Eagles Could Prove A Spoiler as 3 1/2-Point Underdog Against Cincinnati Bengals
The Philadelphia Eagles showed they still have a little fight left in them when coming back to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the final play Sunday and snap an eight-game losing streak. Now they will face a quick turnaround and host the playoff-hungry Cincinnati Bengals Thursday night.
Rookie quarterback Nick Foles continued to show signs he could have a future in Philadelphia in what was just his fourth career start. He spearheaded the Eagles 23-21 comeback win over the Bucs with two touchdown passes late in the fourth quarter, the last one being a one-yarder to Jeremy Maclin with no time left on the clock. Foles finished with 381 yards through the air on 32 of 51 passing.
Cincinnati (7-6) remains in a dogfight for the final AFC playoff spot following a heartbreaking 20-19 home loss to the Dallas Cowboys. This week’s NFL odds have the Bengals installed as a 3 1/2-point favorite over the Eagles.
Philadelphia was able to beat Tampa Bay despite a running game that was virtually non-existent. In fact, Foles 27 rushing yards led the Eagles. Rookie running back Bryce Brown, who has shown flashes of ability the last few weeks, was held to just six yards on 12 carries against the Bucs. This week the Eagles face a solid Bengals defense unit that ranks 10th in the NFL both against the run and the pass.
With DeSean Jackson out for the season with injury, Foles found a new target against the Bucs in Jason Avant. The veteran wide receiver had one of the best games of his career with seven catches for 133 yards, including a key fourth-down catch on the Eagles game-winning drive.
Cincinnati obviously has more incentive to win than the Eagles in this one, but perhaps by finally ending that long losing streak the Eagles will receive a boost this week. It also helps to be at home on a short-week, so look for Philadelphia to keep this one within the 3 1/2-point spread.