Records: Bengals 7-6; Eagles 4-9
Line: Bengals by 4 points; over/under: 45½
TV announcers: Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan (NFL Network); game also on WPHL
Radio: 97.3, 94.1 FM, 610 AM
Forecast: Clear, with a low around 30. Light north wind (NFLweather.com).
David Weinberg’s pick: Eagles’ winning streak ends at one. Bengals 28, Eagles 21 (season record: 6-7)
Last time met: The Eagles and Bengals played to a 13-13 tie in Cincinnati on Nov. 16, 2008. Several players, including defensive end Trent Cole, quarterback Donovan McNabb and running back Brian Westbrook, didn’t know that NFL games could end in a tie. The Bengals are visiting Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since 2005.
Eagles’ best-case scenario: The Eagles win two in a row for the first time opening the season with back-to-back victories over Cleveland and Baltimore. Rookie quarterback Nick Foles throws three touchdown passes. Tight end Clay Harbor scores two TDs in relief of Brent Celek. Rookie running back Bryce Brown rushes for 100 yards. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton throws three interceptions.
Eagles’ worst-case scenario: They fail to build on the momentum and drop to 2-5 at the Linc this season. Foles has his worst game since becoming the starter by throwing three interceptions. The Bengals collect seven sacks. Brown fumbles twice. Dalton teams up with wide receiver A.J. Green for three touchdowns against a struggling Eagles secondary.
Keep an eye on: Green (No. 18). The second-year veteran is one of the most dynamic wide receivers in the league. His 10 receiving touchdowns are tied with New England tight end Rob Gronkowski for the NFL lead. He’s also among the leaders with 79 receptions for 1,151 yards.
Notable numbers: Bengals lead series 7-3-1 and are 4-3 in Philadelphia. ... Eagles are 1-1-1 versus the Bengals under coach Andy Reid. ... Eagles are 5-2 in Thursday games and 2-1 under Reid. ... Eagles have been outscored 75-24 in first quarter this season. ... Bengals lead the league with 42 sacks. ... Bengals are 2-1 versus NFC East this season.
Assessing the offenses
Eagles: They struggled for most of the game at Tampa before rallying for two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Foles’ 381 passing yards were the most ever by an Eagles’ rookie quarterback. Brown was held in check, rushing for just 6 yards on 12 carries. The offensive line had a rough game, surrendering six sacks. Celek (concussion) will not play tonight. Harbor will start in his spot.
Bengals: Dalton is tied for second in the AFC with 25 touchdown passes but also has thrown 14 interceptions. Green is his favorite target, but tight end Jermaine Gresham (55 receptions) is also a threat. They have a balanced attack that also features running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He’s rushed for 974 yards on 238 carries. Stafford Township native Clark Harris is the Bengals’ long snapper.
EDGE TO BENGALS
Assessing the defenses
Eagles: The pass rush was better against the Bucs under new defensive line coach Tommy Brasher. Rookie defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is coming on strong. They have flip-flopped rookie linebacker Mychal Kendricks by moving him to weakside linebacker. Jamar Chaney is back as the starter on the strong side. Cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are still struggling. Free safety Colt Anderson played well in place of injured Kurt Coleman on Sunday.
Bengals: They have a terrific pass rush. Geno Atkins leads all NFL defensive tackles with 101/2 sacks. End Michael Johnson has 81/2. They have 21 takeaways (10 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries). Rookie free-agent linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been a pleasant surprise.
Assessing the coaches
Eagles: Reid finally got a win
Bengals: Marvin Lewis has them in the AFC playoff hunt
EDGE TO BENGALS
Eagles: Foles is making steady progress
Bengals: They’re 4-1 in their last five games
EDGE TO EAGLES
Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com
“The day you stand in front of A.J. Green and ask him about a touchdown pass he dropped is also the day you buy all the bottled water at the grocery store. You stock up on batteries and toilet paper and you gas up the Truckster for that long ride to Montana, where you locate a hole in the earth and await the end of the world.”
Eagles guard Evan Mathis (69) vs. Atkins (97). This is a matchup between two potential Pro Bowlers. Mathis is having an outstanding season, but will face his biggest challenge against Atkins. Don’t expect the Eagles to give Mathis a lot of help. They’re confident he can handle Atkins alone.
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