Some very, very quick thoughts on the Eagles' first half against the Bengals:
The offensive line had a tougher time out against the Bengals. Kevin Kolb was hit twice on the Eagles' first series and the first team running backs found little running room. LeSean McCoy had nowhere to run on a third and short play, forcing a punt. Except for one 17-yard McCoy run, he and Leonard Weaver combined for 11 yards on 8 carries.
The Eagles still didn't get into the end zone, despite four trips into Cincinnati territory. One potential touchdown was wiped out by a penalty.
Kolb generally reacted well to pressure from Cincinnati, getting the ball out quickly and not taking any sacks. Several times he bought time for his receivers to work. His throws were safe, as well. He was 11 for 17 for 126 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Ellis Hobbs had another good day tackling bigger men. He helped bring down tight end Jermaine Gresham (6-5, 261 pounds) and then Cedric Benson on consecutive plays for little gain. He then covered Chad Ochocinco to help force an incomplete pass and Bengals punt. Ochocinco later got him back with a 13 yard gain and first down, even though Hobbs had good coverage. Better catch and throw, though.
Nate Allen didn't exactly silence scouts who questioned his tackling skills. On his first chance to make a hit, Cedric Benson trucked him. Allen came back with a quarterback pressure on the next play, forcing a bad throw that Dimitri Patterson intercepted. Early in the second quarter he made a nice hit on Benson as Juqua Parker brought the runner down.
Parker had a sack that was wiped out (the Bengals also held on the play and the penalty was accepted).
Trent Cole dusted his man on a 1st and 20, taking advantage of a clear passing situation to get in Carson Palmer's face and force an incomplete pass.
DeSean Jackson had another big night. He caught four passes for 74 yards and drew a pass interference penalty in one half of play. Nice work by him on one Kolb scramble to get free for a 28 yard gain.
Three penalties on the Eagles for not lining up on the line of scrimmage, including one on Jason Peters that wiped out a Jason Avant touchdown. Several penalties on punt coverage as well - Moise Fokou and Omar Gaither among those flagged.
The defense gave up 213 yards and did not generate much first half pressure on Carson Palmer. They did create two turnovers though, interceptions by Quintin Mikell (to set up a field goal) and Patterson.
Stewart Bradley blew up Ochocinco and left him so woozy that Eagles' trainers rushed to the field to help. He covered a lot of ground from his middle linebacker position.
The Eagles appeared to over pursue on Bernard Scott's touchdown run and also gave up big gains on other plays where the Bengals took advantage of their aggression.
More after the game and in tomorrow's Inquirer.