The Philadelphia Eagles started off slow on Thursday night as the Cincinnati Bengals opened up a 10-0 lead early in the first quarter. Philadelphia came back in the second quarter to take the lead, but a disastrous second half that had a sequence of three Eagles turnovers on four plays gave the Bengals a 34-13 win to improve to 8-6 on the season.
The Eagles improved play in the second quarter, as the defensive line began to get pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton while the offense began to settle in and drive on the Bengals. Heading into the half, the Eagles took a 13-10 lead into the locker room after an 11-yard touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Nick Foles to Riley Cooper followed by two field goals by Alex Henery. Unfortunately, the good news for the Eagles ended there.
In the second half the Eagles turned the ball over four times in seven minutes. In case that isn't bad enough for you, they also turned the ball over three times in just over a minute which ended up being three turnovers on four plays. Foles underthrew a pass to Jeremy Maclin which was intercepted and then led to a Dalton touchdown pass. Rookie running back Bryce Brown then fumbled the ball on the second play from scrimmage on the next drive. The fumble was picked up by Wallace Gilberry and returned 25 yards for a touchdown. Then, on the kickoff, a short pop-up kick was fumbled by Clay Harbor when he did not field the kickoff cleanly, and that too was recovered by the Bengals.
Turnovers will kill you in the NFL, but not scoring off of turnovers will also kill you. For the Bengals, that was not a problem. In addition to the five turnovers, the Bengals also forced a blocked punt in the first quarter. Those six plays led to all 34 points for the Bengals. Quite simply, the Bengals easily took advantage of the Eagles turnovers and general miscues in the game.
Foles ended up going 16 for 33 for 182 passing yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. He looked good in the first half with solid footwork and passes, but the second half was sloppy with bad throws scattered throughout the field. Brown had 16 rushing attempts for 34 yards and zero touchdowns. Jeremy Maclin led Eagles receivers with four receptions and 73 receiving yards for the game.
The defensive line was solid for the Eagles, and it was likely the only positive that can be taken from this game. They put a lot of pressure on Dalton, who was sacked six times in the game with Brandon Graham leading the way with 2.5 sacks. Rookie Fletcher Cox had 1.5 sacks and Trent Cole and Cullen Jenkins had one sack each.
The Eagles fall to 4-10 on the season and will play their next game on December 23rd against the Washington Redskins.
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