Quite the embarrassing display of football between the Philadelphia Eagles and Cincinnati Bengals as the teams played to a 23-23 tie at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday. The Bengals blew a fourth quarter lead as Carson Wentz scored on a 7-yard run to tie the game at 23-23 with 21 seconds left. Wentz struggled throughout the day with his arm (leads the NFL with six interceptions after his third multiple interception game this season), but finished with 65 rushing yards and a score in this one.
Overtime was not kind to Doug Pederson, who has a lot of explaining to do after deciding not to win the game for Philadelphia with 19 seconds left. The Eagles had a 59-yard field goal attempt by Jake Elliott for the win taken away by a Matt Pryor false start to make it a 64-yard attempt. Elliott, who has made a 61-yard kick for a win in the past, didn’t get the opportunity to get Philadelphia its first win of the year as Pederson decided to put the ball away and play for the tie. The Eagles even took a delay of game to give punter Cameron Johnston more room to pin the Bengals, as if Pederson wasn’t aware the game ended in a tie.
The Bengals have played in three ties in their history, two of which have been to the Eagles (the teams tied in 2008). The Eagles also have played to their third tie in their history, their first since 2008 with the Bengals.
Philadelphia goes to 0-2-1 and will be a half game out of first place in the NFC East if the Dallas Cowboys lose — the Washington Football Team lost earlier in the day. Cincinnati snaps its 14-game road losing streak with the tie as the Bengals will also be 0-2-1.
Why The Eagles Tied
The Eagles really didn’t deserve a draw in this one, as Cincinnati allowed Philadelphia to force overtime with Carson Wentz scoring the tying touchdown run with 21 seconds to play in regulation. Don’t be fooled by this fourth quarter comeback from Wentz; he was horrible Sunday. Wentz became the first Eagles quarterback since Sonny Jurgensen in 1961 to throw multiple interceptions in each of the first three games of the season as he continued to miss easy passes and lacked confidence in himself.
Wentz finished with a 62.4 passer rating on the afternoon and is one of the worst quarterbacks in the league through three weeks. The Eagles won’t be winning any games if Wentz doesn’t throw better. Somehow they are a half game out of the NFC East lead.
Why The Bengals Tied
Cincinnati should have won this game, scoring on three consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter to take a 23-20 lead. Two pass interference penalties were the catalyst in a 11-play, 75-yard drive on the Eagles’ final possession in regulation that knotted the game up for Philadelphia. The Bengals — who had just 24 yards in overtime — were lucky a false start and holding penalty took away a beautiful 30-yard pass from Wentz to Zach Ertz that put Philadelphia at the Cincinnati 27-yard line and would have given the Eagles the win. Joe Burrow played well (31 of 44, 312 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT), but the Bengals just don’t have the offensive line to protect him. They still have some building to do.
Nate Herbig had a 10-yard holding penalty that took away a Carson Wentz 10-yard run that would have given the Eagles a first down at the Bengals 32-yard line with 3:24 to play in overtime. That put the Eagles out of field goal range and gave them a second-and-19 at the Eagles’ 48-yard line. Philadelphia threw two incomplete passes and punted, not giving Jake Elliott an opportunity to win the game. If the holding penalty didn’t happen, the Eagles would have faced a 50-yard field goal with Elliott kicking — and an opportunity to move closer and seal the win.
Play Of The Game
Carson Wentz had a beautiful 30-yard pass to Zach Ertz on second-and-6 with 4:52 left in overtime that should have put Philadelphia in a position to win the game. This pass was one Eagles fans have been waiting for from Wentz all season, those throws have been few and far between over the past three years.
A Lane Johnson false start and the Herbig holding mentioned above took away all the progress Wentz made here. The Eagles quarterback is struggling, but his offense isn’t helping either.
“The decision there [was] one of two things. You can either attempt it on fourth down and try to go for it — we tried to go for the field goal, the game winner. That was the thing, we were going to go for the game winner with the kick. Felt comfortable with Jake [Elliott]. Had the wind. The false start backed us up, so we said let’s just punt the football here.
“We didn’t want to give them the ball towards midfield or even a chance to go for it on fourth down and long. Incomplete pass, something like that. They get the ball, short field, they could kick a field goal and win the game.
“Just made that decision. Hopefully something positive might have come out of the punt.” – Doug Pederson on deciding to punt instead of kicking a 64-yard field goal for the win with 19 seconds left in overtime.
The Bengals (0-2-1) host the Jaguars (1-2) at Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday while the Eagles (0-2-1) travel west to Levi’s Stadium to face the San Francisco 49ers (2-1) on “Sunday Night Football.”
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