The last time the Bengals played to a tie was week nine in 1969 (November 9, 1969) when the Bengals and Houston Oilers finished at 31 apiece (ironically enough, this is advertised on the Bengals loading screen on Madden 2009). In a game that displayed total offensive incompetence by both teams, aided by tremendous defensive performances, the Bengals and Eagles played five full quarters and finished with a13-point tie.
Offensively the Bengals were terrible. Giving up eight sacks made Ryan Fitzpatrick nervous later in the game, bailing out of the pocket when he was probably safer leaving his crazy legs on the sideline. Nearly each time he rolled out, he was met with an Eagles defender that didn't figure to get the sack initially.
The Bengals left points on the field, if not for a sack that took them out of field goal position, then a first-and-goal at the one-yard line that loses a yard on three plays. The play-calling was suspect throughout the game (see my What the Hell moments below).
All in all, I thought this game was entertaining and enjoyable as a fan of football. As a fan of the Bengals, too many frustrations exist for me to claim this anything short of a loss. We had our opportunities; when we didn't convert, we had suspicious play calling with tendencies (see double tight end formations and run) and outside pitch runs on very short down distances.
Here's some notes to get you boys started to recap the game.
- There was 102 attempted passes in the game (58 by McNabb, 44 by Fitzpatrick)
- Neither team established the run. Cedric Benson's 13-yard rush early in the third quarter was the team's longest rush attempt, finishing with 56 team yards rushing on 30 attempts.
- Benson's 79 yards total from the line of scrimmage was eight yards better than Brian Westbrook's 71 yards total from scrimmage.
- T.J. Houshmandzadeh finished the game with 149 yards receiving on 12 attempts and a 26-yard touchdown receptions.
- Brandon Johnson (six tackles, interception) and Chris Crocker (four tackles, sack, interception) are two backup players with solid performances.
- Robert Geathers has a sack in each of the past two games. His sack against the Eagles forced a McNabb fumble that was recovered by Frostee Rucker and returned to the one-yard line -- the Bengals lost a yard on three plays and were forced to kick a field goal.
- Pat Sims, John Thornton and Domata Peko combined for four tackles. That might sound bad, but defensive tackles with low tackle numbers isn't necessarily a bad thing; provided they hold up the offensive line for the linebackers to freely roam.
- The Bengals had 19 first downs; 13 through the air.
- The Eagles (391) had 99 more yards total than the Bengals (282).
- There were 21 punts in the game (Eagles average was 36.2, Bengals average was 36.1).
- After the Bengals scored a third-quarter field goal to take a 13-3 lead, the offense punted seven times, turned it over on downs and missed the game-winning field.
- In the second half, the Eagles offense punted the ball seven times, but scored 10 points to tie the game.
- The Bengals forced six three-and-outs. The offense went three-and-out five times.
- Of the Eagles eight sacks on Ryan Fitzpatrick, five came on third down.
- The longest drive by the Bengals was a 4-play, 49 yard drive that ended with the team's lone touchdown. The Bengals only had one drive that went more than seven plays -- a 10-play, 41-yard first quarter drive that ended with a punt.
- The Bengals scored all three times in which the scoring possession started on the Eagles side of the field.
MY WHAT THE HELL MOMENT: With 8:17 left in overtime, the Bengals lined up third-and-seven at the Philadelphia 47-yard line. Bob Bratkowski calls a run to Kenny Watson. Bengals pick up no yards and have to punt. With seven yards to go, around the midfield area, why in the world are we running the ball when our average rush for the game is 1.9 yards with eight yards lost on tackles behind the line of scrimmage?
MY WHAT THE HELL MOMENT II: Bengals pitched the ball on third-and-one at the Cincinnati 29-yard line with 8:16 left in the third quarter. Whitworth let Cole go, and Cole, while unblocked, tackled Benson for a three-yard loss. Why pitch outside (when we’ve lost yards pitching the ball already in this game) when you just man up and run it up the gut?
Those are my impressions. What were yours?