In the words of Jackie Moon…"EVERYBODY PANIC!.” Okay well don’t but everyone is becoming concerned because the Eagles are not looking like the team we have seen in the past couple of seasons and starting 0-2 is not the outcome we all were hoping for. There are so many things going wrong for this team at the moment, I can understand why there are fans beginning to lose hope already. With injuries that keep coming and bad play calling (only to name a few issues), you start to wonder... has this season failed? Being the semi-optimistic fan that I am, I have not quite reached that point yet but seeing how they played last Sunday against the Rams, I’m beginning to have my doubts. This week, it’s the battle of the winless teams.
As I had previously said, the Cincinnati Bengals are headed into Philadelphia looking for the first win of the season. Last Thursday, they had come close to their first win, but in the end, they lost to the Cleveland Browns 35-30. Coming off their loss, they had an extra couple days to rest and structure a plan to finally get a win. The Bengals have something special in Joe Burrow. He hasn’t been perfect, but that’s to be expected from a rookie quarterback. He has a fire and level of energy that cannot be compared and is here to compete and prove any naysayers wrong. In the past couple of weeks, he has made some throws in crucial moments and has shown his ability to keep his team in games. He has thrown the ball a lot in his first two games in the NFL -- 61 total throws and 37 of those were completed for 316 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Although the Bengals do not have much going for them other than Burrow, they have a receiver that led in kick return average last season in Brandon Wilson. Wilson finished with 31.3 yards per kick return in 12 games last season, and is already averaging 43.7 yards per kick returns through two games this year. The Eagles special team made a big play last week when forcing a fumble on a punt so they’ll have to be locked in once again this week.
With one of the worst defenses in the league, the Bengals are hoping some of their weapons can make a return and help them stop the ground game. Like the Eagles, the Bengals have also been riddled with injuries. The two receivers the Eagles have to keep a close eye on our A.J Green and Tyler Boyd with Boyd outperforming Green thus far in 2020. With 11 rec, 105 yards, and 1 touchdown, Tyler Boyd is looking like the go-to guy for Burrow.
Oh, Eagles...where do I start? At least, they’re crushing everyone’s hopes and dreams at the beginning of the season instead of at a crucial moment where they need to win. But we have to stay positive and beating a winless team might be the motivation this struggling team needs to bounce back from two ugly losses. The last time the Eagles were 0-2 and made the playoffs was in 2003. Since 1990, 247 teams started 0-2 and only 30 of them have made the playoffs. The team has not beaten the Bengals in their past four meetings, so maybe it’s time to break that streak.
Philadelphia struggling on both sides of the ball, as Carson Wentz completed just 26 of his 42 passes last Sunday against the Rams, finishing with 246 yards. He did not have a touchdown in that game and threw two interceptions. The Eagles are currently struggling with their passing game, so maybe they will turn the tide by relying heavily on the ground game against the Bengals. So far this season, Cincinnati has allowed 370 rushing yards on 5.0 yards per carry. They have also allowed four runs of 20+ yards and four touchdowns. Doug Pederson will need to take advantage of that.
One team will come out Sunday with their first win...let’s just hope it's the Eagles or else the city could be on fire by 5PM Sunday evening.