PHILADELPHIA — In another miserable performance, the Philadelphia Eagles put together a year's worth of blunders fit for a football follies video.
A 34-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night featured four fumbles, one interception and one punt blocked by a teammate. That brought the Eagles' turnovers total to an NFL-high 34 in 14 games. They've only forced 12.
Turnovers destroy you in this league, coach Andy Reid said Friday, stating the obvious. If we didn't know it before, we know it now.
Lucky for the Eagles (4-10) and their frustrated fans, only two games remain in this nightmare season.
I was thoroughly embarrassed, wide receiver Jason Avant said after another loss in front of a national television audience. I don't care if there were no cameramen there or if we were playing over at the University of Penn. That type of thing that happened was embarrassing wherever you are, even if you're in the sandlot. So, never mind that it was on a national stage, it was just not good football that happened. It just wasn't good.
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin started the giveaways by fumbling on the second play from scrimmage. On Philadelphia's next possession, there were a series of comical mistakes that occurred when the punting unit took the field.
First, rookie linebacker Ryan Rau, who only plays special teams, didn't realize the Eagles were punting so he stood on the sideline. Tight end Clay Harbor noticed only 10 men out there and ran out at the last second, but one rusher broke free on the outside. Wide receiver Marvin McNutt tried to block him only to get pushed into punter Mat McBriar's kick.
Those two gaffes led to 10 points for the Bengals. But the Eagles rallied to take a 13-10 lead into the third quarter.
Then, they unraveled.
The Eagles allowed 24 points in a span of 3:23. Three straight possessions went interception-fumble-fumble. That was followed up by another fumble when defensive lineman Cedric Thornton tried to catch a short kickoff.
The emergence of rookie quarterback Nick Foles has been one of the few bright spots in a dismal season, but he took a step backward against the Bengals. After throwing for 381 yards, including a game-winning TD pass on the final play to snap Philadelphia's eight-game losing streak, Foles was just 16 of 33 for 182 yards with one TD pass and a pick against the Bengals.
He underthrew Maclin on a deep pass that still went for a long gain in the second quarter. He underthrew him again on what should've been a long TD pass and got intercepted in the third quarter. That started the parade of turnovers.
at Philadelphia Eagles
1 p.m. Dec. 22, FOX56