Alshon Jeffery insists that his concerns lie with the future rather than the past, so much so that a meeting with his former team doesn’t hold as much weight as what potentially is ahead. For now, the immediate is all that is on his plate as Jeffery looks to lend a hand in helping the surging Philadelphia Eagles to their ninth straight win on Sunday when they host the Chicago Bears.
“As long as we get the division and that ring, I don’t care what happens. That’s all that matters - winning the Super Bowl,” said the 27-year-old Jeffery, who left a 3-13 season with the Bears last season to sign a one-year, $9.5 million deal with Philadelphia in January. While Jeffery’s individual stats are far from gaudy (38 receptions, 567 yards, six TDs), the Eagles have the best record (9-1), scored the most points (320), thrown the most passing touchdowns (25) and have the best red zone efficiency (73.53 percent) in the league this season. Chicago, on the other hand, continues to experience growing pains with losses in three straight to reside in the cellar of the NFC North. “We’ve shown spurts and moments ... but we have lulls,” coach John Fox said. “We have siestas. We just don’t do it for 60 minutes. Nobody, I think, is good enough to overcome that.”
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Eagles -13.5. O/U: 44
ABOUT THE BEARS (3-7): Pernell McPhee insists he’s up to the challenge of stepping up in place of former first-round pick Leonard Floyd (11.5 sacks in 22 career games), who sustained MCL and PCL injuries in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to Detroit. “It ain’t (going to be) hard for me to pick up the load. I‘m bred to do this,” said the 28-year-old McPhee, who has four sacks this season. Rookie Mitchell Trubisky continues to show modest progress after completing 60 percent of his passes for the second straight week while rushing for a season-high 53 yards against the Lions. Jordan Howard is better suited for the ground game, however, as he rushed for 125 yards last week and found the end zone for the first time since September.
ABOUT THE EAGLES (9-1): Carson Wentz was held to a season-low 168 passing yards on Sunday, but he tossed two touchdown passes in the 37-9 rout of arch-rival Dallas to increase his total to 19 over the last six games. Wentz is buoyed by a potent ground attack, with Jay Ajayi rolling up 168 yards on just 15 carries since being acquired from Miami and rookie Corey Clement finding the end zone on four occasions (three rushing, one receiving) in that same two-game span. An opportunistic defense posted three interceptions and four sacks versus the Cowboys, with defensive end Derek Barnett recording his second two-sack performance in his last four games.
1. Chicago signed Cairo Santos on Monday, one day after fellow kicker Connor Barth missed a game-tying 46-yard field goal attempt in the waning moments versus Detroit.
2. Speaking of kickers, Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson said on Wednesday that “everything is looking good” for Jake Elliott (concussion) to play versus the Bears.
3. Chicago DE Akiem Hicks has failed to record a sack in the last two games after collecting seven in his previous eight contests.
PREDICTION: Eagles 31, Bears 10