Before the Eagles go to Chicago to play the Bears this Sunday, I wanted to rewind and take a look back at an old matchup between the two teams. For this exercise, I chose one of the more forgotten games of the 2017 season, when these two teams met in week 12. This game and the situation surrounding it is oddly similar to this season, so it should be fun to dive into one of many great games of that season.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
The Eagles are flying high after blowing out a divisional rival on the road last week. Coming out of the bye week, they had a big matchup against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, who they thoroughly handled 37-9, despite losing kicker Jake Elliot and having to use Kamu Grugier-Hill as the emergency man. At 9-1, the Eagles are looking like real Super Bowl contenders, with elite offensive and defensive play, and an MVP candidate at quarterback with Carson Wentz.
The Bears on the other hand come limping into this game, with only 3 wins on the season. They are in the middle of yet another lost season under head coach John Fox. He leads the talentless Bears further and further toward obscurity. The defensive-minded coach is also left with a young quarterback, who has struggled but shown a few flashes with the minimal talent around him, Mitchell Trubisky.
The Eagles were heavy favorites going into the matchup and for good reason. They had the edge talent-wise at every single position on the field. The only way for the Bears to win was for the quarterback to have an otherworldly game. That simply did not happen.
The first quarter was not as smooth sailing as most Eagles fans would have hoped. After failing to score on their opening possession, the Eagles quickly forced a punt on 4 plays and got the ball back. Wentz methodically drove downfield and hit Zach Ertz for a 17-yard touchdown. On the Bear’s first play of the drive, Malcolm Jenkins intercepted a pass but then fumbled it back to Chicago, giving them better field position than before.
The Eagles rebounded to force a punt, but LeGarrette Blount fumbled the ball right back to Chicago after a 35-yard run. The defense once again bailed out the offense to force a 54-yard field goal attempt in which Cairos Santos missed.
That would prove to be the Bear’s only opportunity at getting back into the game. The Eagles took over on downs, and went up 14-0, thanks to a 15-yard reception by Nelson Agholor. Jake Elliot hit a 45-yard field goal and Alshon Jeffrey hauled in an 8-yard pass to make the score 24-0 with only 5 seconds remaining in the first half.
For most of the second half, the Eagles relied on the defense and the running game to grind the clock out to an easy victory. The Bears scored a field goal out of the half to make it 24-3, but that was their only scoring drive of the game.
Early in the 4th, Jay Ajayi fumbled the ball into the endzone, which Agholor recovered for his second touchdown of the day. Brandom Graham and Fletcher Cox would go on to get a sack each in the quarter, along with another interception by Corey Graham with under 2 minutes left in the game.
The final score was 31-3, but it might as well have been 100-0. No matter how many times that game was played, I do not see how the Bears come away victorious. The offense wasn’t as crisp as usual throughout the season, but the defense was dominant as the Eagles moved to 10-1.
Sunday, December 18, 2022
The Eagles are flying high into the game at 12-1, after blowing out their division rival New York Giants, 48-22. The Bears come limping into the game on their side, at 3-10 with a young quarterback, Justin Fields, who is their only shot at winning the game. This time the game is in Chicago, but I don’t see why the Eagles can’t recreate the result of when these teams last played under similar circumstances.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire