Monday, October 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Still Pretty Awful

If you're waiting for the Eagles to click into gear, you're still waiting as the fourth quarter ticks down.

Still Pretty Awful

     Updating again: The Eagles just had to punt after failing to pick up a blitz on third and 7 from the Bengals' 46. They trail 13-10, having clicked offensively for only a handful of plays all day, one of them a 57-yard catch-and-run to Hank Baskett that set up their lone touchdown, on a 2-yard TD pass to L.J. Smith. For the first time in more than two years, Donovan McNabb has thrown three interceptions in a game. The Eagles can't run with any authority, and McNabb seems to be forcing balls into coverage.

   At the end of the third, McNabb was 17 for 34 for 231 yards and a 45.1 passer rating. He was being outplayed by the immortal Ryan Fitzpatrick (19 for 27, 189 yards, no interceptions, a 102.2 passer rating.

  

    Updating previously, the Eagles' offense followed its awful first quarter with a worse second quarter. As the Birds seemed to be driving for at least a go-ahead field goal, the score tied 3-3, first and 10 on the Bengals' 22, Donovan McNabb looked to L.J. Smith over the middle and failed to notice Cincinnati linebacker Brandon Johnson standing between them. Johnson made the easy pick, on the third snap after the two-minute warning, and ran it back 35 yards.

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  The Bengals' offense took this momentum and used it to seize the lead on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The Eagles blitzed and didn't get there, leaving Joselio Hanson in solo coverage against Houshmandzadeh.

The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Birds another chance to get on the board before halftime, the ball placed at the 40 with 33 seconds left. They moved it to Cincinnati's 34 with 20 seconds left. But on the next play, McNabb's pass caught Kevin Curtis by surprise, bouncing high off his back shoulder. It was intercepted by Johnathan Joseph.

  Some of the ugly numbers: McNabb is 11 for 23 for 142 yards with the two picks and a sparkling 31.4 passer rating.

 Brian Westbrook has run the ball four times for 6 yards. Take away a 44-yard gain by Correll Buckhalter on a screen play, and the Eagles have thrown for 98 yards. The Eagles have not reached the Bengals' red zone.

 Another half like this and we can start talking about the Kevin Kolb era, approaching very quickly.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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