Bengals beat mistake-prone Eagles, 34-13


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Now the Cincinnati Bengals can focus on that other Pennsylvania team.

Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score, an opportunistic defense forced five turnovers and Cincinnati beat the Philadelphia Eagles 34-13 on Thursday night.

The Bengals (8-6) took a half-game lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers for the last playoff spot in the AFC. But their game at Pittsburgh next week is far more important in the standings than this one.

“We’ve got nothing to celebrate here,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “But we won and we do have some time to get ready for Pittsburgh.”

The Bengals would clinch their second straight playoff berth with a win over the Steelers if Pittsburgh loses at Dallas this Sunday. A loss to the Steelers, though, likely would ruin Cincinnati’s chances because it would lose the tiebreaker.

“Our goal is to win games. Period. We did that. Doesn’t matter how we got there,” cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones said. “We can be better. We can be higher. And that’s what we take from this game. Listen, we all know we need to play better as a defense next week. Because we have ourselves a big one next week.”

The Eagles’ season was lost a long time ago. They fell to 4-10, losing double-digit games for the first time since 2005, the year after losing the Super Bowl to New England.

There were plenty of empty seats at the Linc, where fans are hoping this is Andy Reid’s final season as coach. Reid led the Eagles to nine playoff appearances, six division titles and five NFC championship games in his first 13 years. But the Eagles will miss the playoffs for the second straight year and owner Jeffrey Lurie already said 8-8 would be “unacceptable.”

“Five turnovers, 31 points. That says it all,” Reid said. “Guys played hard, but you can’t have those turnovers. You have to take care of the ball. Guys have to do it. I take full responsibility for them.”

An interception by Leon Hall set up Dalton’s go-ahead 11-yard TD run in the third quarter. Then Wallace Gilberry picked up Bryce Brown’s fumble and ran it back 25 yards for another score and an 11-point lead.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 106 yards, including a 1-yard TD run in the first quarter for Cincinnati. Dalton tossed a 5-yard TD pass to A.J. Green in the fourth to cap a 24-point outburst in a span of 3:23.

The Eagles committed three turnovers on three straight possessions at one point and then fumbled a kickoff when defensive lineman Cedric Thornton let the ball fall through his hands on a short kick.