ball in his hands (when he gets the ball in his hands), it is not good. Also, let’s hope Huff is OK after that nasty hit he took setting a pick for Zach Ertz. That was some Kevin Garnett-level screen setting.

•    The Eagles offense didn’t look as hopeless as they have at different points this season, but they wasted way too many opportunities in the second half. Six points in the second half just isn’t going to cut it.

•    And man, what a terrible effort to try and ice the game. The Bradford sack on third down was a ridiculously dumb play, but in general, the Eagles need to be a team that finishes the game in that spot.

The ugly

The Bills accumulated 15 penalties (deservedly so, both of their lines are super undisciplined), so let’s not pretend like the Eagles were jobbed. But can Ed Hochuli and his crew go 60 minutes where they at least relatively control a game?

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann