Darby has impressive debut, Eagles beat Bills 20-16
By ROB MAADDI, AP Pro Football Writer
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Of all the high-profile players making debuts in a new uniform, Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby was most impressive.
Darby intercepted former teammate Tyrod Taylor’s pass and returned it 48 yards and also broke up two passes in his first game since Philadelphia acquired him from Buffalo last week, and the Eagles beat the Bills 20-16 on Thursday night.
“They were running a lot of routes that looked similar, so I was being patient with everything and cutting them off,” Darby said.
Alshon Jeffery, a former Pro Bowl wide receiver signed by the Eagles in the offseason, caught his first pass from Carson Wentz and finished with two receptions for 23 yards.
Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines also had an interception in his first game since coming from the Rams in a trade last week. Gaines picked third-string quarterback Matt McGloin, who has struggled in two preseason games.
Wideout Anquan Boldin, a three-time Pro Bowl pick recently signed by the Bills, caught one pass for 5 yards.
The Eagles traded wide receiver Jordan Matthews and a 2018 third-round pick for Darby. Matthews, a popular player in Philadelphia’s locker room, didn’t make the trip because of a chest injury.
Both teams looked sloppy in a mistake-filled game. There were 23 penalties and seven turnovers, including Mitchell White’s interception in the end zone on the final play to secure the win.
“One hundred percent unacceptable,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “Good teams don’t beat themselves. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Wentz completed 6 of 9 passes for 56 yards. Taylor was 8 of 18 for 53 yards and two interceptions.
After T.J. Yates tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Reilly late in the fourth quarter to give the Bills a 16-13 lead, Philadelphia’s Byron Marshall ran in from the 1 for the go-ahead score.
Chris Long, the Philadelphia defensive end who grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, put his arm around teammate Malcolm Jenkins as a show of unity while the safety stood with his right fist raised in the air as he’s done since last season. Long was to his right with his left arm on Jenkins’ shoulder.
“I think it’s a good time for people that look like me to be there for people that are fighting for equality,” said Long, who is white.
Bills: Nathan Peterman was 10 of 20 for 167 yards. … Yates finished 9 of 15 for 83 yards, one TD and one interception.
Eagles: McGloin was 12 of 20 for 131 yards and one interception. He took most of the snaps because backup Nick Foles remains sidelined. … Dane Evans completed 9 of 12 or 92 yards and one pick.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Eagles LB Mychal Kendricks had a sack, interception and tackle for loss. Kendricks had asked for a trade in the offseason, but he’s slated to be the starter at the outside spot.
Bills RB LeSean McCoy, the Eagles’ franchise rushing leader, had 21 yards rushing on four carries and still runs better than every running back Philadelphia has tried since former coach Chip Kelly traded him to Buffalo in 2015. McCoy ordered cheesesteaks for the entire team after the game.
Bills: WR Zay Jones, a second-round pick, had three catches for 42 yards. He made a nifty grab in the corner of the end zone late in the second quarter, but couldn’t get both feet in.
Eagles: DE Derek Barnett, the 14th overall pick, had another sack after getting two in the preseason opener. … Undrafted RB Corey Clement had 34 yards rushing, including a 6-yard TD.
Bills WR Rod Streater was carted off the field early in the fourth quarter after injuring his foot. The entire Bills bench walked over to the cart to comfort Streater before he was driven to the locker room. There was no immediate word on the extent of his injury.
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