Eagles 31, Bears 3: Studs, duds, turning point and more

AP Images

Eagles 31, Bears 3: Studs, duds, turning point and more


The Eagles are a machine. 

On Sunday, they were a steamroller. 

The Bears had absolutely no chance against them Sunday at the Linc. The Eagles bullied them on their way to a 31-3 win (see Roob's observations). This one was never close. 

With the win, the Eagles improved to 10-1 for just the fourth time in franchise history (2004, 1980, 1949). The Bears dropped to 3-8. 

The Eagles are just the 39th team in the Super Bowl era to win 10 of their first 11. The first 38 have all made the playoffs — 17 went to the Super Bowl and eight won it. 

The Eagles still have the best record in the entire league with five games left on their schedule. 

Carson Wentz had his fifth three-touchdown game of the season. He's just one away from tying Norm Snead's franchise record of six, set in 1967. 

The Eagles scored 30-plus points for the fifth straight game. It's the first time they've done that since 1953. 

But the real story of the game was the Eagles' defense. Jim Schwartz's unit was incredible against the lackluster Bears, who just couldn't get anything going. 

The Eagles crushed the Bears in the first half and went into the locker room with a 24-0 lead. That came after they shut out the Cowboys in the second half in Dallas. They had outscored their opponents, 54-0, in four quarters. 

Turning point
Once the Eagles scored first, this one was over. 

Key stats
The Eagles held the Bears to six rushing yards. That's the fewest rushing yards they've allowed in a game since 1946. 

The Eagles outgained the Bears 272-33 in the first half. They also had 16 first downs, while the Bears didn't have one. This was never a game. 

The Bears became the first team since the Chiefs in 2012 to fail to get a first down in the first half.

Offensive stud
Wentz continues to amaze. He was dazzling yet again Sunday (see report card). He finished his day completing 23 of 36 passes for 227 yards, 3 touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 109.4. He came out with 9:38 left in the fourth for Nick Foles. 

Offensive dud
While LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement had nice days, Jay Ajayi didn't have much of an impact. He did have a 30-yard run in the fourth quarter but fumbled. Nelson Agholor was there to jump on it. 

Defensive stud
Brandon Graham picked up a sack and has a new career high with seven. He had a very good game again. 

Defensive dud
I dunno. 

Key plays 
• Corey Graham had a late interception to finish off the game. 

• Ajayi broke off a 30-yard run but fumbled near the goal line and the ball rolled into the end zone. Agholor was there to fall on it. The Eagles are even scoring on their fumbles. 

• The Bears broke up the shutout with a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter. They finally got a first down on the drive. 

• Wentz hit Alshon Jeffery for an eight-yard touchdown pass to end the half with the Eagles up 24-0. Jeffery jumped a little early but it didn't matter. He came down with a touchdown and celebrated by fake bowling and knocking down his teammates. 

• Jake Elliott made a 45-yarder to put the Eagles up 17-0. It was his first field goal since coming back from a concussion last week. 

• Wentz made an incredible play, avoiding a rusher and scampering for 16 yards and a first down on a third-down attempt. It was an incredible play. 

• The Eagles made it 14-0 in the second quarter, when Agholor caught a pass, made a man miss and flipped into the end zone. 

• On their second drive of the game, Wentz hit Zach Ertz for a 17-yard touchdown to put them up 7-0 and start the demolition.

Beau Allen (knee) and Trey Burton (back) both missed the game after being listed as questionable. Joe Walker left early with a stinger; Najee Goode replaced him. 

Up next
The Eagles will play the Seahawks in Seattle before traveling south to spend the week in Southern California in advance of the Rams game. Two tough road games on tap. 

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

USA Today Images

More money might not be enough to keep Chris Long in Philly

The Eagles have given veteran defensive end Chris Long a raise, but according to one report, Long is concerned enough about his playing time with the Eagles that he's mulling his options regarding his future.

What is certain is that at some point before March 15, Long signed a new contract with the Eagles that increases his 2018 base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million fully guaranteed.

However, NFL Network's Michael Silver reported Monday that Long may decide he doesn't want to accept the new contract — which he already signed.

According to Silver, Long is concerned about how many snaps he would get as a third-down rusher following the addition of Pro Bowl pass rusher Michael Bennett.

The Eagles officially acquired Bennett on March 14, although the deal was reported a week earlier. Long's new contract was filed with the NFLPA on March 15, but there is a good chance he agreed to it and signed it before the Bennett acquisition.

Whether or not Long knew Bennett was coming to the Eagles when he signed the restructured deal is unknown. But at some point Long knew about their interest in Bennett and even gave Bennett a "glowing recommendation" when the Eagles asked, according to an interview Long gave to SBNation.  

Long wouldn't appear to have many options. He could retire, in which case he would have to return the $500,000 bonus he received from the Eagles last week.

He could request a trade, which would be bizarre for someone who signed a contract extension just a few days earlier.

Or he could simply play under the terms of the contract restructure and pay increase, which was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN and confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia with a source familiar with the renegotiation.

As for the contract itself, including that $500,000 roster bonus — which was also in the previous version of the contract — Long would receive $3 million guaranteed this year instead of $1.5 million non-guaranteed plus $750,000 in easily achieved roster bonuses.

Long had five sacks and forced four fumbles last year as a rotational defensive end. He wound up playing 496 snaps, 10th-most on the defense and only about 10 per game fewer than starter and Pro Bowler Brandon Graham and five per game fewer than starter Vinny Curry, who the Eagles released.

Long, who turns 33 next week, has 63½ career sacks. His 5.0 sacks last year were his most since 2013. He's won back-to-back Super Bowls the last two years with the Eagles and Patriots.

What happens next?

Long has demonstrated that the money is secondary to him. He donated his entire 2017 base salary to charity.

At some point very soon, the Eagles will need him to decide whether he's even going to have a 2018 base salary.

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

AP Images

Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.