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Teams that left a lot of possible points on the board last week will aim for their second NFL preseason betting victory of the season when the Philadelphia Eagles collide with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Philadelphia Eagles (+3) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Friday, August 20th
8:00 ET, Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
Eagles Notes: The good news for the Eagles is that they picked up seven offensive scoring drives in last week's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The bad news is that five of those seven scoring drives were only worth three points. More good news: The team won the game. The bad news? A 28-27 final wasn't good enough to beat the NFL preseason betting lines. However, there was clearly more good than bad going on for HC Andy Reid to digest. The response for his new starting QB Kevin Kolb was a positive one, as he ended up going 6-for-11 for 95 yards, leading the Eagles on two field goal drives. His backup QB Michael Vick looked about as good as he has since his pre-dog fighting Atlanta Falcons days. Vick went 11-for-17 for 119 yards and rushed for 50 yards and a TD in the 'W'. Even the rushing game looked good, as RB LeSean McCoy racked up 30 yards in limited duty, while reserve RB Martell Mallett went for 60 yards and a score on 15 carries. The problem came defensively, where the Eagles conceded four passes of at least 30 yards. In general, they let backup QB Luke McCown pick them apart, which is a bad sign for a secondary that is already banged up as it is. Apparently, there isn't much in the way of depth either.
Bengals Notes: Typically, the third preseason game is the one where the starters get the most reps for their teams. There is a big question mark whether HC Marvin Lewis will subscribe to this thought or not considering the fact that Cincinnati still has two more exhibitions before the regular season. Lewis allowed Palmer to throw the ball all over the field, as he went 12-of-15 for 105 yards in the Bengals' 33-24 win over the Denver Broncos last week. Newcomer WR Terrell Owens was second on the team in catches with four, though his counterpart WR Chad Ochocinco was rather missing in action with just one catch for four yards. The running attack was what really kept the Bengals going last week. All four running backs on the depth chart ran for at least 30 yards, and each toted the rock at least eight times. Needless to say, Cincinnati dominated time of possession, winning that battle by nearly a 2:1 margin. The Bengals ended the day with 409 total yards of offense, 191 of which came on the ground. Denver had to punt the ball six times and turned it over three times in its defeat. The Bengals are now 1-1 SU and ATS on the preseason after arguably their first even remotely impressive game since last December.
The Final Word: In our eyes, this game is a total tossup. Vick and Kolb should be playing the majority of the game for the Eagles, and in spite of the fact that Palmer might play a little bit more than he did last week, we don't feel as though there is that much of a drop off from the second teamers for the Eagles and the first teamers for the Bengals. Yes, home field advantage scares us just a tad, but the bottom line is that Philadelphia has just as good of a chance to win this game if it wants to as the Bengals do. We'll take our chances catching a field goal and predict a close outright victory. This one could clearly go either way, though.
Prediction: Eagles 21 – Bengals 20