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Eagles-Bengals: What you need to know

tim riday csnphilly

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:46 PM

Riday

Eagles-Bengals: What you need to know

December 13, 2012, 11:00 am

TIM RIDAY
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Eagles (4-9) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6), 8:20 p.m. -- NFL Network
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia

The Eagles snapped an eight-game losing streak when they rallied back from an 11-point deficit to beat the Buccaneers, 23-21, on Sunday in Tampa.

Nick Foles connected with Jeremy Maclin for a 1-yard touchdown pass as time expired to give the Eagles their first win since Sept. 30.

The victory will be short-lived, as the Birds are set to host the Cincinnati Bengals, who are coming off a 20-19 loss at home to the Dallas Cowboys, at the Linc on Thursday night.

Injuries
Eagles

Out: QB Michael Vick (concussion), RB LeSean McCoy (concussion), TE Brent Celek (concussion), DT Mike Patterson (illness), FS Kurt Coleman (chest)

Questionable: RB Chris Polk (toe)

Probable: S Nate Allen (shoulder), CB Nnamdi Asomugha (neck, quadricep), FB Stanley Havili (ankle), LB Mychal Kendricks (shoulder), WR Jeremy Maclin (groin), G Evan Mathis (ankle), G/C Dallas Reynolds (ankle)

Bengals

Out: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (concussion)

Questionable: DE Michael Johnson (toe)

Doubtful: K Mike Nugent (calf), RB Cedric Peerman (ankle)

Probable: G Clint Boling (illness), LB Vontaze Burfict (shoulder), DE Carlos Dunlap (calf), LB Rey Maualuga (shoulder)

Offense
Eagles

Total: 362.9 yards per game (11th, NFL)

Passing: 237.4 ypg (14th)

Rushing: 125.5 ypg (9th)

The Eagles' offense relied heavily on Foles in their come-from-behind victory over the Bucs. The 23-year-old quarterback went 32 of 51 for 381 yards to set the Birds' single-game rookie passing records for completions and yards. Foles ran for a touchdown in the second quarter and threw two TD passes in the final four minutes to lead the Eagles to a thrilling, last-second victory.

Maclin, who hauled in the game-winning TD, recorded his eighth 100-yard receiving game of his career after catching nine passes for 104 yards. Tight end Clay Harbor, who took over after Celek went down with a concussion on the first offensive snap of the game, also caught a TD pass and finished with 52 receiving yards. Jason Avant led all Eagles' receivers with 133 yards.

While the Eagles had their air game going behind Foles, the Bucs were able to smother the Birds on the ground. After piling up 347 rushing yards and four TDs in his first two NFL starts, rookie Bryce Brown managed just six yards on 12 carries against Tampa.

Bengals

Total: 355.2 ypg (15th)

Passing: 237.8 ypg (13th)

Rushing: 117.5 ypg (14th)

Andy Dalton on Sunday became just the third player in NFL history (Peyton Manning, Cam Newton) to pass for at least 3,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. He threw for 206 yards with a TD and an interception in the Bengals' 20-19 loss to the Cowboys. Dalton has been picked off three times in the last two games after not throwing an INT in his previous three.

Wide receiver A.J. Green has been giving secondaries fits all season. Although Dallas held him to just 44 yards on three receptions on Sunday, Green has 79 catches for 1,151 yards and 10 TDs this season.

The Bengals rushed for 7.3 yards per carry against the Cowboys, led by former Patriot BenJarvus Green-Ellis (12 carries, 89 yards). Green-Ellis needs just 26 more yards to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards on the season.

Defense
Eagles

Total: 348.6 ypg (14th)

Passing: 229.3 ypg (15th)

Rushing: 119.3 ypg (17th)

The Eagles' defense has gone five consecutive games without forcing a turnover and seven without recording an interception. No team since 1950 has gone six straight games without a single takeaway.

Jamar Chaney re-entered the starting lineup Sunday against Tampa, replacing Mychal Kendricks as the strong-side linebacker. Kendricks shifted over to the weak side and the move paid off for defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Chaney had four tackles and broke up a pass, while Kendricks registered seven tackles and broke up three passes. The Bucs' 314 yards were the second-fewest allowed by the Eagles in their past 10 games.

Before Sunday, each of the past six quarterbacks to face the Eagles had registered completion percentages greater than 63 percent and passing ratings better than 120.0, but Freeman completed just 41 percent of his throws and compiled a 79.2 passer rating.

Bengals

Total: 328.0 ypg (7th)

Passing: 222.5 ypg (10th)

Rushing: 105.5 ypg (11th)

Cincinnati allowed a Dan Bailey 40-yard field goal as time expired in Sunday's loss to Dallas. The defeat snapped the Bengals' four-game winning streak, but it also marked the fifth straight game in which Cincinnati's defense allowed fewer than 21 points -- the longest active streak in the NFL.

The Bengals are 10th in the league against the pass, surrendering 222.5 yards per game while intercepting 10 passes. Foles has not thrown an interception over his last 142 pass attempts -- the longest active streak in the NFL -- but has to be careful on Thursday.

Cincinnati has faced three different first-year quarterbacks in four separate games this season to mixed results. The Bengals held Robert Griffin III to 221 yards and a TD in a win over the Redskins in Week 3. However, Cincinnati has split two matchups with Cleveland's Brandon Weeden. Weeden threw for 322 yards and two TDs in a loss to the Bengals in Week 2, and finished with 231 yards in two TDs in the Browns' win over Cincinnati in Week 6. The Bengals held Ryan Tannehill to 223 passing yards, but loss to the Dolphins in Week 5.

Series history
Overall meeting: 12th (Eagles lead series, 7-3-1)

Last meeting: Eagles 13, Bengals 13 (OT) -- Nov. 16, 2008 at Paul Brown Stadium

The last time these two teams faced, the Eagles and Bengals played to a 13-13 tie in Cincinnati. You may recall Donovan McNabb not being aware that an NFL game could end in a draw.

"I didn't know that," McNabb said after the game. "I've never been part of a tie. I never even knew it was in the rule book. I was looking forward to getting the opportunity to get out there and try to drive to win the game. But unfortunately with the rules, we settled with a tie."

No. 5 finished the game with 339 passing yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Brian Westbrook carried the ball 14 times for 60 yards, while Hank Baskett led Eagles' receivers with 74 yards on two receptions.

Believe it or not...
All four of the Eagles' wins this season have been come-from-behind victories. The Birds have won each of those four games been two or fewer points -- the most in team history.

Connections
Evan Mathis spent three seasons with the Bengals from 2008-10. He appeared in 26 games for Cincinnati, including seven starts.

Bengals wide receivers coach James Urban spent seven seasons with the Eagles from 2004-10. He was the assistant to the head coach from 2004-06 before being named offensive assistant/quality control coach in 2007-08. He also served as the quarterbacks coach from 2009-10.

Bengals quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese began his NFL career as an offensive assistant with the Birds under head coach Ray Rhodes in 1998.

Recommended reading
In case you missed some of this week's stories ...

Mentoring Foles a rewarding process for Edwards

Reid changes short-week preparation after Seattle debacle

Eagles won't be able to cheat balanced Bengals D

Eagles blasted by agent after placing Mike Patterson on NFI

Marsh looks to buiild on solid performance vs. Bucs

Harbor ready to make most of opportunity

E-mail Tim Riday at triday@comcastsportsnet.com