Instant Observations: Bengals 34, Eagles 13

Here are instant observations from the Eagles’ 34-13 loss to the Bengals.

OFFENSE

* Turnovers were the story once again for this group. Jeremy Maclin fumbled on the first possession. Nick Foles was picked off on a deep ball he underthrew horribly in the third. Bryce Brown fumbled in the third. Clay Harbor did as well. And Cedric Thornton fumbled away a short kickoff in the fourth. The Bengals got 31 of their 34 points off Eagles turnovers.

* Foles went 16-for-33 for 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception. After the Eagles ran a series of screens in the first half, they faked one and hit Maclin deep for 46 yards. The play set up an 11-yard score to Riley Cooper.

* Marvin McNutt got manhandled by Dan Herron on special teams in the first as the Bengals blocked Mat McBriar’s punt and ended up with a field goal on their ensuing drive. McNutt wasn’t out there on punt coverage the next time. Either he got pulled or he wasn’t supposed to be out there in the first place. Some of you have Tweeted at me, saying the radio broadcast indicated Ryan Rau might have been at fault. We’ll find out soon enough.

* Horrible red-zone sequence at the end of the first half. The Eagles had a 1st-and-goal at the 2. Dallas Reynolds was called for an illegal snap, moving the line of scrimmage back to the 7. The Eagles got back to the 1 on a completion to Clay Harbor, but Foles then threw two incompletions. One was to backup center Matt Tennant, who had not played a snap all season.

* More on the turnovers: Maclin was stripped by Carlos Dunlap on a wide receiver screen. Foles’ pick came when the Eagles had some momentum. The defense had just sacked Andy Dalton twice in a row and forced a punt. Brown was hit behind the line of scrimmage on his fumble. Wallace Gilberry scooped the ball up and took it 25 yards to the end zone.

* Brown struggled once again, carrying 16 times for 34 yards.

* Maclin was the team’s leading receiver with four catches for 73 yards.

DEFENSE

* The defensive performance was not nearly as bad as the scoreboard indicated. Actually, the defensive line turned in its best performance of the season. Brandon Graham had a career game with 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Fletcher Cox had 1.5 sacks. Trent Cole was active throughout with a sack and five tackles. And Cullen Jenkins added a sack/forced fumble. The bottom line is it’s difficult to keep the opponent off the scoreboard when the offense and special teams are making so many mistakes.

* All five of the Bengals’ scoring drives started in Eagles territory – at the 44, 11, 40, 13 and 33. The other score was a defensive touchdown.

* BenJarvus Green-Ellis picked up 29 yards on a run to the right on Cincinnati’s first play from scrimmage. It looked like Jamar Chaney and Mychal Kendricks got blocked, but I’ll have to re-watch to be sure.

* Andy Dalton completed just 13 of 27 passes passes for 127 yards. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie stayed on A.J. Green for much of the game. Green finished with six catches for 57 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown.

* The Eagles missed several opportunities for interceptions early on. Rodgers-Cromartie missed a chance for a pick-six in the red zone on the Bengals’ first offensive possession. The ball went right through his hands and into Green’s for a completion.

* Nice job by Colt Anderson on a deep ball to Green in the first. Anderson helped Rodgers-Cromartie over top and nearly had an interception.

* DeMeco Ryans nearly had an interception on third down in the first.

* Green-Ellis carried 25 times for 106 yards.

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  • atlvickfan

    Score won’t show it, but the D actually wasn’t that bad. Firing Washburn has been a huge boost to the D line.

  • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

    Defense held up pretty well, but since the offense only had the ball for 73 seconds in the 4th you can forgive them the score.

  • JM

    Foles completed less than 50% of his passes, had a QBR of 62.9, had an interception and lost a fumble. What a difference a week and coming up against a half-competent defense makes. Still think this guy is our starter?

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      I will say what I’ve been saying. Let the season play out and then form an opinion. I will say this game doesn’t help his case however.

    • eagles2zc

      Are you talking about the handoff fumble that was clearly Brown’s fault? Let’s not cherry pick stats

      • JM

        What’s his excuse for all the other things I mentioned?

        Even in his best game yet last week he nearly got picked off twice on the game winning drive. I see nothing to suggest he is the answer. No idea where the Eagles go with the QB position from here.

        • eagles2zc

          You’re getting impatient with a rookie after one regression?? Talk about extreme reaction

      • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

        Eh…that was on the line. He was hit as soon as he got the ball. Kinda hard to secure when you’re getting knocked out in the same motion you’re getting the ball

        • Joe H

          Exactly. He was flinching during the handoff, right when it was reaching him, because that lineman was about to flatten him. Those fumbles holding the ball loose… clearly Brown’s fault. This one… if you have to blame the QB or RB, it’s on the RB (I thought the handoff was a bit high, but I don’t know much about those things), but it definitely feels wrong to me…

        • eagles2zc

          So how is that Foles’ fault? It’s the job of the RB to secure the ball

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            Who said it was Foles fault? I was saying it wasn’t really Brown’s fault.

