Eagles rout Bears for ninth straight win
PHILADELPHIA — Quarterback Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles continue to dominate opponents.
Wentz threw for three touchdowns, including one to Alshon Jeffery, to lead the Eagles to a 31-3 rout of the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles (10-1) did most of their damage in a dominating first half in which they outscored the Bears 24-0 while outgaining them in yardage 272-33.
The victory over the NFC North cellar-dwelling Bears (3-8) was the ninth in a row for NFC East-leading Philadelphia, which improved to 6-0 at home this season.
Wentz upped his NFL-best touchdown total to 28 while going 23 of 36 for 227 yards.
“This is Carson being Carson,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said. “He’s such a competitor and his will and determination to get things right and the way he can elevate the play of guys around him has been incredible.”
Defensively, Philadelphia stymied Chicago’s running game, holding the NFL’s fifth-ranked rushing attack to 6 yards. Jordan Howard entered leading the NFC in rushing, but finished with 6 yards on seven carries.
“We’ve been dominant there all season and a great performance again,” Pederson said of his defense, which entered seventh overall and first against the run. “It starts up front with the defensive line and a swarm, attack style on defense.”
The Eagles also excelled on offense.
Jeffery, who made the Pro Bowl in one of his five seasons in Chicago before signing a one-year deal with the Eagles in the offseason, had five catches for 52 yards. He hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass on a beautifully executed slant up the middle that put the Eagles on top 24-0 with five seconds left in the first half.
Tight end Zach Ertz opened the scoring, capping an eight-play, 44-yard drive by snaring a 17-yard slant pass over the middle. Ertz became the first Eagles receiver this season to top 100 yards in a game, ending with 10 catches for 103 yards.
“Finally getting over 100 yards is fun, but all we’re focused on is winning games,” Ertz said. “Everyone is happy for the other man’s success. Carson does a great job of spreading the ball around. We’re tough to stop right now.”
The Bears are not in the same situation. With no ground game to help him, rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky struggled in his seventh career start. Trubisky was 17 of 32 for 147 yards and an interception, and his final pass was picked off by Corey Graham and returned 58 yards.
Chicago managed just eight first downs and 140 total yards of offense. The Bears hurt themselves with nine penalties.
“They’re a pretty potent offense,” Bears head coach John Fox said. “That’s a good football team. We didn’t play well enough to compete. We needed to play really, really well in all three phases to beat that team and we didn’t.”
Following Ertz’s score, Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount fumbled after a 35-yard gain on the first play of Philadelphia’s ensuing possession, but the Bears bumbled away their chance to get on the board with more kicking problems. Newly signed kicker Cairo Santos badly missed a 54-yard field-goal attempt, coming up far short and way to the right. The Bears picked up Santos after cutting Connor Barth Monday after he failed to connect a day earlier on a 46-yarder that would’ve sent the game to overtime in their loss to the Lions.
Philadelphia capitalized on the excellent field position and Wentz’s 15-yard screen pass to Nelson Agholor ended a nine-play, 56-yard drive that put the Eagles up 14-0.
Jake Elliott booted a 45-yard field goal with 6:52 left in the half before Jeffery finished the scoring before intermission.
The Bears managed just a 38-yard Santos field goal after halftime.
The Eagles didn’t play a perfect game and Pederson harped on their four fumbles, three of which they lost. The one fumble Philadelphia recovered resulted in Agholor’s second touchdown after Jay Ajayi coughed up the ball on the Bears’ 5-yard line after a 30-yard run. Luckily for the hosts, Algholor pounced on the ball for Philadelphia’s final score with 13:37 left in the fourth.
“That’s unacceptable, can’t do it,” Pederson said of the lack of ball control. “Guys have too much pride. They know it. Obviously, we’ll address it.”
NOTES: Bears LG Josh Sitton (concussion), a four-time Pro-Bowl selection, was injured in the second quarter and didn’t return. Chicago S Adrian Amos (hamstring) also didn’t return. ... Former Phillies slugger Ryan Howard received a standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd in the third quarter. ... Eagles LB Joe Walker (stinger) didn’t return after being hurt in the second quarter. ... The Bears dropped to 1-4 on the road. They were 0-8 away from Soldier Field last season.... Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery, a former member of the Bears, wore a No. 23 Chicago Bulls jersey after the game, brushing off the connection by saying it was because Michael Jordan is his favorite player.