CINCINNATI – It felt like the bottom dropped out for the Eagles in a listless first half Sunday, their play as gray and bleak as the weather. For the first time, effort was a question, as the 3-7-1 Bengals took a 19-0 lead that seemed larger.
The 5-6 Eagles were without top receiver Jordan Matthews, who suffered an ankle injury Monday night against Green Bay, and their offense was overmatched in every area.
The offensive line couldn't consistently protect Carson Wentz (8 for 18, 67 yards) or run-block (Wendell Smallwood, 19 yards on 8 carries). In fact, it couldn't even handle the snap count, false-starting three times, including back-to-back infractions in the middle of the team's best drive, which ended with Caleb Sturgis clanking a 51-yard field-goal attempt off the right upright. Obviously, without the false starts, it's a 41-yard attempt.
The Eagles' defense was shockingly uninspired against an offense 29th in scoring coming in. The Eagles couldn't get to Andy Dalton (16 for 20, 217 yards) and couldn't cover his receivers. The Bengals scored on each of their first-half possessions.
Wentz was wildly inaccurate and was lucky not to be intercepted a couple of times.