The Cincinnati Bengals are traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles on Thursday Night Football in a game that is more interesting than the teams' records would make it seem.
The Bengals are still in the thick of the wild-card race in the AFC. They are currently tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the sixth seed, but the Steelers currently have the tiebreaker. The Bengals desperately need to keep winning to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Eagles, while no longer in the playoff hunt, are still trying to figure out if quarterback Nick Foles is worth building around in the future. For that reason, Foles and the Eagles offense will still be motivated to succeed in this game.
Fans of battles in the trenches will enjoy watching Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins go up against Eagles guard Evan Mathis. These are two of the top players at their respective positions, and the winner of this matchup could help decide this game.
On the other side of the ball, Andy Dalton should find success against a shoddy Eagles pass defense. The Dalton to A.J. Green connection has grown into one of the game's strongest, and fireworks should fly between the two in this game.
When: Thursday, Dec. 13 at 8:20 p.m. ET
Where: Lincoln Financial Field: Philadelphia, Pa.
Watch: NFL Network
Betting Line: Cincinnati -3 (Vegas Insider)
What's at Stake?
The Bengals absolutely need to win out to make the playoffs, making this matchup a make-or-break game. With games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens to close the season, the Bengals need a win here to ensure these two games will actually matter.
The Eagles, on the other hand, are simply playing for the future. Foles is trying to earn the starting job for next year, and head coach Andy Reid might still be fighting for his job.
Philadelphia Eagles Injury Report (via Philadelphiaeagles.com)
|S Nate Allen||Shoulder||Probable|
|CB Nnamdi Asomugha||Neck, Quad||Probable|
|TE Brent Celek||Concussion||Out|
|FS Kurt Coleman||Chest||Out|
|FB Stanley Havili||Ankle||Probable|
|LB Mychal Kendricks||Shoulder||Probable|
|WR Jeremy Maclin||Groin||Probable|
|G Evan Mathis||Ankle||Probable|
|RB LeSean McCoy||Concussion||Out|
|DT Mike Patterson||Illness||Out|
|RB Chris Polk||Toe||Questionable|
|G/C Dallas Reynolds||Ankle||Probable|
|QB Michael Vick||Concussion, Illness||Out|
Cincinnati Bengals Injury Report (via Cincinnatibengals.com)
|G Clint Boling||Illness||Probable|
|LB Vontaze Burfict||Shoulder||Probable|
|DE Carlos Dunlap||Calf||Probable|
|DE Michael Johnson||Toe||Questionable|
|CB Dre Kirkpatrick||Head||Out|
|LB Rey Maualuga||Shoulder||Probable|
|K Mike Nugent||Calf||Doubtful|
|RB Cedric Peerman||Ankle||Doubtful|
|LB Dan Skuta||Back||Probable|
Dalton is a nice sleeper candidate against an Eagles defense that has struggled badly of late. The Eagles have given up multiple passing touchdowns in seven straight games, a streak that should continue against the Bengals.
That makes Green one of the top fantasy options at receiver this week. He should post big numbers against this defense.
For the Eagles, recommending any of their players is difficult. Bryce Brown was a fantasy revelation until a horrific performance against the Buccaneers in Week 14. He probably can't be trusted.
I already alluded to it, but Atkins and Mathis are two of the best at their position, and they will be going head to head in this game. If Atkins gets regular pressure, then the Eagles won't have a fighting chance in this game. Mathis will have to be at his best to help keep this offense humming.
I just don't see a way the Eagles can stop Green and the Bengals offense. Foles has a good chance to continue his momentum from last week, but it won't be enough to beat a superior Bengals team.
Cincinnati 27, Philadelphia 20