By Kevin McGuire
The Chicago Bears could have clinched the NFC North with a win Sunday night, but the Philadelphia Eagles played like the team on a mission. Philadelphia jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarterand the Eagles went on cruise control from there in a 54-11 blowout of the Bears.
As you might suspect, the Eagles received high marks for their dominance Sunday night.
Outside of his seven-touchdown performance in Oakland earlier this season, this may have been the best game Nick Foles has had all season. Foles completed 21 of 25 passes for 230 yards and a pair of touchdowns, both coming in the first quarter as the Eagles jumped out on top of the Bears from the start. Foles again showed his accuracy and avoided making mistakes, and he only took a loss of five yards on two sacks. Foles continues to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league when evaluating solely on numbers. Grade: A
The Eagles pounded the Bears with a 21-0 first quarter and never let up on the gas. By the end of the night the Eagles rolled up 514 yards of offense and were a perfect five-for-five inside the red zone. The Eagles exploited the shortcomings the Bears have stopping the run by putting together 289 rushing yards. LeSean McCoy rushed for 133 yards to maintain his NFL-leading rushing total, and he scored two touchdowns as well. Bryce Brown also rushed for over 100 yards with 115 rushing yards highlighted by a 65-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter to pad the lead. Grade: A+
After being shredded by the Minnesota Vikings a week ago, the Eagles defense responded in a big way against one of the more potent offenses in the NFC. The Bears were frustrated fromstart to finish against the Eagles defense. Philadelphia held Chicago to just 257 yards and 11 points. Mychal Kendricks had a great game with two of the five sacks of Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler. The defense also forced two turnovers, including Brandon Boykin’s 54-yard interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The defense added two more points with a safety in the third quarter. Grade: A+
Punter Donnie Jones set a franchise record by pinning his 32nd punt of the season inside the 20-yard line. He only punted twice in this game as the offense was firing on all cylinders, but he averaged 44 yards per punt and placed them each inside the 20-yard line to continue his Pro Bowl caliber season on special teams. Kicker Alex Henery was only called on for one field goal, and he converted from 49 yards to make it count. Henery also added seven extra point attempts for a perfect 10-point night. The Eagles got little out of the special teams return game, with just two punt returns for a total of two yards and three kickoff returns for a total of 21 yards. On this night, the return game was not a factor, but the special teams production was exemplary. Grade: A
There are almost no complaints that can be made about what the Eagles did Sunday night against Chicago. The offense was unstoppableand the defense only allowed three points until the final play of the third quarter. The Eagles were only penalized twice for a total of 15 yards so penalties never became much of a factor either. This was the best possible way to bounce back from a rough loss to a mediocre at best Minnesota team the week before, and it sets the tone heading in to the final game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys. If the Eagles saved some of this energy for next week’s game, which has been moved to Sunday night, there is no stopping them form winning the NFC East and clinching the third seed in the NFC playoffs. Grade: A+
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Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.