    • TXEaglesFan

      He needs to work on the deep ball. That underthrow int was the turning point. But did you see Dalton’s numbers? Nobody is questioning if he should be the starter for the Bengals. I don’t see Elite in Foles but he could be adequate like Dalton. They can’t be trying to find a new QB every year while the rest of the team roster needs a severe overhaul.

    • Run Eagles Run

      I’ve said it before. He needs a veteran to compete with this offseason. I wouldnt just crown him the starter. Tonight explained a lot of the unease I felt praising him last week. He looked good against tampa but theyre weak against the pass. this is the first solid D foles went against and he looked like a back up. yes, he is a rookie and learning, but his passes have no zip. he can be an Alex Smith type, and thats fine if you load up on lineman and D. the eagles starting QB next year will depend on the head coach.

  • atlvickfan

    Y’all wanted to crown Bryce Brown and trade Shady after a good game against a horrible run defense, and y’all wanted to crown Foles after a good game against a horrible pass defense. Both get exposed against good defenses. Doesn’t mean they can’t be good at some point down the road but right now they are not. The problem with this offense has been the line ALL SEASON and that hasn’t changed. Quit putting unnecessary pressure on them by anointing them as saviors every time some horrible defense makes them look good.

    • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

      Amen. The line was the reason Vick and Shady were having a rough go of it. And the line is (part of) the reason Brown and Foles are having a rough go of it.

      • fastnbulbous

        Not having DJax/Shady/Celek to throw to tonite shouldn’t be completely ignored either. Frankly I’m surprised Foles played as well as he did considering what he had to work with.

      • MAC

        Here are some Mike Vick career stats and facts.
        1. He’s thrown for 120 touchdowns, ranking him in a dead heat for 102nd place with Neil O’Donnell, barely edging Brian Griese (119) and somehow trailing Brooks (123) and Chris Miller (123). Of the seven most famous modern “running QBs” (not counting the new guys), Vick’s touchdown/interception differential (+40) ranks behind Young (+125), McNabb (+117), Cunningham (+73), Steve McNair (+55) and Culpepper (+43), beating only Kordell Stewart (minus-7).

        2.Those 19,735 career yards rank him 97th overall, less than Jay Cutler,
        Aaron Brooks, Gus Frerotte, Bobby Hebert and Jake Delhomme, and a few
        thousand yards less than Bernie Kosar, Brian Sipe, Jeff Garcia and
        Culpepper.

        3.Of everyone since 1960, Vick ranks 87th
        in “Game-Winning Drives” with 14, trailing the likes of Jeff Blake
        (16), Hebert (16), David Garrard (18), O’Donnell (19), Jon Kitna (22)
        and Jake Delhomme (25).

        4.Out of everyone since 1960, Vick ranks 67th in “Comebacks” with 13, trailing the likes of Trent Dilfer (14), Jay Schroeder (16), and yes, Jake Delhomme (19).

        5. Vick has played in 5 total playoff games winning 2 of them in 10 yeas. In Vick’s two playoff wins, he threw for 199 yards combined. Michael
        Vick hasn’t won a playoff game since January 15, 2005, the same month
        Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston separated.

        • MAC

          We all can agree the guys he trails few are names you hope your
          “Franchise” QB would be behind after 10 years. He has been exciting but
          as far as thinking anyone in Philly who says he is not the answer at QB
          is wrong; these stats seem to make it a tough sell he is or ever has
          been an elite QB. He really has been exciting and maked some
          unbelievable plays, but that is not what we or any NFL team needs. These
          are my reasons to say why Vick is not the answer. Yes the o line makes
          this year impossible to blame him or anyone, however look at last year
          and his entire career. Please explain to me since you and several other
          people believe Vick just needs an o line and will be fine or needs new
          system. Please tell me what about Vick makes you and his other
          supporters believe that he is a victim of circumstance only this year? I
          would like you or any other Vick supporter to give me your reasons or
          facts that support your opinion. These are facts and my reason to say no
          matter what do not bring back Vick.

          • http://abigbuttandasmile.com/ A Big Butt and a Smile

            What are you talking about? I was pointing out that line was the biggest problem this year and judging either Foles/Vick and Brown/?Shady this year is not really fair or adequate because of the atrocious line play. You clearly have a Vick ax to grind but that’s not what this was even about.

          • limodriver2750

            Bravo! nice work proving your point, and I agree with your assessment.

        • djack10

          just a thought…with the data you just provided, would you elect to pick up this guy after being in jail for two years? reid jumped the shark when he decided to sign vick.

