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Grade the Eagles’ ugly loss to the Bengals

What’d ya think?

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We watched the Eagles get destroyed by the Bengals. Here’s what we saw:

Pass offense: D-

Carson Wentz was off his targets for a good majority of the first half. He completed just eight of 18 attempts in the first 30 minutes, and while at least one of those was a pretty brutal drop by Dorial Green-Beckham (surprising, right?), Wentz also threw high on at least three attempts, and simply made bad decisions on a handful of others, risking interceptions time and again.

Incredibly, Paul Turner was one of the most effective weapons the Eagles had all game long. His first career catch was a 41-yard completion up the right sideline, and he caught another pass two plays later. The rookie looked solid enough.

Trey Burton caught five passes for 53 yards, and Zach Ertz scored a touchdown late in the third quarter, while down 29 points, on a broken coverage.

So, yeah, not very much good happened. Without Jordan Matthews, as was expected, the Eagles’ wide receivers were unable to provide much for Wentz to throw at. And when those rare opportunities popped up, Wentz didn’t hit on nearly as many as he should’ve. He threw three interceptions, one of which was tipped and two of which were just awful throws.

Still, hard to blame the rookie when he has to throw the ball 60 times.

Please, bring us the offseason.

Run offense: D-

Doug Pederson said he would try to establish the run more this weekend. Then his team was down by a billion points in the first half and he was unable to allot the correct resources to the run game, which is both understandable and frustrating.

Even when the Eagles ran the ball on Sunday, against the fourth-worst run defense in the league, it was a largely fruitless effort. Wendell Smallwood, the team’s lead back with Ryan Mathews out due to injury, carried the ball eight times for 19 yards, for a brutally low 2.37 yards-per-carry average. Darren Sproles was equally helpless, running seven times for 14 yards. Carson Went turned out to be the team’s best rusher, scrambling three times for 16 yards.

Maybe it was the offensive line’s fault, or maybe it’s because the Bengals knew the Eagles didn’t have any sort of legitimately threatening passing game on Sunday, but the run game was horrible.

Entering the game, the Eagles were running the ball on 42.8% of their offensive plays, and ranked 8th in rushing yards. But when you trail by double-digits early, it gets much harder to run the ball with regularity. And when you can’t throw the ball, it gets much harder to run successfully.

Please, bring us the offseason.

Pass defense: F

The Bengals entered the game without their best player, A.J. Green. Andy Dalton hadn’t thrown for 300 yards in a month. The Bengals as a team hadn’t won since October. And you know what they did? They threw their way to a win.

Dalton sliced up the Eagles’ secondary, which looked as pathetic Sunday as it has all season long. Nolan Carroll was not twice but thrice toasted for big gains, including once by sixth-round rookie Cody Core for 50 yards. On the other side of the field, Leodis McKelvin was simply unable to hold his own against Brandon LaFell and the rest of Cincinnati’s unimpressive wide receiving corps.

It had been over two years since Dalton threw for 300 yards without Green on the field. On Sunday, at the helm of a team with three wins in 11 tries entering the game, Dalton shredded an Eagles secondary helmed by two safeties who form what Jim Schwartz calls the best safety tandem in the league. It’s hard to stand by that evaluation with the Eagles’ secondary looking as weak as it has this year.

It’s obvious the Eagles need better cornerbacks. But Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins haven’t had stellar outings the last few weeks, either.

Please, bring us the offseason.

Run defense: B-

Outside of two curiously successful runs from Rex Burkhead, the Bengals were almost useless on the ground. Burkhead carried eight times for 38 yards, a solid enough average, but elsewhere, Cincinnati couldn’t run it at all.

Lead rusher Jeremy Hill finished with 23 carries for 33 yards, which is a pretty good effort from the Eagles' front seven against a fairly talented running back.

That said, it didn’t much matter. Because of how well Dalton was passing the ball on Sunday, the Bengals didn’t need to run the ball until they were leading by more than 20 points. And by then, all they wanted to do was not turn it over.

Please, bring us the offseason.

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