Good morning, Eagles fans! Happy Victory Monday!
The Eagles defeated the Chicago Bears 22-14 at Lincoln Financial field yesterday to secure their second win in a row. The Eagles will head into the bye week with a record of 5-4 as they prep to take on the New England Patriots, who were handed their first loss of the season Sunday night by the Baltimore Ravens, at home on November 17.
"A great team win. A way to finish out the first nine games of our season, anyway, and heading into this bye," head coach Doug Pederson said. "But more importantly, I just challenged the team now with some time off for everybody to really soul search, dig deep and come back in a frame of mind that's ready to continue what we sort of started here in the last couple of weeks."
"We were able to weather the storm with those couple losses and everything going on and everyone staying together and I've really liked what I've seen from everybody and I have a lot of confidence going forward," quarterback Carson Wentz said.
In this edition of Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft, we will cover all the highlights from the Eagles' victory. Let's get right to the most notable storylines.
1. Game Recap: Eagles handle their business, beat Bears 22-14
Running back Jordan Howard exacted revenge on his former team with a 13-yard touchdown in the third quarter that proved to be the game-winning points for the Eagles. Chris McPherson has all the details and more in this edition of the Game Recap. For a comprehensive guide of the Eagles' victory click here.
"The Eagles set the tone on their first two possessions of the game going 12 plays for 70 yards, then another 12 plays for 61 yards. However, those two drives netted a pair of 28-yard field goals by kicker Jake Elliott. Philadelphia finally put the ball in the end zone with a 25-yard touchdown from quarterback Carson Wentz to tight end Zach Ertz with 6:21 left in the first half." – Chris McPherson
2. Spadaro: The new norm: Offense chews up clock, ices wins
For the second week in a row, the Eagles dominated the fourth quarter with an eight-minute drive that ended with points, in this case a Jake Elliott field goal to cap a 16-play, 69-yard drive that consumed 8 minutes, 14 seconds off the clock and featured four third-down conversions against a Chicago Bears defense that just doesn't allow that to happen. Elliott's field goal was the topper with 25 seconds remaining in a 22-14 victory that sends the 5-4 Eagles into their bye week with consecutive wins for only the second time this season. Check out the full scoop from Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro here.
"I definitely feel like we're getting in a pretty good groove with the running game," said Howard, who had 82 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against his former team. "The offensive line has been doing a great job all season, but they have taken it to another level. They are dominating guys and pushing them out of the way, making it easy for us."
3. Carson Wentz leads the offense to 40-plus minutes of possession time
While the offense only put up 22 points in the victory, their time of possession was what helped this team defeat the Bears. The Eagles had the ball on offense for 40:18, leaving fewer than 20 minutes for the Bears to score offensively. Quarterback Carson Wentz recognizes how it make or break a team.
"That's what good football teams, good offenses have to do," Wentz said. "We have to stay on the field, convert, grind out the clock like we did. That was really big for us."
The final scoring drive of the game lasted 8:14 with 16 plays gaining 69 yards resulting in Jake Elliott's third field goal of the game. This is the second week in a row that the Eagles have been able to put together an eight-minute drive, with both games leading to a victory. The drive ultimately sealed the deal and gave the Eagles their fifth win of the season.
"I mean it's huge. It's our recipe. It is what we want to do and finish games like that," Wentz said. "Obviously, in the third quarter there we got a little stagnant, but we stayed with it. We grinded it out and picked up a bunch of key third downs and moved the ball late in the game. That was huge for us."
4. Jordan Howard shows what his former team is missing
Known for letting his play on the field do the talking, running back Jordan Howard admitted that he had a little something extra for the team that drafted him in 2016 then traded him to Philadelphia this offseason for a late-round conditional pick.
"I just did a little more talking than I usually do. There was a little back-and-forth with the guys," Howard said after the win. "Everything else was normal. It was definitely a little strange, because I didn't really go against them that much in practice. They never really tackled me."
Well, Howard did his talking with his game as well, churning out a game-high 82 yards on 19 carries and providing the deciding points with a 13-yard touchdown run up the middle that made it 19-0 early in the third quarter.
"I just saw a big hole and hit it as fast as I could," Howard said.
Entering the bye week, Howard leads the Eagles with 525 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He also has 69 receiving yards and another score through the air. He is just the fourth Eagles running back since 1950 to post at least 500 rushing yards and six touchdowns through nine games. The other three? Wilbert Montgomery, Ricky Watters, and LeSean McCoy.
5. Brandon Graham shows no signs of slowing down
The Eagles have relied heavily on defensive end Brandon Graham these past few games and he has not disappointed. In Sunday's matchup, he recorded four total tackles and his team leading sixth sack of the season. Each of the six sacks have come in the past five games. Graham reflects on the team effort and how that helps everyone play better and come together.
