What do Carson Wentz and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside have in common?
Both players lined up at wide receiver for the Eagles in Sunday’s 23-23 tie with the visiting Cincinnati Bengals. But neither Wentz nor Arcega-Whiteside was targeted, or caught a pass.
In Wentz’s case, it was only for three snaps, in which Doug Pederson let second-round rookie Jalen Hurts run a few wildcat-type plays from the shotgun. Hurts carried twice for 8 yards and handed off to Miles Sanders. He still hasn’t thrown an NFL pass.
Overall, the Eagles ran 36 times for 175 yards. Though it sounds strange to say, they could have run more, especially in the second half, with Dallas Goedert and DeSean Jackson sidelined by injuries, and Wentz throwing to Deontay Burnett and John Hightower.
With Jalen Reagor (thumb) out, Jackson or Hightower should have been the long-range option against the 0-2 Bengals, But Jackson caught just two passes for 11 yards before suffering a hamstring strain, and Hightower’s two catches amounted to 19 yards. The Eagles' longest successful pass play came on Wentz’s best throw of the day, 30 yards to Zach Ertz in overtime.
Speaking of overtime, the Eagles ran 14 plays in the extra period and gained 56 yards. But they lost 25 yards on penalties, and never got to kick a field goal. The Bengals, in whose hands Pederson did not want to risk putting the ball at the end, gained 24 yards on 12 overtime snaps.
Fletch guts it out
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, listed as questionable, was active for the 128th time in 131 possible Eagles games, and he picked up his first sack of the season.
Cox, 29, suffered an oblique (abdominal) strain in last week’s loss to the Rams.
Inactive Sunday were quarterback Nate Sudfeld, wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (foot) and Jalen Reagor (thumb), running back Jason Huntley, safety Rudy Ford (groin), defensive end Casey Toohill, and offensive lineman Jamon Brown. Isaac Seumalo is on injured reserve.
Wide receiver Deontay Burnett, safety Grayland Arnold, and offensive lineman Sua Opeta were active for the first time.
But what about the trophy?
Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and his brother, Eagles passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach Press Taylor, have a homemade trophy their parents keep for them, on which is recorded each victory one achieves over the other. Does it have a place for ties?
“I’ve never tied in my life,” the Bengals' Taylor said Sunday. “It feels strange, for sure. I know it sure as hell doesn’t feel like we won, that’s what I can tell you. There were so many opportunities we had out there. ... There was no game-changing moment that took the game over for us.”