[Taking a quarter-by-quarter look at the big plays of the game.]
CARLOS DUNLAP FUMBLE
When the evening was over and the lights went dark, the Philadelphia Eagles had lost four fumbles on the evening -- a huge catalyst for Cincinnati's eventual recovery. Trust me. Hope had departed these bones and another disappointing primetime performance had me shaking my head. Yet the tale of three football games presented an optimistic opening for Cincinnati.
Philadelphia's first fumble came on the second play of the game during a bubble screen to Jeremy Maclin, who picked up the first down and jiggle-belled his feet searching for rushing lanes. Carlos Dunlap approached from behind with the intention of dislodging the football from Maclin's hands and nothing else. Domata Peko recovered the fumble at Philadelphia's 44-yard line with 14:11 remaining in the first.
BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS DOMINATION
It's interesting and fascinating watching BenJarvus Green-Ellis sprint through massive lanes for big gains. It's like the critical moment in an action movie. The film slows down, voices drop a decibel while a surprisingly fragile tube that contains a lethal biological weapon flips through the air. Yet Green-Ellis is still picking up chunks of yards, thanks to an offensive line that transitioned from great pass protectors to great run blockers, swapping the negative traits to the other.
Following Peko's fumble recovery, the Bengals have first down at the Eagles 44-yard line. Jermaine Gresham neutralized the defensive end while a pulling Kevin Zeitler sealed linebacker Jamar Chaney inside and Chris Pressley kicked out safety Nate Allen. Green-Ellis took advantage of the lane and sprinted 29 yards down the right boundary before being pushed out at the Eagles 15-yard line. It pushed him over 1,000 yards rushing for the season.
When it was said and done, Green-Ellis carried the football on four of the team's five plays during the possession, scoring a touchdown on third and goal from the one-yard line, giving Cincinnati a 7-0 lead.
DAN HERRON INDIRECT BLOCK
With 9:59 remaining in the first, Dan Herron, suddenly the most fearsome rusher on punt team in the NFL, pushed wide receiver Marvin McNutt into punter Mat McBriar. Herron tracked down and recovered the butt blocked punt at Philadelphia's 11-yard line. Due to a quarterback sack on second down, the Bengals were unable to pick up a first down or score a touchdown, forced into a field goal taking a 10-0 lead.
ADAM JONES PASS DEFENSE
Better and better. Bengals cornerback Adam Jones just keeps getting better, playing more like the solid cornerback he was earlier during his career. Not only are his coverages better with improved timing, but he's more aggressive today than he's been most of the season. Let's call it confidence.
It's third and six on Cincinnati's 45-yard line with 5:31 remaining in the first quarter when Nick Foles took the shotgun snap, looking for Riley Cooper's quick slant to the left. Jones stuck with Cooper through the slant, even immediately recovering after being slightly turned around, jumping the route and disrupting Cooper's attempt to post the conversion. Fourth down. Eagles punt.