Philadelphia Eagles News

Defensive Swarm Gave Bears No Chance To Get On Track

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As if holding the Cowboys to three field goals last week wasn't impressive enough, the Eagles' defense gave up only one field goal all afternoon in the 31-3 dismantling of the Bears.

Even when it looked like the Bears were about to tack on three more points to the scoreboard in the final seconds, safety Corey Graham picked off a pass and ran it 70 yards the opposite direction for good measure. At 10-1, the defense has allowed just 12 points in the last two games and the fewest points in the first half of games (7.09) all season. In Sunday's first half, the defense hushed Chicago to 33 total yards, zero first downs, and no points.

"All of the hard work we're putting in is starting to pay off. It's always good to go out there and see the results of the hard work," said defensive tackle Tim Jernigan after the win.

Statistically, the Eagles should have no problem staying on top as the league's best run defense. To place things in perspective, the Bears came into Philadelphia with the fifth-best rushing attack in the NFL. Chicago had 222 yards a week ago against Detroit.

The Bears walked away with 6 total rushing yards on Sunday - the fewest ground yards allowed by the Eagles since 1950.

Jordan Howard, the running back with the third-most rushing yards on the season in the NFL entering the game, had 6 yards. In total, the Bears' running backs finished with -6 yards.

"The biggest thing was limiting the run game," said safety Malcolm Jenkins, who had an interception in the win. "They're a top-5 running team, so we knew we would have to stop the run, especially some of the gadget runs they have with two running backs that they're trying to feature.

"Once we were able to do that and make them really one-dimensional, we knew it would be tough for (Bears quarterback Mitchell) Trubisky to match up."

Indeed.

The rookie quarterback Trubisky, like many of the opposing quarterbacks the Eagles have faced this season, was hit a lot on Sunday. He threw for 147 yards, two interceptions, was sacked twice, and finished with a team-high 12 rushing yards. The defense made sure the damage was done early, allowing Trubisky just 27 passing yards at halftime.

"It's a lot easier when you can get a young guy and get him rattled early," linebacker Nigel Bradham said. "Kind of get his mind all over the place early in the game. Thinking pressure coming, like fake blitzes and stuff like that, when the situation is not true."

The Eagles limited the Bears offense to 140 yards of total offense, the fewest the team has allowed in over 20 years (1996 against the Giants) and eight first downs. In every facet of the game on defense, Philadelphia was dominant Sunday.

"I think it's very important as we go down the stretch now. Our running game versus us stopping the run, and we've been real dominant there all season long," head coach Doug Pederson said. "It was a great performance again. It starts up front with the defensive line. Just a swarm-attack style on defense, and every week you try to make a team sort of one-dimensional. The defense had their hands full because the Bears ... are going to run it and they are going to continue to run it. Guys did an outstanding job today."

The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Chicago Bears, 31-3, at Lincoln Financial Field. This win moves them to 10-1 on the season.

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