Eagles-Bengals Instant Observations
CINCINNATI — The Bengals beat the Eagles, 32-14. Here’s what we saw:
*Doug Pederson’s unit turned in an abysmal performance in the first half as they were held scoreless for the first time this season. They averaged just 3.2 yards per play, and when they were able to gain some momentum, they committed ill-timed penalties that threw them out of their rhythm. The Eagles committed four false starts in the first two quarters alone.
*Although the Eagles scored two touchdowns in the second half, 14 points is their second-lowest total of the season. They averaged just 4.5 yards per play, and they didn’t score until they fell behind by 29 points.
*Carson Wentz played his worst game of the season. He threw a career-high three interceptions, and he at least two other potential picks dropped. His decision-making, timing and accuracy were all bad, and he made few impressive throws. He completed 36 of his 60 pass attempts for 308 yards, one touchdown and a 58.2 passer rating.
*Nelson Agholor totaled 23 yards on four catches, which tied his career-high in receptions. He didn’t accumulate many yards, but he did about as well as you could hope for in his first game back after being benched. He didn’t make any glaring mental mistakes, and he did a nice job of concentrating and hauling in a pass as he fell to the ground after it popped out of his hands because of a big hit.
*However, Paul Turner had the best game of any of the receivers. He caught six passes for 80 yards, both of which beat Agholor’s career-highs in those categories. The rookie undrafted free agent didn’t do anything spectacular, but he was sure-handed, which hasn’t always been the case for Eagles receivers this year.
*While the offensive line largely gave Wentz enough time on passing plays in the first half, they didn’t do that in the second half while also failing to open running lanes on the ground. Their running backs averaged just 2.2 yards per rush as Wendell Smallwood picked up 19 yards on eight carries and Darren Sproles added 14 yards on seven carries. The Eagles had more penalty yards (88) than rushing yards (53).
*Jim Schwartz’s unit let the Bengals score 32 points, which is a season-high for Cincinnati. The Bengals accumulated 412 total yards, averaging 6.4 yards per play. They converted seven of their 14 third-down attempts as they moved the ball with ease through the air in the first three quarters.
*Andy Dalton completed 23 of his 31 pass attempts for 332 yards, two touchdowns and a 130 passer rating. He averaged 10.7 yards per attempt and easily found receivers open across the field. The Eagles’ cornerbacks struggled mightily, as Nolan Carroll, Leodis McKelvin and Jalen Mills all rotated at both of the outside corner positions.
*Brandon Graham tallied two tackles-for-loss, but the defensive line didn’t generate enough pressure in the passing game. Only Marcus Smith tallied a quarterback hit, and Dalton was rarely hurried. When the defense did have an opportunity to make a big play in the first half, Jaylen Watkins dropped an interception in the red zone.
*Bennie Logan and Nigel Bradham both forced fumbles in the second half, but they did so when the game was out of reach. Watkins and Mychal Kendricks each recovered a fumble.