The Philadelphia Eagles fell to 5-7 on the season after struggling most of the game in a 32-14 road loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
After a tough 27-13 defeat at home against Green Bay last Monday night, the Eagles were looking to bounce back on the road against a struggling Bengals team.Doug Pederson‘s team were second best on Sunday after turnovers and poor secondary play were the causes for the seventh defeat of the season.
A 19-0 halftime lead gave the Bengals the early edge while defensively their defense intercepted rookie quarterback Carson Wentz three times on the afternoon. A Jeremy Hill two-yard rush gave added to the 32-yard Mike Nugent field goal for Marvin Lewis‘ group for a 10-0 lead after one.
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Caleb Sturgismissed a 51-yard field goal attempt early in the second quarter which cost the Eagles a chance at three points. Nugent added a 33-yard field goal to his tally with two minutes remaining in the opening half to make it 13-0.
A quick punt by the Eagles continued the early offensive woes before Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton led an impressive drive to end the half.
The former TCU product led a 12-play, 93-yard drive which was capped off with a 13-yard pass to tight end Tyler Eifert. Nugent missed the ensuing PAT, which made it 19-0 at halftime.
Dalton started the third quarter, throwing his second TD pass of the day, this an eight-yard strike to Brandon LaFell. Wentz’ next drive ended quickly with linebacker Vontaze Burfict picking off the rookie. Nugent made it 29-0 after nailing a 26-yard field goal before the Eagles finally got on the board.
A 61-yard kickoff return by Kenjon Barner gave the Eagles good field position, as Wentz found Zach Ertz for a 13-yard score on a 4th down.
However, the Eagles could not take advantage of a Rex Burkhead fumble on the ensuing possession, as Wentz was intercepted for the second time, this by safety Shawn Williams. Another fumble by the Cincinnati offense allowed a two-yard TD run by Darren Sproles to bring the Eagles to within 15.
However, any comeback was short-lived as Wentz was forced into throwing his third interception of the day, a second to Burfict. Nugent added his fourth field goal of the day, this a 38 yarder to stamp the score at 32-14. Ultimately that would be the final from Cincinnati which put the Eagles to 5-7.
The Eagles rushing attack was nonexistent rushing for a mere 53 yards on 19 carries. Carson Wentz finished the game 36/60 for 308 yards but was pressured heavily through the game. Paul Turner led the receivers with 80 yards on six catches, while Ertz also had 79 yards and a score on nine grabs.
Defensively, the Eagles were outgained 412-359 while also not being able to sack Dalton once.Leodis McKelvin, Nigel Bradham, and Brandon Grahamall had nine tackles on the day, while the secondary struggled for most of the afternoon. Burfict’s strong afternoon saw the linebacker have 15 total tackles and the two interceptions.
The defeat gives the Eagles seven defeats out of their last nine games. They have lost six straight road games while struggling to score touchdowns on a consistent basis. According to CSN Philly, the team is regressing and it looks to only be getting worse with four games remaining.
With three of the last four regular-season games at home, the Eagles have a lifeline but it looks that the spoiler role is all the birds can do. The final four games are also going to be against teams that currently have a winning record, with three of them still fighting for a wildcard spot (Redskins, Ravens, Giants).
The only positives from this game were the strong showings from the receivers. Jordan Matthewswas out, so Paul Turner stepped up and led the way.Nelson Agholor was able to make a few catches which could be good for his confidence, while Zach Ertz and Trey Burton also showed their catching ability.
Still, with the way this season has gone, the Eagles players need to use the final four games as a dress-rehearsal for next season.