The 4-9 Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off of a win, will play the 7-6 Cincinnati Bengals at Lincoln Financial Field tonight at 8:20 pm EST. The Bengals lost last week to the Dallas Cowboys and are fighting for a playoff birth. They need this game to keep up with the other AFC contenders. The Eagles showed some fight when they beat Tampa Bay last week. Things remain similar for the Eagles, continue to play the young players and prepare for next season. Rookies Nick Foles and Bryce Brown will both start tonight. Besides them there are young players all over the field who are seeing extended playing time.
TE Clay Harbor will get the start tonight as Brent Celek is out with a concussion. Clay Harbor played well in training camp and the preseason, but has not seen much action since then. Tonight will be a good opportunity for the young tight end to showcase his skills.
LB Mychal Kendricks has started all season, but recently has been moved to his natural position of weakside linebacker. Kendricks has been up and down all season, but needs a strong finish to the season to validate his place on the defense. He will most likely be a starter next season assuming he can build off his rookie season.
WR Damaris Johnson has been seeing increased playing time due to DeSean Jackson's broken ribs. Johnson is a talented speedy receiver, but the Eagles receivers are talented and deep. If Johnson wants to be a part of the future he needs to separate himself from the rest of the bunch. Jeremy Maclin is an established starting receiver, but Riley Cooper and Jason Avant have talent as well. Johnson is likely fighting to be the number three or four receiver for next season.
CB Curtis Marsh saw his most playing time of the season last week when Nhamdi Asomugha was injured during the second quarter. Nhamdi returned, but struggled mightily in the game. Marsh showed his talent in breaking up a jump ball with Mike Wallace. The Eagles cornerback situation is very cloudy for next season, so the last couple games could be important if Marsh wants to prove he is a starting caliber corner in this league.
Rookie defensive lineman Vinny Curry, Fletcher Cox, and second year man Brandon Graham have all seen increased playing time recently. The defensive line is stacked with talent so these young players need to show their value in order to solidify a role in the team's future.
Overall the Eagles will try to keep the momentum going with their second straight win and the Cincinnati Bengals appear to ripe for an upset. The game will be close, but Nick Foles behind a rejuvenated Eagles crowd will lead another fourth quarter drive to win the ball game 24-20.
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