The Eagles committed 5 turnovers leading to 31 Cincinnati points as the Bengals cruised to a 34-13 win at Lincoln Financial Field.
Of all the comical performances put in by the Eagles this season, the third quarter of this game has to take the cake. In the span of 4 possessions, Bryce Brown fumbled a handoff that was returned for a TD. Clay Harbor fumbled after making a catch and Cedric Thornton fumbled... wait for it... a kickoff. Yes, he's a DT and he attempted to catch a kickoff. That particular fumble put the Eagles atop the NFL in the turnover category.
It was the kind of night.
Nick Foles also threw a pretty ugly pick that appeared to be 10 yards underthrown. Jeremy Maclin fumbled after being stripped on a screen. But really the coup de gras tonight came early when Marvin McNutt was driven backwards as the Eagles were attempting to punt and Mat McBriar hit him right in the butt. Just to add to the comedy, Andy Reid said after the game that rookie LB Ryan Rau was supposed to be out for that punt, but he was "celebrating with the defense" and didn't get out there. So Clay Harbor ran out on the field at the last second so there were enough guys and a rookie WR was left to try to seal the edge on a punt.
The play was your 2012 Philadelphia Eagles in a nutshell. They haven't been able to get out of their own way all season.
Oh and Evan Mathis was hurt in this game and had to leave. When he did, the Eagles were left with literally one starter from the opener, Jeremy Maclin.
Bottom line from this one is that if you were one of the people worried that Andy Reid might actually be back or that the Eagles might screw up a top 5 draft pick... Worry no more.
As for some individual performances.
Nick Foles - Definitely a regression from last week, which was to be expected going from the worst pass defense in the NFL to a solid one. He completed less than 50% of his passes throwing for 182 yards for one pick and one TD. The INT was really bad and when the game had gotten away from them late he probably could have thrown a couple more if Cincy defenders could catch. He was very good in the first half, but like the rest of the team he kind of fell apart in the second.
Brandon Graham - Easily the Eagles best player on the night grabbing 2.5 sacks, forcing a fumble and 2 holding penalties. He completely dominated a very good OT in Andre Smith.
Defensive line - I wanted to call out Graham specifically because he was the standout, but really the entire Eagles defensive line played well. As odd as it sounds, on a night were the opposition score 34 the defense was actually pretty good. They sacked Andy Dalton 6 times and forced a pair of fumbles. Rookie Fletcher Cox had 1.5 sacks, Trent Cole got one as did Cullen Jenkins.
Evan Mathis - Before he got hurt, he really did a fantastic job on Geno Smith, who might be the best DT in all of football. Completely shut him down in pass protection.
And that's all I've got folks. Only 2 more games to go.