Top Plays of 2012: The Dunlap fumble against the Eagles

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our look at the top plays of 2012, the Cincinnati Bengals needed a win to rebound against a bad loss to the Cowboys. The defense established early momentum against the Eagles.

Here's the situation.

The Bengals were 7-6 heading into week 14, visiting the Philadelphia Eagles. Cincinnati, at the time, needed a win to rebound from a classic choke-job, losing to the Dallas Cowboys who had overcame a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Bengals.

Cincinnati's defense opened the game and they had every intention of giving the Bengals early momentum.

They did.

It's second down and one from the Eagles 28-yard line with over 14 minutes remaining in the first quarter.


Nick Foles takes the shotgun snap and immediately turns to his right. Jeremy Maclin, motioning from the right, takes a false-step up-field but then drops back to catch the bubble screen while the Eagles offensive line departs.


Eagles right tackle Dennis Kelly allows Dunlap an inside rush, then pivots and turns into the Bengals defensive end. In the meantime, Maclin runs upfield and due to some congestion, is forced to shift around. At the same time Dunlap cleared Kelly by taking the long way around the right tackle and Rey Maualuga cleared his blocker.


Right guard Jake Scott cleared Vontaze Burfict and Terence Newman while Maualuga over-shot Maclin. Yet with all of this shuffling, the Eagles receiver had no idea that Dunlap was pursuing.


Dunlap extended his right arm, knocking the football out, which was eventually recovered by Domata Peko. The Bengals offense responded with a 44-yard drive on six plays (five of them runs by Green-Ellis), capped by a one-yard touchdown by Green-Ellis to take a 7-0 lead.

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