Chip Kelly had the Philadelphia Eagles ready to play in Week 16 versus the Bears. In a game that mattered more to Chicago, the Eagles put a serious whooping on “da Bears” to the tune of 54-11.
Fifty-Four to Eleven. Wowsers!
And three of those 11 points were thanks to the refs who gave an erroneous spot after a Jay Cutler third-down slide that was clearly short of the first down. Time should have run out on them in the first half, but thanks to the first down, Cutler was able to spike the ball to stop the clock in time for a field goal attempt.
But, it didn’t matter in the least.
The Eagles played their best and most complete game of the season on Sunday night. This was even better than their 49-20 dismantling of the Raiders earlier in the year.
Nick Foles played a smart, extremely efficient game where he completed 21 of 25 passes for 230 yards and two TDs. Of his four incompletions, three were throw-aways which only left one “true” incompletion.
LeSean McCoy was utterly dominant and looked every bit of the special player he is by averaging 7.4 yards per carry and scoring twice.
In fact, the Eagles’ No. 1 ground game dominated the league’s worst run defense to the tune of 291 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Bryce Brown had over 100 yards and a score and even Chris Polk got in on the party with a score.
The defense smothered the league’s second-best offense and really only allowed one score (since the field goal was a gift from the refs). Going into the game, I was bracing for Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey to completely eat the secondary alive.
In the end, the prolific duo that has been killing everyone in their path, accounted for a combined total of 10 catches for 112 yards and one meaningless score.
Trent Cole was a monster with three sacks and Mychal Kendricks was making plays all over the place and recorded two sacks of his own. Cedric Thornton made a great play on Matt Forte in his own end zone to force a safety.
Bradley Fletcher, Cary Williams and Brandon Boykin were all over the receivers for the most part and Boykin recorded a pick-six in the fourth quarter.
The defense also held Matt Forte to just 54 total yards.
Overall, the defense never let the explosive Chicago offense get into any kind of rhythm. The offense helped by putting the Bears in a big early hole, but the defense played aggressively and kept shutting the Bears down.
Quite a difference after getting blasted by Matt friggin Cassel a week earlier.
The special teams also played extremely well and contained Devin Hester all night and even forced a fumble that set up an early score. The Bears’ kick return team had plenty of opportunities but only averaged 21.1 yards on eight tries.
Why they didn’t even attempt to do that against Minnesota still boggles my mind.
Since the Cowboys had won earlier in the day, the only thing at stake for the Eagles was possible playoff seeding. That isn’t nearly as much pressure as it would have been had Dallas lost and the Eagles knowing that a win would clinch the division.
That’s the position the Bears were in. With a win they would have clinched their division. But instead, they put up a clunker. Not taking anything away from the Eagles, but the Bears aren’t nearly as bad as they looked last night.
That’s why I have to wonder if the game turned out like it did because the Eagles were playing loose and the Bears were playing tight. There is something to be said for mental pressure during a game.
That is something I’ll be talking about this week: playing under pressure.
For now, though, the Eagles picked a good time to finally click in all three phases of the game. They just need to carry that over in the upcoming game for all the marbles.