Keys to Victory
1. Pressure on Dalton. Despite the departures of Jason Babin and Jim Washburn, the Eagles' defensive line showed only marginal improvement Sunday against Tampa Bay. Fletcher Cox and Cullen Jenkins recorded first-half sacks, but both could be considered coverage sacks. The defense as a whole played better, although it broke down once again in the second half. To beat the Bengals, defensive ends Brandon Graham, Trent Cole, and Co. are going to have to apply some pressure on quarterback Andy Dalton. He has been sacked 32 times this season, so it's not as if he has been untouchable.
2. Brown time. Bryce Brown has to do better than the 6 yards he gained on 12 carries against Tampa Bay. It's just that simple. The rookie running back didn't receive much support from his offensive line, and the constant calling of stretch plays was overdone. But Brown can't be thinking that he can always bounce it outside and get around the corner. Defensive players are just too fast in this league. So Marty Mornhinweg needs to be a little more innovative with his play-calling and Brown has to get better at running north and south.
3. More Maclin. Jeremy Maclin has been a disappointment this season. Poised for a breakout season - considering his contract situation - the fourth-year receiver has been just a guy for most of the season. Some have even questioned his toughness. But Maclin had his best game Sunday, catching nine passes for 104 yards. With DeSean Jackson out for the rest of the season, there's no reason Maclin shouldn't be the centerpiece of the Eagles' passing attack. - Jeff McLane