“This game now qualifies as a total mess,” Eagles radioplay-by-play announcer Merrill Reese said after the Eagles picked up their second 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter on the same drive.
“The Eagles are asleep, they have nothing,” Reese said at the end of the ensuing drive, one that saw the Bengals add a field goal and improve their lead to 29-0.
In Sunday’s Week 13,32-14loss, the Eagles hit a new low.
All three phases of the game failed them and the Birds looked, pretty much, like they didn’t even suit up to play.
The Eagles crawled back, a late fourth quarter fumble caused by a big Nigel Bradham hit giving Philly life down two scores with six minutes left, but Carson Wentz’ third interception (toVontazeBurfict) was the unofficial end to the Birds’ playoff hopes.
Here are three things we saw in the latest Eagles’ setback dropping them to 5-7.
The Eagles offense was flat early — what else is new? — but their defense held for a minutes at least, keeping the Bengals out of the end zone deep in their own territory as a Mike Nugent field goal put Cincy up 3-0 in the early going.
But the defense couldn’t contain Cody Core, who caught his first career reception on a bomb from Andy Dalton to set up a touchdown scamper for Jeremy Hill and a 10-0 lead for the Bengals.
Philly’s first chance at points hit the upright as a Caleb Sturgis 51-yard try was no goodmidway through the second quarter.
The Bengals added another field goal and a Tyler Eifert touchdown toss in the closing second of the second quarter as their defense shut down Philly in the first half 19-0.
More of the same plagued the Eagles in the second half, as they allowed the Bengals to march down the field and score to cap off a 77-yard drive with a LaFell touchdown catch. After an added field goal, the Eagles finally got on the board on a fourth down red zone toss from Wentzto Zach Ertz.
Out of place
Penalties once again haunted the Eagles throughout the game with six in the first half stifling several promising drives. The offensive line, now a makeshift unit with several starters sidelined and some of those on the field shuffled out of position, was responsible for many of the self-inflicted wounds. False start penalties cost the Eagles in 5-yard increments turning third and manageables into third and long.
A bevy of other mistakes cost the Eagles dearly, not the least of which were the 10penalties for 88yards in total (the Bengals committed just three for 13 yards). The Birds also turned it over three times, each coming on Wentz interceptions. He threw the ball a ridiculous 60 times in the loss.
The rookie quarterback looked alternatively professional and out of place, most often the latter as he turned in yet another lackluster performance.
The Eagles, believe it or not, held the ball for longer than the Bengals did, but they were shredded into pieces by Dalton, who resembled an All-Pro quarterback throwing for 332 yards on 23-for-31passing with twotouchdowns. His favorite target, Lafell, caught five passes for 95 yards.
It was mistakes, not routine play, that hurt the Eagles. They went 8-for-17 on third down, a respectable number compared to recent weeks while converting both three times on five fourthdown tries — the second in the fourth quarter leading to a Darren Sproles touchdown run to cut the lead to 29-14.
But on defense they were undone. After boasting one of the best units up to this point in the season, Philly allowed 413 yards and didn’t stop Cincinnati once in the first half.