Soooooooo, if you happened to go to sleep at halftime of the Eagles-Bengals game, well, you missed one of the more amazing seven game minutes of professional football you'll ever see. Assuming, of course, you like disasters.
Should you be lacking the sufficient time to actually hear about what happened, may I suggest clicking this link and just watching this GIF over and over again for as long as you have free time?
Because no lie, friend, the Eagles performance for a stretch in the third quarter was a clown show mixed with a train wreck and it turned a 13-10 halftime lead into a 34-13 deficit pretty quickly.
The thing is, for the first time in forever, the Eagles defense actually played well. There's a good argument that Juan Castillo was doing just fine and that maybe Jim Washburn deserves most of the blame.
Whatever, it's not that important because the Eagles imploded enough throughout the evening that it doomed them from the start. On their first possession, Nick Foles hit Jeremy Maclin for a six-yard pass ... which he promptly fumbled. Cincinnati would score a touchdown after driving 44 yards.
The second drive was even worse: Philadelphia went three-and-out and handed the ball to Mat McBriar to punt, and he kicked it right in the McNutt.
McBriar stormed off the field, understandably upset that he not only kicked into a teammate but got knocked over by said teammate. For whatever reason, Mrs. Brinson thought he looked like Louis CK, which led to me making a hilarious joke/picture combo on Twitter.
My wife just asked if Mat McBriar was Louis CK. she might be onto something: yfrog.com/ob2eyphj— Will Brinson (@willbrinson) December 14, 2012
Well, it was hilarious until Mat's wife responded anyway.
Obviously Mat McBriar looks nothing like Louis CK, but he did in that brief moment there. Anyway, where were we? Ah yes, the Eagles. The actually righted the ship, and their defense played extremely well for much of the first half: Brandon Graham was beasting and Trent Cole was looking like, well, Trent Cole.
That's why it's reasonable to think Washburn deserves some blame. The offense capitalized slightly on a pair of Andy Dalton fumbles, producing 10 points and giving them a 13-10 lead at halftime. Then things absolutely unraveled.
Foles took a deep shot to Maclin with 5:58 left in the third, badly underthrew the ball and Leon Hall picked it off. Dalton, thanks in large part to Benjarvus Green-Ellis running the ball well, led the team down for a touchdown to take the lead back.
This made everyone very happy.
But the Eagles weren't done! Not even close, actually. On the very next play from scrimmage, Foles hit Clay Harbor for 16 yards and he promptly fumbled as well.
Four plays later, the Bengals had a 27-13 lead after a Josh Brown field goal and threatened to really put things away ... so the Eagles fumbled the kickoff! Cincinnati scored a touchdown to go up 34-13 with 12:50 remaining.
So, if you're scoring at home, the Eagles managed to turn the ball over four times in seven minutes, and the only reason there's so much time involved is that it includes three scoring drives from the Bengals.
That's the kind of nightmare night it was for Philadelphia. After getting out to a 10-0 lead, the Bengals desperately tried to give the game away and still managed to walk out of Philadelphia having scored 34 points.
Don't blame the Eagles defense for this loss. The problems fall squarely on the inability to hold onto the ball; Philadelphia had some decent stretchs but still came up short in the red zone when they actually had shots to score.
It's why no matter what we hear about the future in Philadelphia, it's hard to imagine a scenario that doesn't involve a whole lot of change in the future.