With four minutes left in the game, Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky broke the Eagles' hearts with an 11-yard run down the left sideline.
Of course, that run didn't mean anything. It didn't set up a touchdown or field goal. It came at the end of an Eagles blowout win (see Roob's observations). In fact, Trubisky threw an interception a few plays later
What that 11-yard run did do was give the Bears positive rushing yardage for the game.
Yep. It rescued them from the ignominy of rushing for less than zero yards in an entire football game.
"I was mad," Malcolm Jenkins said after the Eagles' 31-3 win over the Bears at the Linc (see breakdown). "I wanted to keep them to negative yards."
Before that run — the Bears' last running play of the game — the NFL's fifth-ranked rushing offense had negative-five yards on 13 carries.
Trubisky made the final totals 14 for 6.
The Eagles have been exceptional all year against the run. They were No. 1 in the league before this game. And against a top-5 rushing attack, they showed why.
"It would have been pretty cool to hold them to negative-six," Tim Jernigan said. "I wouldn’t have been complaining.”
As it was, the Bears finished with their fewest rushing yards in 65 years — since they had one rushing yard in a loss to the Rams in 1952.
It was the fewest rushing yards the Eagles have allowed in 71 years — since they held the Boston Yanks to minus-26 yards in a win in 1946.
Historic stuff. And it happened against a Bears team that came in fifth in the NFL with 132 rushing yards per game and sixth with 4.5 yards per carry.
So much for those numbers.
Bears halfback Jordan Howard ranked third in the NFL in rushing before Sunday, but he finished with six yards on seven carries with a long gain of four. Rookie Tarik Cohen had a 12-yard loss and finished with minus-11 yards on two carries. Benny Cunningham had one carry for minus-one yard.
"We knew them running the ball was going to be their way of trying to beat us," Jernigan said. "So we were kind of keeping tabs on where they were."
Where were they?
The Bears' running backs finished with minus-six yards on 10 carries.
"That’s pretty impressive and hard to do in this league, and they have two good backs," safety Rodney McLeod said. "Howard’s like top-three in the league, and Jim (Schwartz) told us all week our objective is to stop the run, nothing else, and that’s what we did today."
The Eagles are now 10-1 with a nine-game winning streak, and their run defense is one of the biggest reasons why (see report card).
They've allowed 716 rushing yards so far, and that’s the seventh-fewest in NFL history after 11 games.
“That was the big emphasis this week," Brandon Graham said. "We just wanted to go out there and do our job. We made it about us and obviously, we got the job done today.
“You’ve got to get them with numbers and then you’ve got be technically sound. You have to go out there and make sure you don’t try to do anyone else’s job because that’s when they crease you. … We were out there busting our butt, everybody was doing their job and flying around. We played good team D against their run.”
The only team to surpass 100 rushing yards against the Eagles this year was the Cowboys with 112 last week.
The Eagles won by four touchdowns, but the Eagles were committed to not letting it happen again.
"The coaches let us know that first day we started breaking down film," Jernigan said, "coach Schwartz was just demanding, 'Hey, we gotta make sure we take care of 24 (Howard).' Especially after not having much success against Dallas. They had a couple plays that popped, and we wanted to make sure we cleaned it up and got back in the groove of things."
With no running game to speak of and the Eagles' lead growing bigger and bigger, Trubisky was forced to throw 33 times. He passed for only 147 yards, was sacked twice, fumbled twice and was intercepted twice.
"Stats are cool but at the end of the day, we just go out there and play hard, prepare well and just do our job," McLeod said. "And our job vs. any opponent is always to stop the run first and get them in passing situations and let our guys up front eat, and the rest is history."
The Eagles' defense hasn't allowed a touchdown since garbage time of the Broncos game — they led 44-9 when the Broncos scored — and they haven't allowed a rushing touchdown since Cam Newton scored from 16 yards out six weeks ago.
“It’s great to see, especially when you put the work in all week," linebacker Nigel Bradham said. "When a team is pretty much telling us they’re going to run the ball on us, we feel some type of way about that. That’s one of our strengths.
"That’s just what it was. We executed, we showed up, and we did what we wanted."