    • Joe H

      I think you’re a bit over the top on that accusation. I guess there must have been some people saying those things, but sane Eagles fans realize Brown wasn’t going to rush for 100+ yards per game, just as Foles was going to look shaky against better defenses. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with looking / hoping for any bright spots in a dismal season. I think more of it was fear of winning a few extra games and losing draft position…!!!

    • MAC

      Read below my reply to A Big Butt and a smile and answer my questions if you feel you can back up your Vick support. I am hoping you and Big Butt do not simply make up some reason to not respond. Let’s see if you can back up all you have been saying for this year in support of Mike Vick.

      • atlvickfan

        I don’t see where you asked any questions. Regarding the aggregate stats you listed, I want you to explain to me how Vick should have gone about adding to those totals while he was sitting in jail or on the injured list for five of those “ten years” that he’s been in the league.

      • Run Eagles Run

        you can rattle off all the stats you want. Im going off what I saw with my own two eyes since he’s been with the eagles. he is not the same qb he was with the falcons. you seem really passionate, not about another qb, but about hating vick…. lemme guess, its cause he is a thug? keep holding on to your great white hope, hoyin… I mean foles gold.

  • JofreyRice

    Nate Allen and Chaney were blocked on the first BJGE run. Foles underthrew just about everything over 25 yards. Had Maclin in the third, but underthrew it, and Newman broke it up. Why would they continue to run Bryce Brown to the boundary, the guy busts heads and breaks tackles N-S. Stupid.

    • Myke Lowery

      for a guy that “busts heads” he clearly puckered before fumbling the ball away rather than taking the big hit. he runs hard but I’m not sure he initiates contact to punish tacklers 

  • Myke Lowery

    sheil -What’s the reason for Demeco Ryans putting the crown of his helmet in the earhole of the lineman that wasn’t looking? frustration? it happened with 10:00 left in game. Ryans didn’t even look interested in tackling the TE coming off a screen pass.

    • Run Eagles Run

      pick out something more obscure to talk about, maybe sheil will reply

  • 1972

    No more trade shady talk on here i hope…overeacting philly fans

  • Philly_Bigz

    It’s good to see the D line FINALLY coming to life!!! Foles will be fine once he gets his starting O line back and starts to trust them to give him MORE time to find an open receiver. If you were the QB behind this O line…Would you trust them to protect you???

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    Not sure how anyone can decide if Nick Foles is or is not a starter in his rookie season with:

    - A handful of starts

    - No meaningful practice reps until Vick got hurt

    - No training camp as a starter

    - A rag tag offensive line with 4 quality starters that he hasn’t had the chance to play with

    - Missing arguably our 3 best skill players (Celek, Jackson, Shady)

    Like c’mon people. The kid had has done some good and bad things. He’s earned the right to go into training camp next year and compete for the job. Not one of you can sit here and say that he will or cannot be a starter next year. It’s just absurd.

    • Run Eagles Run

      how come excuses are acceptable foles but not vick? I guess cause foles doesnt have a criminal record?

      • livingonapear

        Or maybe because Vick is a 30+ year old who has seen his play consistently drop over three seasons. Or maybe because the Eagles could only put up 19 points against a terrible, terrible Saints D. Or maybe because we’ve seen Vick peak and Foles is brimming with potential. Or maybe we are looking forward to a new era where young players are not put up against over paid vets.

        If I had a problem with Vick’s criminal record, I got over it a long time ago.

        • Run Eagles Run

          the last 6 or 7 games of the year last year, finally having a solid o-line in front of him, he looked real good. then this year the line fell apart. but thos games last season dont count right ? then they dont for foles either.

          • livingonapear

            Vick hasn’t looked the same since the Vikings found his achilles heel. He looked good at times last year, but aside from the last 3 games, when the season was pretty much over, he was inconsistent. You said the final 6 or 7 games, right? I looked, he had 4 very good games, and three abysmal games, and the Arizona and Chicago games really sunk the season.

            I’m not saying that Vick sucks, or that he can’t be a good starter, or that he didn’t get boned by inconsistent line play. Some of it’s his fault, some of it’s the line, and some of it is the team sucking. But I do honestly feel that Foles looks better under pressure in his first season than Vick does after 8 years in the league. Is that an illusion? Am I projecting? Maybe, but this has nothing to do with a criminal record. We know what we get with Vick, let’s see what Foles has.

            Sometimes things just don’t work out the way they should. That pretty much sums up Vick’s tenure with the Eagles.

  • djack10

    by the way, i would like to mention that many of us fans wanted the eagles to take votanze burflict. and once again, fans are right. he was awesome for the bengals last night. andy was wrong again. i will give him credit that mcnabb was a better pick than williams.