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News » Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2008-11-13

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2008-11-13

Cincinnati Bengals Inside Slant 2008-11-13
To win their second game in a row after an 0-8 start to the season, the Bengals will have to defeat a much better opponent than Jacksonville, against whom they escaped with a 21-19 victory in Week 9.

After their bye week, the Bengals will play host to the Philadelphia Eagles, who are coming off a bitter NFC East division loss to the Giants and in need of a victory to stay in playoff contention.

The Eagles are a talented team and will be making their first visit to nine-year-old Paul Brown Stadium. The Eagles rank in the NFL's top 10 in scoring (fourth), scoring defense (10th), net offense (seventh) and net defense (ninth). They also rank tied for fifth

The Bengals face no playoff pressure, though coach Marvin Lewis has instilled his team with the idea of "running the table," finishing with seven consecutive victories to finish 8-8.

"That's a chance to prove it," Lewis said when asked if skeptics have doubted his word that the Bengals are indeed a better team than their 1-8 record would indicate. "You've got to go put the work in, the preparation, and go get the execution and make the plays on Sunday that bear that out. That's important. The first step is obviously the preparation and so forth for the Eagles and then going out on Sunday and executing and making the plays to win the football game."

Fourth-year pro Ryan Fitzpatrick will make his sixth start and fifth in a row in place of the injured Carson Palmer (throwing elbow). The Bengals began the Jacksonville game with their most dominant stretch of the season. They went 84 and 88 yards for touchdowns on their first two possessions, and they led 21-3 at the 9:15 mark of the third quarter.

"We said we had to start making plays right out of the gate and just keep on hitting them," Lewis said.

Eagles coach Andy Reid, whose team needs a victory at 5-4 to stay in playoff contention in the rugged NFC East, said his team is not looking past the Bengals.

"There is no time to dwell on that; we're playing a good football team," Reid said of coming off the Giants loss. "We understand that. Any team that can get after Jacksonville the way the Bengals did, you don't have time to linger on things in the past."

The Jacksonville game featured more Cincinnati yards (312) and first downs (20) than in any Bengals game this year except an overtime loss at the Giants. It also featured a 100-yard rushing day for tailback Cedric Benson (24-104), the first 100-yard rushing game by a Bengal since Game 15 of last season, when Kenny Watson gained 130 against Cleveland.

SERIES HISTORY: 11th regular-season meeting. Bengals lead the series, 7-3, including 3-0 in games played in Cincinnati, all at the former Riverfront Stadium. The Bengals won the first five games of the series, but the Eagles broke through in 1991 with their first series win, and they have won three of the last five. The Bengals won the last meeting, 38-10 at Philadelphia in the 2004 regular-season finale, in which the Eagles rested starters with a playoff seed already clinched. The Bengals have not played host to Philadelphia since 1994.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 13, 2008

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