The Eagles squeaked out a victory against the Bucs last week, then celebrated like they won the World Series (Before anyone cries foul, The Phillies are the only Philadelphia team to have won a major championship in 30 years, and I can’t imagine Eagles’ fans getting stoked about all the Steelers’ and Giants’ recent successes, so really, what is the city’s point of reference, besides Rocky Balboa, the Phantoms, and Roller Derby?). The Eagles’ successful strategy was to have Rookie QB Nick Foles throw it 51 times against the Bucs’ lousy secondary. That won’t work against Cincinnati.
Ah, the Bengals. They continued with their troubling pattern of coming up small when the biggest opportunities present themselves. By all rights, they should have beaten the Cowboys last week, but they made mistakes at crucial moments when they had a chance to put Dallas away, especially with key drops on offence (especially AJ Green dropping a sure TD) and defence (three dropped INTs, including one late by Terence Newman). With the Steelers losing last week, the Bengals missed a golden opportunity to jump ahead in the race for the final wild card spot.
This is another one of those games which the talented young Bengals should win. Their pass-rush should be able to pressure Foles into making mistakes, mistakes which the rest of the defence must not fail to capitalize on, while their offence should have little trouble moving the ball and controlling the clock. Not to get too far ahead of myself, but it looks like Cincy is headed for a winner-take-all showdown with Pittsburgh for that coveted last playoff berth. If that big game comes to pass, will Bengals fans be watching through their fingers?