Eagles lose 34-13 to Bengals
With one turnover after another, the Philadelphia Eagles looked
every bit of the laughingstock they’ve been this year.
Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, an
opportunistic defense forced five turnovers and the Cincinnati
Bengals beat Philadelphia 34-13 on Thursday night.
”Mistakes lose you football games,” rookie quarterback Nick
Foles said. ”We have to protect the ball.”
The Eagles’ season was lost a long time ago. They fell to 4-10,
losing double-digit games for the first time since 2005, the year
after losing the Super Bowl to New England.
There were plenty of empty seats at the Linc, where fans are
hoping this is Andy Reid’s final season as coach. Reid led the
Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles and five
NFC championship games in his first 13 years. But the Eagles will
miss the playoffs for the second straight year and owner Jeffrey
Lurie already said 8-8 would be ”unacceptable.”
”Five turnovers, 31 points. That says it all,” Reid said.
”Guys played hard, but you can’t have those turnovers. You have to
take care of the ball. Guys have to do it. I take full
responsibility for them.”
The Bengals (8-6) took a half-game lead over the Pittsburgh
Steelers for the last playoff spot in the AFC. But their game at
Pittsburgh next week is far more important in the standings than
The Bengals would clinch their second straight playoff berth
with a win over the Steelers if Pittsburgh loses at Dallas this
Sunday. A loss to the Steelers, though, likely would ruin
”We’ve got nothing to celebrate here,” coach Marvin Lewis
said. ”But we won and we do have some time to get ready for
An interception by Leon Hall set up Dalton’s go-ahead 11-yard TD
run in the third quarter. Then Wallace Gilberry picked up Bryce
Brown’s fumble and ran it back 25 yards for another score and an
”We win as a team, we lose as a team,” said Eagles defensive
coordinator Todd Bowles, who replaced Juan Castillo after six
games. ”We lost as a team today.”
BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 106 yards, including a 1-yard TD
run in the first quarter for Cincinnati. Dalton tossed a 5-yard TD
pass to A.J. Green in the fourth to cap a 24-point outburst in a
span of 3:23.
The Eagles committed three turnovers on three straight
possessions at one point and then fumbled a kickoff when defensive
lineman Cedric Thornton let the ball fall through his hands on a
They also had a punt blocked when their own guy was pushed into
”It has to be a bigger sense of not just yourself but of the
organization,” wide receiver Jason Avant said. ”When you’re
carrying the football, you’re representing the Eagles fans, you’re
representing Mr. Lurie, you’re representing the coaching staff. I
think it has to become more than just about you. When you carry
that football, you’re representing a whole bunch of people, and I
don’t think we have that mindset all the time.”
After beating Tampa Bay on a last-second TD last week to snap an
eight-game losing streak, the Eagles tried to make it two in a row.
Turnovers got in their way again. They’ve committed an NFL-high 34
and forced just 12 all season.
The Eagles snapped a drought of 22 quarters without a turnover
by recovering two fumbles in the second. Both led to field goals by
Alex Henery, helping Philadelphia to a 13-10 halftime lead.
Foles made his fifth straight start for Michael Vick, who just
returned to practice this week after sustaining a concussion on
Nov. 11. Foles threw for 182 yards, one TD and one
Down 13-10, the Bengals started their rally with a turnover.
Hall intercepted Foles’ deep pass and returned it 44 yards to
the Eagles 40. Foles underthrew Jeremy Maclin, who was a few steps
Green made an acrobatic catch for an 11-yard gain on third-and-9
a few plays before Dalton ran for the score to put the Bengals up
Foles, who threw for 381 yards to lead that comeback against the
Bucs, hit Riley Cooper on an 11-yard TD pass to cut it to 10-7.
Foles connected with Maclin on a 46-yard pass during the drive.
The Eagles then forced their first turnover since Nov. 5 against
New Orleans. Brandon Graham sacked Dalton, the ball popped loose
and Trent Cole recovered at the Bengals 29.
Just two plays in, Maclin fumbled after a 6-yard catch. Carlos
Dunlap recovered and the Bengals started at the Eagles 44.
Green-Ellis ran 29 yards on first down and scored a few plays later
for a 7-0 lead.
It got uglier for Philadelphia on the next possession. Mat
McBriar punted into wide receiver Marvin McNutt, Daniel Herron
picked it up and ran 3 yards to the Eagles 11. But Graham sacked
Dalton and Cincinnati settled for Brown’s 24-yard field goal that
made it 10-0.
The Eagles were again without running back LeSean McCoy and
tight end Brent Celek also sat out. Both players also are
recovering from concussions. McCoy missed his fourth straight game,
but returned to practice this week with Vick.
NOTES: The Eagles had a season-high six sacks. They have eight
in two games since defensive-line coach Jim Washburn was fired
after notching 20 in first 12 games. …. Bowles confirmed he
interviewed for the coaching vacancy at Temple, his alma mater.
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