By Kevin McGuire
Another week, another game with almost nothing to complain about for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles soared to 10-1, the NFL’s best record, with a 31-3 victory over the Chicago Bears (3-8) on Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. Carson Wentz continued to look like a top MVP candidate and former Bear Alshon Jeffery caught five passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. The Eagles defense had no problem dissecting rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the blowout win.
The Eagles had 420 yards of offense and 24 first downs against the Bears. A 17-point second quarter blew the game wide open in favor of the Eagles, which seems to have become the norm. The highest-scoring offense in the NFL was led by Carson Wentz throwing for 227 yards and three touchdowns before getting an early rest to make way for backup Nick Foles.
LeGarrette Blount led the running game in this one with 97 yards, including a massive run with a hurdle of a defender for a pickup of over 20 yards on a 1st and 20. Zach Ertz was a key player with 10 receptions for 103 yards and a score. Jeffery and Nelson Agholor each had a touchdown reception as well.
One negative would be the number of fumbles, but one coming from Foles is hardly anything to be too worried about. Eagles players fumbled four times, with three lost to Chicago (and one of those lost fumbles was by Malcolm Jenkins). Agholor recovered one fumble for a touchdown, so it all worked out in the grand scheme of things.
The Bears were only able to get 140 yards of total offense against the Eagles defense. Chicago went the whole first quarter with just one first down and four three-and-outs and an interception.
The Eagles defense set the tone in the game and held the Bears off the scoreboard until the offense managed to do their thing to put the game in their hands. Allowing just a simple field goal means the Eagles have allowed fewer than 10 points for the third time this season and in back-to-back weeks.
Corey Graham had one of two interceptions, returning the ball 59 yards.
Special Teams: A+
Rookie kicker Jake Elliott returned to kicking duties this week after leaving last week’s game following a blow to the head. He sure looked good upon his return, successfully converting his lone field goal attempt and knocking down all four of his PAT attempts. Punter Donnie Jones was only asked to punt twice, and he pinned each inside the Bears’ 20-yard line to give the Eagles the edge in the field position game.
Returner Kenjon Barner may have only had one chance to return a kick, with a 17-yard punt return, but he also made a heads-up play to drag a teammate away from a loose ball at the end of a punt to avoid a possible special teams disaster.
Too many times throughout NFL history has a team that seems to be firing on all cylinders let their guard down in a home game against a struggling opponent after a big win on the road. Such was not at all the case for Doug Pederson and the Eagles on Sunday. The team with the best record in the league looked the part, and the Bears looked like a team going through a rebuild with a rookie quarterback. Everything stuck to the script on Sunday with the Eagles playing efficiently on offense, and the defense locked in from the start.
Up Next: The Eagles head to the West Coast for a two-game swing against NFC West challengers. The pivotal back-to-back road game challenge begins next week in Seattle against the Seahawks on Sunday night. After that, the Eagles will stay out west and prepare for a road game against the Los Angeles Rams. If the Eagles return home with the best record in the NFL, they will be well on their way to grabbing the top overall seed in the NFC Playoffs.