March 2, 2021

NFL Week 3 picks: Predictions for Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles | Will 2020 season be salvaged?

The Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) will look to salvage their season on Sunday when they host the Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) at Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles are winless through two weeks, and mistakes on both sides of the ball have cost them dearly. The defense is giving up tons of yards on the ground and failing to make plays on the ball in passing situations. Meanwhile, quarterback Carson Wentz has struggled mightily, completing just 58.8% of his passes and throwing two interceptions in each of the past two outings. If the Eagles can’t turn things around against Cincinnati, their season will be officially sunk.

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The Bengals are coming off a close loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night Football in Week 2. First overall pick Joe Burrow has received national praise for his performance to start the season, but Cincinnati has yet to close on its first win. The Eagles will need to contend with A.J. Green, Joe Mixon and Tyler Boyd, who will aid Burrow in his quest for his first NFL win.

Will the Eagles bounce back against the Rams? Here’s what our NFL writers had to say:

Mike Kaye: Eagles reporter, NJ Advance Media

The Eagles need to do everything and anything they can to avoid an 0-3 start. With Carson Wentz struggling and the defense looking pretty pathetic, the Eagles will need to rely on a keep-away ball strategy with the running game.

This matchup has Miles Sanders written all over it. After a strong performance in Week 2, look for Sanders to own the field in Philly on Sunday, as the Eagles finally land their first win of the season.

PICK: Eagles 27, Bengals 23

Get betting tips on these games at nj.com/betting/nfl

Chris Franklin: Eagles reporter, NJ Advance Media

No one expected both teams to be 0-2 heading into Sunday. Eagles QB Carson Wentz has only played one good quarter this season and the offense as a whole has turned the ball over six times.

Joe Burrow has looked decent so far in his first two games in the NFL, displaying his arm talent and an ability to use his legs to get first downs or to extend plays. The problem is Burrow can’t play defense. The Bengals struggled against the Browns last week, having trouble defending the bootleg and rollouts from Browns QB Baker Mayfield.

Expect the Eagles to utilize some of the same game plan and pick up their first win of the season.

PICK: Eagles 24, Bengals 20

Zack Rosenblatt: Giants reporter, NJ Advance Media

The Eagles are a mess, Carson Wentz has regressed and with another loss, both Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman could find themselves on the hot seat. The Super Bowl window has closed, though this game, at least on paper, is very winnable. Joe Burrow is no pushover, though, and the Bengals have some impressive weapons on offense.

Chaos in Philadelphia.

PICK: Bengals 28, Eagles 27

Matt Lombardo: Giants reporter, NJ Advance Media

Joe Burrow very nearly lifted the Bengals over the Browns last week, and the Bengals now take on an Eagles team facing plenty of question marks. Will Carson Wentz’s decision-making improve? Can the front seven show any fight against the run? Can Doug Pederson rally this now aging core one more time to avoid an 0-3 start that would only raise the volume of questions about the Eagles’ future? Don’t expect those catcalls to go anywhere, especially if this game winds up being as close as it has the chance to be.

PICK: Eagles 26, Bengals 24

Chris Ryan: Jets reporter, NJ Advance Media

If the Eagles don’t get right this week, when will they? Carson Wentz takes care of business at home and denies Joe Burrow his first career win.

PICK: Eagles 31, Bengals 20

Darryl Slater: NFL columnist, NJ Advance Media

The Eagles can’t possibly fall to 0-3 with a home loss to the woeful Bengals, can they? Sure, they can, because they’re not that good. But they won’t, and the Bengals will drop to 2-17 under second-year coach Zac Taylor.

PICK: Eagles 24, Bengals 14

Joe Giglio: Sports reporter, NJ Advance Media

The sky is falling in Philadelphia, but the season isn’t over. At least not yet. Yes, Joe Burrow has looked promising, but the Bengals are from a team ready to win. Doug Pederson gets the Eagles run game going against a soft Cincy interior, and Philly’s pass rush wakes up. As for Carson Wentz? Well, he won’t lose this one.

PICK: Eagles 27, Bengals 17

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