Rapid Reaction: Bills 31, Eagles 24

October, 9, 2011
10/09/11
4:24
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Here are several thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 31-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.

What it means: The Bills solidified their contender status with a big win over the desperate "Dream Team" Eagles (1-4). Buffalo improved to 4-1 and showed mental toughness by bouncing back from a tough loss against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4. The Bills own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the New England Patriots and will remain in first place for at least another week.

What I liked: Buffalo took control of the game early. The Bills took over in the second quarter following a defensive touchdown by Nick Barnett. Buffalo's middle linebacker undercut a crossing route and returned it 31 yards to give the Bills a 21-7 lead. Buffalo barely held on but never trailed after that point. It was the third straight week Buffalo's defense scored a touchdown. The Bills forced five turnovers overall. Barnett's second interception late in the fourth quarter sealed the game.

What I didn't like: Buffalo struggled in the second half for the second straight week. This time, the Bills were bogged down in the fourth quarter. They nearly blew a 31-14 lead to Philadelphia in the final period. The Bills blew a 14-point lead against the Bengals last week.

Injury alert: Buffalo got out of this game relatively healthy. Bills receiver Donald Jones was the only significant injury. Jones injured his ankle in the first half and didn’t return. Backup Naaman Roosevelt filled in well for Jones. Roosevelt caught five receptions for 41 yards.

What's next: The Bills have another game against an NFC East opponent. Buffalo will travel to play the New York Giants in Week 6. Buffalo is .500 on the road this season and still seeking a signature win. The Bills won at Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1 and lost at the Bengals in Week 4.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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