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INTERCONFERENCE Bengals rout Eagles, finish 8-8



Published: Mon, January 3, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



It's the second straight season Cincinnati finished at .500.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Philadelphia Eagles played as though nothing was on the line.

With Donovan McNabb and several other starters sitting out, the Eagles' backups were thoroughly dominated in a 38-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

"It's their first team against our second and third teams. It didn't look well," Eagles coach Andy Reid said.

Rudi Johnson ran for three touchdowns and Jon Kitna threw a scoring pass, helping the Bengals win their second straight game to finish 8-8 for the second year in a row.

"We were going to win regardless who they played," Johnson said. "We weren't concerned."

The Eagles (13-3) had five turnovers in their worst performance since a 38-0 loss to Seattle in the 1998 season opener. Philadelphia, which secured home-field advantage throughout the playoffs two weeks ago, will play Jan. 15 or 16.

McNabb, running back Brian Westbrook, free safety Brian Dawkins, defensive end Jevon Kearse and cornerback Lito Sheppard were among the starters held out of the lineup. Cautious of injuries after Pro Bowl wide receiver Terrell Owens went down with torn ankle ligaments on Dec. 19, the Eagles played their starters briefly in last Monday's loss to St. Louis.

Only the 1967 Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl after losing the final two regular-season games.

"Once we start practicing again, we'll get the same momentum we had," Kearse said.

Statistics

Johnson ran for 99 yards to finish with 1,453, breaking Corey Dillon's team record of 1,435 set in 2000. Kitna, making his third straight start since Carson Palmer injured his knee, was 16-of-27 for 160 yards.

Jeff Blake threw a 3-yard TD pass to Freddie Mitchell for Philadelphia's only touchdown.

Johnson's 5-yard TD run capped a 13-play, 89-yard drive, giving the Bengals a 7-0 lead in the second quarter. Kitna threw a 20-yard TD pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh to make it 14-0 midway through the period.

Defensive end Robert Geathers intercepted Blake's first pass and returned it 36 yards for a score, putting the Bengals ahead 24-3.

After Rod Hood fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Cincinnati took over at the Eagles 15.

Johnson ran in from the 6 two plays later to make it 31-3.

Quotable

"I can't make an apology for winning," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "You've got to go and win as many times as you can. The [Eagles] earned their season the way they did."

The Eagles' best chance to score when the game still was in reach came early in the third quarter. They had a first down at Cincinnati's 8, but Koy Detmer was intercepted by Deltha O'Neal in the end zone.

Detmer threw for 202 yards, but was intercepted twice and lost a fumble.

"That was tough," Detmer said of O'Neal's pick. "There was plenty of time left. But it's over and done. Hopefully we can learn from it."

Eagles Pro Bowl kicker David Akers hit a 46-yard field goal, breaking the NFL record for most field goals of 40 yards or more in a season with 17.




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