Marvin Lewis has coached the Cincinnati Bengals for 10 years. He's made three postseason appearances and been one-and-done all three times. Contrast Lewis' record with Andy Reid's over the years, and you may appreciate Big Red's body of work a little more.
The Bengals are backed in a corner right now. At 7-6 after a tough loss to Dallas on Sunday, they pretty much have to run the table to have hope of beating out their AFC North rivals (Pittsburgh and Baltimore) for either a division title or a wild card.
This hungry team comes to Philly Thursday night a little tired and beat up, but with all the motivation they could need to play well before a national audience. The Eagles for their part at least proved in Tampa they are still playing for pride and jobs, so the Bengals expect a tough fight.
The strength of the Bengals' defense has been their line, which has used an eight-man rotation to wear down opponents.Their goal is interior disruption.
The Bengals will attempt to bounce back from a costly defeat when they visit the Eagles on Thursday night. Cincinnati was in line for a fifth straight win before allowing 10 points in the closing minutes of a 20-19 home loss to Dallas on Sunday.
"We have the opportunity to still control our own destiny, from now until the end," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "We still have an opportunity to win the division. We still have an opportunity to qualify for the playoffs in a couple of ways. That's all we can ask for."
"We let a huge opportunity get away. We had a lead, and we didn't protect the lead very well on offense nor defense. That's what's disappointing."
Cincinnati had not allowed more than 13 points in its previous four games and held its fourth straight opponent to fewer than 300 yards, but it could not make stops late. Tony Romo engineered an eight-play drive that concluded with a 27-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant with 6:35 left. The Cowboys' winning field goal capped a 13-play, 50-yard drive.
Cincinnati's Andy Dalton threw for 206 yards with a TD and an interception, getting sacked five times. Dalton has been picked off three times in the last two games after not throwing an INT in the previous month.
A.J. Green was held to three receptions for 44 yards and failed to score for a third consecutive game after finding the end zone in nine straight. He had two key drops, one of which could have gone for a touchdown in the third quarter.
"We've got to store this in, let it eat at us and make people pay for it," offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said.
A quick look at the Bengals' injury report for Thursday night:
DB Dre Kirkpatrick…concussion…doubtful to play.
LB Vontaze Burfict…shoulder…questionable.
DE Carlos Dunlap…calf…probable.
DE Michael Johnson…toe…probable.
LB Ray Maualuga…shoulder…questionable.
K Mike Nugent…calf…doubtful (Bengals will probably roll with Josh Brown)
RB Cedric Peerman…ankle…questionable.
LB Dan Skuta…back…questionable.
The Bengals have had issues in their secondary and the interior of their offensive line. We'll take a little closer look at those in our next blurb.
GRAND FINALE of the 2012 BRI SUKS EGG FANCY FOOTBALL Playoffs… Behold your new champion, DEM STINKIN' BUMS, owned and managed by ATV, aka Chris Ruggiero, who outlasted JB's BRI SLAPPERS 121-94 to take the crown.
DEM BUMS finished with a 9-5 overall record for the year. Most of that winning came late in the season as the team got hot at the right time.
Chris Ruggiero (ATV) earlier this season at the Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals game in Phoenix…
ATV's winning edge in the final game against JB99 was the production he got out of Tony Romo, Knowshon Moreno, Victor Cruz and the Bears defense. Meanwhile, JB got disappointing performances from Arian Foster, A.J. Green and the Colts' defense.
It's been a prolific year for ATV, who's also a leading contributor to this site with nearly 40,000 points of light so far…and is 1 home run "first" away from 100 career total 'taters between here and PE.com.
In the consolation ladder, Leo's Skunk Apes, Harry HA HA, Beano's Stalkers and BIG BONE all won their final games. Last year's big FF winner Jerky Ninjapack (Matt Sumlin) graciously passed the BSE Trophy to ATV last night in Reno, and both men embraced in the celebration. It was a fun event to cover, despite the mysterious gnashing sound coming from the Brozer dressing room.