The Eagles enter week 13 with a 10-1 record and off the back of one of their most dominant victories of the season. It wasn’t perfect, nor was it pretty…but the Eagles got the job done. Here is a closer look at those who thrived and some who didn’t in Sunday’s win.
A few hours ago, reports surfaced of an apparent contract negotiation between Graham and the Eagles. A dominant performance was aptly timed as the defensive end proved to be a menace in the backfield as he went on to lead the team in tackles. A huge sack on Trubisky early on was followed by consistent pressure off the edge that helped completely smother a dangerous Chicago rushing attack. Graham made a statement on Sunday. Perhaps one of the most consistent pass-rushers in the league, he’s a key cog in this defense that the Eagles cannot afford to lose.
It took a while, but an Eagles receiver has finally surpassed the 100-yard mark in a single game. That man was Zach Ertz. The tight end notched 103 yards against the Bears and his seventh touchdown of the season as he continues what promises to be a career year. Leading the team in touchdown passes, Ertz has been a dominant red zone weapon all season long for Carson Wentz…and that’s exactly what the Stanford product showcased yesterday. With Burton sidelined, Ertz also saw a few more blocking assignments than usual and was surprisingly effective.
The former Chicago Bear had a field day against his former team. Jeffery made a pair of spectacular catches and registered another touchdown, while surpassing the 50 yard mark for the fourth consecutive game. As the weeks go by, the chemistry between Wentz and Jeffery only grows stronger…and the number one wideout’s production is following suit.
Brooks has been an Under-the-radar standout since the season began, but the former Houston Texan was one of the Eagles most impressive players on Sunday. Without Leonard Floyd, the Bears focused their pass-rushing efforts through the middle, but that didn’t stop Brooks from pacing the way for a few huge gains by the Eagles backfield. While Johnson and Vaitai committed penalties, Brooks was clean, concise and just as effective as he’d been all season…only this time, production directly correlated with his strong blocking efforts. Brooks hasn’t allowed a QB hit since week two or a single sack all season long. All-Pro? I think so.
Blount may have ended his day with 97 yards, but he also fumbled the ball…twice. A veteran running back should not be struggling with ball security issues, let alone one who thrives between the tackles and at this time of year. There’s no room for complacency on this Eagles team and there will undoubtedly be plenty of attention focused on protecting the rock in practice this week.
It seems strange to say that two backs who contributed in a 176-yard rushing effort were disappointing, but it’s true. Besides a 30-yard run that included a fumble, Ajayi was kept nearly silent. That lone dash boosted his total for the game to 26, but the former Dolphin was outshined by Corey Clement. The Eagles don’t tend to care who gets the ball or how it gets to the end zone, as long as it does…but Ajayi was not anywhere near as explosive as we’ve quickly become used to seeing.
Another week, another game where Jeffery and Agholor receive a touchdown and Torrey Smith continues to struggle. Mack Hollins is yet to drop a pass this season and if the Eagles receiving depth can continue to put numbers on the boards when called upon, Smith’s future with the team may be a little more unsettled than many first thought. There have been bright spots, but Smith has had a third consecutive down-year. He is still only young at 28-years old, but time is ticking.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports