CINCINNATI -Trent Cole invited 35 of his closest family members and friends to Sunday's game between the Eagles and the Bengals.
And like any good host, Cole certainly put on a show. But not even Cole could provide the happy ending that all Eagles fans had hoped for as the Eagles tied the Bengals 13-13 at Paul Brown Stadium.
A native of Xenia, OH, Cole played his collegiate ball at the University of Cincinnati. This time around, it was a business trip for Cole and the Bengals had their hands full as Cole finished with a combined 10 tackles and a pair of sacks to give him six for the season.
"It's a bad feeling. It came out as a tie ... In my opinion, it's a loss and that's how I feel about it," Cole said.
No matter what the Bengals tried to do to Cole, he couldn't be slowed down.
In the first quarter, against tackle Levi Jones, Cole held up at the point of attack and brought down running back Cedric Benson after a 2-yard gain.
It wasn't the only big stop on the ground for the relentless playmaker who is better known for his pass rush ability. With the Eagles trailing by three points in the third quarter, the Bengals had a third-and-1 at their own 29-yard line. Instead of just going up the gut, Benson went to the outside and Cole, along with strong safety Quintin Mikell, swarmed Benson in space and forced a loss of three yards.
"I tried to get it done," a subdued Cole said.
Cole at times was able to single-handedly stop the Bengals offensive momentum. After committing a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty midway through the first quarter, Cole made up for his mistake by blowing past guard Andrew Whitworth for a 4-yard sack three plays later with the ball in Eagles' territory. The Bengals eventually were forced to punt.
Cole kept up the pressure in the second quarter. With the Bengals driving towards midfield, Cole overpowered Whitworth again and wrapped up Fitzpatrick for an 8-yard loss.
Cole was well aware of how the Bengals tried to chip with the tight end and mix in Jones and Whitworth in the protection.
"I don't really worry about those things," Cole said. "I just try to scratch and claw and get to the quarterback."
Every time he made a play, cheers rained on Paul Brown Stadium. It wasn't just family and friends, there was a whole sea of midnight green-wearing fans donning No. 58 jerseys to welcome one of their own back.
"It was a great feeling to be back," Cole said.