"We could have easily folded and started pointing fingers at each other," Graham said of the mindset when the team was 3-4. "There was so much media stuff going on. To this guy, to that guy, and so many distractions, but we never stopped believing. I'm glad we went through that adversity because that's all it really was – the first test of many more that we'll go through the rest of the season."
6. Zach Ertz delivers in the clutch for first 100-yard game of the season
After the first two drives of the game resulted in short Jake Elliott field goals for the Eagles, tight end Zach Ertz got in the end zone with a 25-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of Sunday's win.
Ertz led the offense with season highs of nine receptions for 103 yards. It was the 12th 100-yard outing of his career. Four of his receptions kept three scoring drives alive by moving the chains on either third or fourth down.
"It feels good to win and be a factor. I thought I played well in the passing game, but I think I left some things to be desired in the run game, just in terms of not being exactly where I was supposed to be, and I take that hard," Ertz said.
"Overall, (Chicago) has a really good defense and we found a way to win. It feels good. Going into a bye, you just have to find a way to win. You can't go into a bye on a loss or you'll be thinking about it for 10 days or a week until you get back. I was proud of the team today."
Ertz leads the Eagles in receptions (46) and receiving yards (527) this season.
"Zach's a big part of our offense, as we all know. I don't know if it was necessarily a breakout game, but he definitely was targeted a little bit more in this game and rightfully so," Pederson said. "He's a guy that can – when you throw him the ball, he can catch it, and he did a great job today. I think it was just a credit obviously to Carson to find him. He ran really good routes today. He was tough. He was physical. Made some contested catches and that's who Zach is, and it was good to see."
Check out the best photos from the Eagles' Week 9 game against the Chicago Bears.
7. Eagles offensive linemen: the unsung heroes of the game
It may be difficult to evaluate an offensive line from a numbers perspective, but the Eagles' O-line showed up on Sunday against the Bears. With minimal penalties and providing Carson Wentz ample time in the pocket, this position group helped the team create more opportunities.
"We have one of the best O-lines in the league," tight end Dallas Goedert said. "Once we can get rolling, if we can stay in that, it is a lot of fun."
The most notable play from the O-Line came from the best friend duo Lane Johnson and Brandon Brooks on a Jordan Howard touchdown. Howard had a perfect lane to run for 13 yards into the end zone because of the blocks Johnson and Brooks put up. The Eagles put up 146 yards rushing against the Bears, who entered the game just allowing 86 per contest. While the two-time Pro Bowl pair recognizes the effect this line has on the entire team, the two standouts are focused on improving where ever they can.
"It's good stuff, but ultimately I would like to finish stronger than we did, not make it as close of a game," Johnson said. "A win is a win and we'll take them any way we can get them."
For the second week in a row, however, the O-line was a critical reason that the Eagles were able to run out the clock with a 16-play drive that ate up eight minutes and 14 seconds.
"They were tired," Howard said of the Bears' defense. "They knew what we were going to do, but we're still hard to stop sometimes. Our offensive line got a great push, and we made the right plays."
8. What's DeSean Jackson's status?
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Week 2 because of an abdominal injury. He only played the first offensive series, catching one pass for 5 yards and also drawing a pass interference penalty on a drive that resulted in a Jake Elliott field goal.
"We'll have some more testing done in the morning. I'll probably have a better update on him (Monday), but the plan was to play him," Pederson said.
9. Did you know?
• Philadelphia improved to 23-7 at home under Doug Pederson (including playoffs), which marks the second-best home winning percentage (.767) in the NFL since 2016. The Eagles are also 4-0 in games before the bye week under Coach Pederson as well as 4-0 against the Bears in that span.
• In four home games in 2019, quarterback Carson Wentz thrown for 1,000 yards (250.0 yards per game), seven touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 100.0 QB rating on 90-of-143 (62.9 percent) passing. Wentz's 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz in the second quarter marked his 12th consecutive game with a passing touchdown, which is tied with Seattle's Russell Wilson for the longest active streak in the NFL.
• Jake Elliott connected on all three of his field goal attempts, bringing his season total to a perfect 12-of-12. His 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter capped a dominating 16-play, 74-yard scoring drive (8:14).
• The Eagles' defense forced a three-and-out on each of the Bears' first five possessions of the game. It was the first time Philadelphia has accomplished that feat since at least 2000. The last NFL team to hold an opponent to three-and-outs on each of the first five drives of the game was Buffalo on November 26, 2017 vs. Kansas City.
• In the first half of the game, the Eagles limited the Bears to 0 points, two first downs, and nine total net yards. It marked the second time that Philadelphia has shut out an opponent in the first half this season (Jets). Overall, it was the Eagles' eighth such instance since 2016.
• The Bears' two first downs (one rushing, one penalty) were the fewest that Philadelphia has allowed through two quarters since the Eagles' last regular-season game vs. Chicago on November 26, 2017 (0). Chicago's 9 yards were the ninth-fewest allowed by an NFL team in the first half of a game since at least 2000 (fewest since Pittsburgh held Kansas City to 6 yards on October 15, 2017).