Bengals Kiss Their Sister, Tie Philly 13-13

For just the second time in team history the Bengals ended a game in a tie. It only felt like a loss.

Shayne Graham's 47-yard field goal attempt with seven seconds remaining in overtime went just to the right of the uprights and the Bengals and Philadelphia finished Sunday's game deadlocked, 13-13.

"There's not much to say, just disappointment," said Graham, who entered the game as the NFL's No. 3 all-time kicker in field goal accuracy. "All I can do is ask my team for a chance, and they gave it to me. I'm really disappointed. I don't think there's anyone more disappointed than me. I feel like I'm better than that. I'll have a lot of time to think about it, but what makes a good competitor is someone who stays consistent. I can't let this get me down."

It was just the second miss of the season for Graham, who is now 13 of 15 on field goals. His only other miss was against Tennessee in Week 2 when he hit the right upright from 37 yards out on a day that remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through Cincinnati.

The non-loss improves the Bengals record to 1-8-1, while Philadelphia goes to 5-4-1. It is just the second tie in Bengals history – the only other tie in franchise history was on Nov. 9, 1969, at the Astrodome against the Houston Oilers, 31-31.

It was the Bengals' second overtime game this season. They lost 26-23 against the New York Giants back in Week 3 at the Meadowlands. The Bengals had lost their last three overtime games since beating Pittsburgh, 26-23, on Dec. 30, 2001.

Philadelphia outgained the Bengals 391-282 even though the Bengals had a time of possession advantage of almost 8½ minutes on the Eagles. The Bengals never trailed in the game and led 13-3 after Graham made a 41-yard field goal with 10:25 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles rallied on a 4-yard pass from Donovan McNabb to L.J. Smith in the third quarter and a 27-yard field goal by David Akers with 5:18 left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

The teams combined for 21 punts in the game after converting just 7 of 38 third-down chances. Despite the large offensive totals by the Eagles, the Bengals defense repeatedly put them in position to win the game. The Bengals intercepted McNabb three times and forced him to fumble once.

"We play the game to win and we did some good things but we have to finish," said defensive end Robert Geathers. "We have to keep them from scoring. If they don't score we win the game no matter what the offense does or doesn't do. Ultimately it's up to us once we have the lead."

Geathers sacked McNabb and forced a fumble at the Philadelphia 13 in the final minute of the first quarter. Fellow defensive end Frostee Rucker picked up the loose ball at the Eagles 7 and came up less than one yard short of scoring. That, as it turned out, came back to haunt the Bengals.

Philadelphia stopped two running plays and then quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's pass to Chris Henry went incomplete as the Bengals had to settle for a 20-yard field goal by Graham.

"It's very disappointing," said right guard Bobbie Williams. "They had the right defense lined up. Guys were on guys. It's very frustrating. As offensive linemen we take pride in that and to not get a touchdown is very frustrating to have to settle for three."

Fitzgerald was sacked eight times for 35 yards in losses. The Eagles had 12 tackles for loss total in the game and stopped Cincinnati ball carriers for no gain six other times.

The Bengals lone touchdown came with :33 left in the first half when Fitzpatrick hit T.J. Houshmandzadeh for a 26-yard touchdown pass to give the Bengals a 10-3 lead. Houshmandzadeh had 12 catches for 149 yards.

"It almost feels like we lost because we were winning the majority of the game," said Houshmandzadeh. "We were winning the majority of the game, the defense played great, I thought a lot of guys sucked it up on offense that were banged up – guys like Levi (Jones) – and for whatever reason we had great field position in overtime and couldn't get it done."

Jones, the Bengals left tackle, left the game in the first quarter with an unspecified leg injury and was replaced by left guard Andrew Whitworth. Scott Kooistra entered the game to play left guard. Jones had to return in the third quarter when Whitworth went down with an injury to his right ankle.

Jones played the remainder of the game but declined comment afterwards. Whitworth left the locker room with a protective boot on his right ankle and walking on crutches.

So the Bengals have now not lost a game in the last three weeks after starting the season with eight consecutive defeats. Of course that stretch includes just one win; the team had a bye week before Sunday's tie.

"Our frustration level is high right now," said Fitzpatrick. "The defense played well and we had some opportunities in the fourth quarter and in overtime that we didn't capitalize on. This is a tough game to swallow."


Bengals Insider Top Stories