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Eagles Dominated by Cincinnati Bengals 32-14




The mirage that was the first three weeks of the season for the Philadelphia Eagles remains a sparkling, beautiful memory. A reminder of what could have been, or more likely at this point, how on any given Sunday, a shitty Eagles team can beat actual real NFL teams.

The lifeless Eagles dropped an uninspired 32-14 loss to the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday afternoon. The team remains in the basement of the NFC East at 5-7 and rightly so. This is their sixth straight road loss.  They were blanked 20-0 at the half, and showed meager signs of life late in the second half where the Bengals allowed them to score some pity points.

It’s unfortunate how dismal the offense has been, because it’s stunting rookie QB Carson Wentz’ confidence and progress. He had a terrible game, throwing for 308 yards, one touchdown and an embarrassing three interceptions. His supporting cast didn’t fare much better. WR Paul Turner had six receptions for 80 yards and was suddenly the Eagles best receiver, filling in for Jordan Matthews out who’s out with an ankle injury. Agholor added four catches for 23 yards. TE Zach Ertz added nine receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown.

But enough excuses about who the rookie signal caller has to throw to. Wentz needs to be better. He stared down receivers often, was way too hesitant and missed a ton of open receivers. He doesn’t have the full on ‘deer in headlights’ look in the pocket yet, but it’s certainly not good. He did most of his damage in garbage time, adding a 13-yard touchdown pass to TE Zach Ertz when the Eagles were down 29-0. He had 60 pass attempts, something even Andy Reid would be displeased with. The Eagles rushed the ball just 15 times, with RBs Wendell Smallwood and Darren Sproles splitting them and not doing much with it.

“You just can’t get down. You gotta stay optimistic,” Wentz said.  “I know obviously the results are tough, you know, as of late. We’re kind of on a skid, but like I’ve been saying, this is a good group of guys. It’s a good locker room. The guys are in it to the end. You know, obviously we don’t make plays, we have a lot of mistakes. I think we gotta clean up some of our discipline. I think we lack some of that sometimes. But you know, there’s no quit, and you gotta stay positive.”

As disinterested the Eagles offense looked, their defense looked worse. Despite missing All-Pro WR AJ Green, the Bengals offense had no trouble putting 32 points on an Eagles defense that was supposedly great. QB Andy Dalton had his way most of the game, throwing for 332 yards and two touchdowns. The Bengals were up two possessions by the end of the first quarter, and it got worse from there. The defensive line that was touted as one of the league’s best, got nowhere close to Dalton.

The offense and defense both seemed to mail it in, big time. That is certainly a reflection on their coach, and even though it’s his first year, Doug Pederson must answer for a team that strongly looked as though they were just going through the motions. It was a truly pathetic display of football, and the second week in a row the effort emphatically was not there. When a team plays as lethargic as the Eagles have lately, it’s a sign they are tuning out the coach. It’s a little crazy to wonder if Pederson’s job is in danger, but the product on the field has certainly regressed, and it’s even more difficult to pick out some redeeming qualities from this debacle. It’s as clear as ever this team is smack dab in the middle of a rebuild, and still dealing with the fallout from the tragedy that was the Chip Kelly era. This offseason, Pederson was handed the keys to a crusty, broke down Eagles team devoid of any real talent, and it’s showing. With a fan base where inexplicably, every year could be the year, unrest will continue to grow. However, he certainly deserves two more seasons to see if he’s the man to help right the ship.  Still, it was truly a shock that the Eagles put another visor wearing genius at the helm. At least Pederson still thinks the team is trying.

“I’m obviously very disappointed in the way we played, that’s the first thing,” Pederson said. “It’s a collective effort, all three phases tonight. It’s something that, you know, we pride ourselves to play better, and to not turn the ball over, to get off the field on third downs, to rush the passer. All of the things we are not doing right now. Those are the things we have to get back to doing. The penalties have got to stop. The turnovers, things like that, it’s just not characteristic of how we coach, and how we play.”

“It’s not for lack of effort, it’s just the discipline of your assignments, your jobs. Just focus on that one play at one time, but it’s not for lack of effort.”

The Bengals head to FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland to face the winless Browns.  The Eagles return home to Lincoln Financial Field and play host to Washington next week, hoping to avenge their week six 27-20 defeat, but at this rate, not getting shut out would be glorious. Predictions are in and it’s Washington over the good guys 23-6.

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