The Philadelphia Eagles (9-6) got off to a blistering start in their Week 16 victory over the Bears (8-7). Lincoln Financial Field was roaring with excitement early, as the outcome of this game carries playoff implications for both teams.
Chip Kelly and his Eagles came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders, scoring 21 points in the first quarter, eventually finishing the game 54-11.
After forcing the Bears to go three and out from the opening kickoff, Nick Foles and Lesean McCoy executed Kelly’s offense to perfection. The Bird’s first possession was a 6 play, 49-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard Riley Cooper touchdown.
The Eagle’s special teams would then force Devin Hester, master of the kick return, to fumble on Chicago’s own 39 yard line. This would set up a short and sweet drive, highlighted by a 27-yard bullet from Foles to tight end Zach Ertz. Shady would finish this Eagle’s possession off with a 1-yard dive up the middle.
Chicago simply had trouble getting their offense started. They went three and out in their first two trips on the field and weren’t able to convert a first down until there was under two minutes left in the first quarter. Matt Forte was held to his worst game of the season on the ground with only 29 rushing yards.
Brent Celek worked his way into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown as Philadelphia would score again in their third possession of the game, turning this first quarter into a 21-0 rout with an offensive efficiency of 100%. This is just the energy Kelly was looking for out of his team after a disappointing loss on the road to the Minnesota Vikings last week.
The Bears would eventually settle down a bit, but would never find the end zone in the first half of the contest. This had a lot to do with Philadelphia’s ability to limit big plays from Chicago’s huge wide receivers and also by the constant pressure placed on quarterback Jay Cutler. Trent Cole and Mychael Kendricks racked up key sacks to limit the Bears to only 3 points and 124 total yards in the first half.
Philadelphia’s offense would slow down a bit in the second quarter and both teams went in to the locker room at half time with the score at 24-3.
The momentum would continue to build on the side of the Eagles in the second half, as Brandon Boykin and punter Donnie Jones were able to pin the Bears on their own 2-yard line. Cedric Thornton would then finish the Bears offense off after being able to penetrate Chicago’s offensive line. Kendricks brought down Matt Forte with a greatly executed arm tackle for a safety.
This safety was a premonition of bad things to come for the Bears.
The only bright spot for Chicago would be Brandon Marshall’s 6-yard touchdown and Earl Bennett’s two-point conversion. Chicago was only able to generate a measly 256 yards and were not able to stop any facets of Philadelphia’s game throughout the contest.
Lesean McCoy ended the game with 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. After setting the single game franchise rushing record just two weeks ago against Detroit, Shady is now just 36 yards shy of Wilbert Montgomery’s 1512 yard franchise single season rushing record.
Chris Polk and Bryce Brown also added to Philadelphia’s rushing game with 10 and 65-yard touchdowns, respectively.
There are not enough positive things that can be said about the Eagles’ performance this week at home. The defense shined recording 5 sacks, 7 tackles for a loss and a Brandon Boykin pick six. The special teams also had a field day limiting the Bears field position and stifling a volatile Devin Hester.
This was just the momentum that Chip Kelly’s Eagles needed going into their final game of the season on the road in Dallas. This final game is not only against a big division rival, but it also determines who will go to the playoffs from the NFC East. Expect to see tons of energy from the Eagles in their next competition, as they look to clinch the third seed in the playoffs.
If both Philadelphia and Chicago win their matchup in Week 17, it is likely that we will see these two teams face off again in the first round of the NFL playoffs. Something that Eagles fans should be very excited about.