NOVEMBER 16, 2008
The Bengals took the Giants into overtime before losing back in September and the Eagles went to the wire Sunday night before losing a slugfest to the Super Bowl champions. Cincinnati can make it tight again if it brings the same smashmouth mentality that allowed it to beat Jacksonville before the bye, although the chairman of the Bengals.com roundtable gives the solid edge to the Eagles.
"Yeah, they had a physical game and Cincinnati has had some rest," says The Guru, a former top football exec in the NFL. "But Philly is still in this thing at 5-4 and playing for survival. I like their defense against the inexperience of what the Bengals have at quarterback."
The Eye, an NFL scout that evaluates talent in both conferences, says the Bengals can win if they take advantage of some favorable matchups: "Run the ball on the Eagles' smallish defensive line and get their athletic wide receivers open against the blitz in the secondary. You want to keep the Eagles offense off the field because of all its variety and when you're out there you have to make sure the gimmicks with the motions and reverses don't catch you."
And if the Bengals are going to win they have to be smart because with Andy Reid calling the plays and Jim Johnson calling the defenses, the Eagles are one of the most well-coached teams in the league.
"They aren't going to sit there and pound you on either side of the ball," The Guru says. "They're going to use schemes and matchups and be aggressive."