It really was a tale of two halves, but the Eagles go into the Bye-week breathing a sigh of relief. Despite taking a 19-0 lead in the first half, Philadelphia allowed Chicago to get back within five points before advancing down the field in the fourth quarter to put the nail in the coffin. Here’s all you need to know!
The Jordan Howard revenge game
Well, he didn’t muster 100-rushing yards, but the 82 he did pound past his former team were done so with ruthless aggression. Howard scored a rushing touchdown as well, setting the tone early and helping the Eagles start off moderately fast. Howard was a presence who was hard to contain all afternoon and the offensive line was absolutely excellent in creating holes for him to burst through against an elite run defense.
Talking of the offensive line really quickly, Wentz may have been sacked four times, but the line was absolutely brilliant from start to finish, both in run-blocking and pass-protection. Whether it was setting up screens or holding Khalil Mack to 0 sacks and a couple of hits behind the line of scrimmage, the unit was outstanding.
A step in the right direction
It’s kind of hard to tell whether or not the Bears offense is just ʼthat’ bad, or the Eagles defense was suddenly dominant, but beggars can’t be choosers. The fact that the Bears were held to 1 offensive yard through a half of NFL play is absolutely staggering. They couldn’t run the ball and they couldn’t pass it until they reverted to ol-reliable – aka taking shots down the field.
But when the Bears started to creep back into the game thanks to the offense being unable to do anything for most of the second half, crucial plays from Jalen Mills and even Nate Gerry, were pivotal. There were still misfires and confusing moments, but for the most part, the Eagles defense stood much firmer than it has in the majority of games this season and even received contributions from debutant Genard Avery, who as projected in my Eagles Film Room breakdown, played a hybrid role that caused problems for the Bears.
Yeah, it wasn’t the best day at the office for Eagles wide receivers. Mack Hollins picked up penalties, DeSean Jackson was held out after making his first catch since week 1 in order to avoid risking him to any unnecessary injury, and Alshon Jeffery dropped three passes, catching only 4 for 36 yards. Agholor suffered a similar fate and seemingly played more like a DB than a wide receiver, while Zach Ertz shouldered the burden, racking up 103 yards and a touchdown. Oh, and he broke tackles.
But when it mattered…
Three consecutive third-down conversions in a 7-minute drive during the fourth quarter stripped any chance of a Chicago comeback away and that’s all that mattered. It doesn’t matter if it ends by blowout or by a game-winning touchdown as time expires, a win is a win…and Doug Pederson crafted a beautiful clock-killing drive in the fourth quarter where just about everyone executed perfectly.
The Eagles now go into the Bye week with a positive record, a breath of fresh air and the hardest month of their season now behind them. That, considering everything else that’s happened this year, is a huge positive.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports