Bring on the Cowboys!
Even though the Eagles couldn't clinch the NFC East title on Sunday night, the Eagles got into the holiday spirit with a 54-11 rout of the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. The chants of "We want Dallas!" erupted from the stands in the second half and will carry through the holiday week interspersed with carols.
The Eagles regained momentum following last week's 48-30 loss to Minnesota as they will prepare for next Sunday's winner-take-all showdown with the Dallas Cowboys to determine the NFC East champion. The Week 17 game has been moved to an 8:30 p.m. kickoff to be witnessed by the entire nation on Sunday Night Football. With the win over the Bears, the Eagles are now 9-6 and will be the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs if they can defeat Dallas. The Eagles have also ensured a winning season in Chip Kelly's first season as head coach with their fourth straight win at home.
The Eagles defense set the tone early as linebacker Trent Cole notched the first of three sacks on the opening drive. With his second-career three-sack performance, Cole surpassed Clyde Simmons for second place in franchise history with 79.
The offense fed off the defense and scored a touchdown on each of their first three possessions to race out to a 21-0 first quarter lead. Running back LeSean McCoy declared that he wanted the offensive to be put on his back following a season-low 38-yard performance. McCoy is one step closer to winning the league's rushing total after gaining 133 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Foles was a super-efficient 21-of-25 for 230 yards with a pair of touchdowns for a 131.7 quarterback rating. Even backup running back Bryce Brown gained 115 yards on the ground thanks to a 65-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Chicago's offense entered Sunday's game ranked second in the league averaging 29.0 points per game behind their wide receiver duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. The Bears mustered three points in the first half and didn't get in the end zone until the very end of the third quarter. Defensive end Cedric Thornton recorded the Eagles' second safety of the season when he brought down running back Matt Forte in the end zone. Cornerback Brandon Boykin put an exclamation point on the victory with a 54-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Jay Cutler was 20-of-35 for 222 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Jeffery and Marshall combined for 10 catches for 112 yards and their lone touchdown, but did not have an impact on the outcome of the game. Forte, who entered the game third in the league in rushing, had just 29 yards on nine carries.
Even special teams played a key role in the victory. Cornerback Bradley Fletcher stripped kick returner Devin Hester for a fumble which was recovered by fellow cornerback Cary Williams. Donnie Jones notched his franchise-record 32nd punt inside the 20-yard line.