Sunday, December 4, 2016

Eagles and Bengals Set to Battle it Out at Paul Brown Stadium

The Eagles' postseason plans are on life support right now with just two wins in their last six games following a promising 3-0 start. They fell prey to Green Bay this past Monday night in a game that they never really had a chance to win. This Sunday they face the Cincinnati Bengals, who are trying to snap a three-game losing streak as part of a very disappointing 3-7-1 record on the year. The good news for the faithful fans of both teams is that someone has to win this game (unless there is another tie). We are all hoping it will be our beloved Birds since one more loss would probably be the final stake in the heart of any possible playoff run.

I have been rather complimentary of the job that first-year head coach Doug Pederson has done so far, but the honeymoon is over following a couple of sketchy performances the past two weeks from a team that did not appear to be ready to play. Even when they lost games earlier in the season the Eagles were always competitive, but they had that 'deer in the headlights' look on their faces in back-to-back losses to Seattle and Green Bay. A lackluster effort this Sunday against the floundering Bengals would surely have to cast a shadow of doubt on Pederson's ability to be a head coach at this level.

There is still enough talent on this team to go toe-to-toe against any other team in the league including Dallas, but slow starts, bad penalties and inconsistent play on both sides of the ball are not traits of a team headed in the right direction. I still remain confident that Philly can make a run at wild card spot in the NFC, but it is pretty obvious that its margin for error is now razor thin. I am going with the Birds to start that run with a win at Cincinnati this week to set up a huge showdown at home against Washington next Sunday in a NFC East division battle that could have major playoff implications if the Redskins cannot get past Arizona on the road this week.

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