The Eagles did not play well enough to win on Sunday, but they played well enough not to lose to the 0-2-1 Cincinnati Bengals. That in a nutshell is the definition of mediocrity, perhaps the most appropriate word to describe the state of the Philadelphia Eagles right now.
Credit to the Bengals (missing some key players like Geno Atkins) for giving the Eagles a rough run for the money…Joe Burrow was good and was extremely unhappy with a tie. Carson Wentz had a slightly improved game and drove his team from behind to tie the game in regulation. But Wentz came up short on that final drive in OT. His head coach also showed an uncharacteristic departure from previous ramblin’ and gamblin’ ways. In a way, the Eagles as a team conceded on Sunday that a tie was the best they could hope for.
Burrow tossed a pair of touchdown passes to Tee Higgins in regulation and Wentz dove into the end zone for the tying score in the final minute as the Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles played to a 23-23 tie on Sunday.
“This is a loss to me. We didn’t win, that’s all it is to me,” Burrow said. “If you don’t win, you lose. That’s the mind-set to me.” That’s also the mindset of about 90 percent of Eagles fans today who think Doug Pederson should not have punted to the Bengals with only 19 seconds left in overtime.
Facing an 0-3 start for the first time since 1999, Wentz drove the Eagles 75 yards in the final three minutes. He barreled 9 yards on third-and-6 to the Bengals 19 and then ran in from 7 with a head-first dive into the end zone. Elliott’s extra point tied it with 21 seconds left.
Neither team could do anything in overtime. “Tying is no fun. It’s an awkward way to end a game,” Wentz said.
Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick, calmly picked apart the Eagles secondary in the second half, completing 31 of 44 for 312 yards. He’s still seeking his first win since leading LSU to the national championship in January.
“I’ve never tied in my life, so it feels strange for sure,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. ‘I know it sure as hell doesn’t feel like we won, that’s what I can tell you for sure.”
Wentz struggled with accuracy again, and ended up tossing two more interceptions, before rallying the Eagles late. He finished 29 of 47 for 225 yards, one TD and ran for 65 yards and one score.
The Bengals took a 17-16 lead on their first drive of the third quarter. Burrow completed all seven of his passes for 78 yards, including a pair of third-down conversions. He finished it off with a 4-yard TD pass to Higgins for a 17-16 lead.
Wentz was picked by LeShaun Sims on the ensuing possession and the Bengals took over at the Eagles 44. They turned that into a 31-yard field goal by Randy Bullock and a 20-16 lead. Bullock hit a 25-yarder to extend the lead to 23-16 with 3:05 left.
Burrow tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Higgins for a 10-6 lead late in the second quarter. But Wentz and the Eagles answered quickly. On third-and-5 from the 26, Wentz hit a wide-open Greg Ward down the right side for a TD and a 13-10 lead.
Jalen Hurts took a snap out of shotgun with Wentz lined up wide at receiver and ran 8 yards for a first down on the opening drive of the third quarter that ended with Elliott kicking a 54-yarder to make it 16-10.
Philadelphia’s opening series ended when Wentz’s pass on third down was deflected at the line and picked by Logan Wilson at the Bengals 44. It was tough to find a rhythm against the Bengals, with the Cincinnati defense mixing up some of their looks and fronts.
Wentz has thrown multiple picks in three consecutive games. He hadn’t done that in two straight games before this season. Wentz hasn’t thrown more than seven interceptions since his rookie year but already has six in three games.
“We just can’t have a free run, a (defensive lineman) come clean every single time. That’s something we’ve got to fix right away,” Taylor said.
But the Eagles have not forced any turnovers on defense through 13 quarters this season. This was a day when you had to count on at least one turnover induced from a rookie QB, and it didn’t happen.
Pederson’s post-game quotes:
“I told them in the locker room after the game that we weren’t a very smart football team today. I think, 11 penalties, came at crucial times and we couldn’t get off the field on defense, and offensively we didn’t execute well enough. We had some injuries, and, you know, that’s going to be part of the game. But, just not a smart football team right now, and that’s on me, and we’ll get that fixed as we get ready for this next week.
I like how our team battled. Hung in there. Came back to tie the game at the end. But, just overall, not very smart today, not very disciplined, when those are some of the things we talk about quite a bit.”
On deciding to punt the ball back to the Bengals rather than try a 64-yard FG or run a 4th-and-12 play with 19 seconds left in OT:
“I decided then to go ahead and punt, rather than risk giving the Bengals the ball back towards mid-field, give them a short field and allow them to kick a field goal and win the game. Just made that decision, and hopefully something positive might have come out of the punt.”
|Passing 1st downs||19||11|
|Rushing 1st downs||2||12|
|1st downs from penalties||3||4|
|3rd down efficiency||3-13||10-21|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||0-0|
|Yards per Play||4.3||4.4|
|Yards per pass||4.9||4.1|
|Yards per rush||2.7||4.9|
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||2-4||1-2|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||0|