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Grading Eagles' 31-3 win over Bears in Week 12

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Grading Eagles' 31-3 win over Bears in Week 12

Grading the Eagles' 31-3 win Sunday afternoon over the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field (see breakdown):

QUARTERBACK
Carson Wentz: 23/36, 227 YDS, 3 TD

For the third consecutive game, Wentz avoided committing a turnover and was sacked no more than once. It's a lot easier to run an efficient offense when negative plays aren't part of the equation. Wentz's 63.9 percent completion rate was also by far the highest it's been in the Eagles' last four games. Give him 29 yards rushing for good measure. The second-year passer got a little erratic with the football late in the contest — after he had already done more than enough to put his team in the driver's seat.

Grade: A-

RUNNING BACKS
LeGarrette Blount: 15 ATT, 97 YDS

Blount lost a fumble on his fourth carry of the game, negating a 35-yard carry. For some coaches, that would've been reason enough to turn primary ball-carrying duties over to Jay Ajayi or even Corey Clement. Instead, the Eagles went right back to Blount, who carried 11 more times for another 52 yards. Ajayi would later break a 30-yard run, only to put the ball on the carpet at the 1-yard line. The numbers were there, but ball security is paramount.

Grade: C

WIDE RECEIVERS
Alshon Jeffery: 5 REC, 52 YDS, 1 TD

Jeffery exacted revenge against his former employer, leading Eagles wideouts in receptions and receiving yards against the Bears. However, Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith demonstrated tremendous individual efforts as well. Agholor scored twice, taking a screen 15 yards to the house, then scooping up the Ajayi fumble in the end zone. And Smith returned to the game after a brutal shot over the middle, finishing with four catches for 30 yards. This was a mentally tough performance all around (see Roob's observations).

Grade: A

TIGHT ENDS
Zach Ertz: 10 REC, 103 YDS, 1 TD

Not only was Ertz a beast through the air, hauling in 10 of the 12 targets that came his way. The fifth-year player has looked greatly improved blocking in the running game this season. With Trey Burton out with a back injury, the Bears were going to get a healthy dose of Ertz — and he delivered.

Grade: A

OFFENSIVE LINE
The Eagles averaged 5.9 yards per rushing attempt (minus kneeldowns), while the Bears' lone sack of Wentz came on a play where the quarterback was attempting to scramble. The running lanes were there, and the protection was solid for most of the contest, though Chicago was able to generate some pressure in the second half. Still, the only concern was the play of Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who was called for two holding penalties. Neither flag came back to haunt the Eagles, as both drives ended in a touchdown.

Grade: A-

DEFENSIVE LINE
Brandon Graham: 5 TKL, 2 TFL, 1.0 SK

The No. 5 rushing offense in the NFL was limited to six yards on 14 attempts by the league's No. 1 run defense. In all, the Eagles' front four produced five tackles for loss. With the Bears unable to move the ball on the ground, their offense wasn't going to be much of a threat. Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky mostly took short, quick dropbacks, but was sacked once each by Graham and Fletcher Cox and hit five times total. The D-line will eat up a one-dimensional offense every time.

Grade: A+

LINEBACKERS
Mychal Kendricks: 3 TKL

Truth be told, the Eagles' linebackers really didn't need to do much here, so let's talk about how dominant the defense was as a whole. The Bears ended the first half with just 33 yards of total offense and failed to pick up a single first down during the first two quarters. Statistically speaking, the linebackers may not have had a lot to do with that, but the unit certainly took care of its responsibilities.

Grade: A

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Malcolm Jenkins: 2 TKL, 1 INT

While Jenkins was ultimately credited with an interception, the play itself turned into a negative when he fumbled the ball during the return. The veteran safety will no doubt admit he got a little too cute, and fortunately for the Eagles, they turned right around and forced a three-and-out. Jalen Mills and Rasul Douglas broke up one pass each, Corey Graham came up with a pick in garbage time. This secondary excelled again, albeit against a rookie quarterback and undermanned receiving corps.

Grade: A

SPECIAL TEAMS
Jake Elliott: 1/1 FG, 4/4 XP

There was some concern with Elliott heading in after he missed a field goal or extra point in the previous four games, but he was perfect coming off of a concussion. Both of Donnie Jones' punts pinned the Bears' offense deep inside their own 20-yard line, while Kenjon Barner recorded one return for 17 yards. The lone issues came on kickoffs — an illegal kick out of bounds by Elliott and a 39-yard return by the Bears. Those need to be cleaned up.

Grade: B

COACHING
Eagles' record: 10-1

The Eagles were playing a vastly inferior opponent, and it sure looked like it. There were some individual miscues, but the entire team was motivated, and the game plan reduced the Bears' offense and defense to rubble. The final score could've been even more lopsided than it was, but the Eagles led 24-0 at halftime, and the result was never in question. That's a credit to Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz, as the team extended its winning streak to nine games.

Grade: A+

Eagles fans give MetLife Stadium a real fan experience

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Eagles fans give MetLife Stadium a real fan experience

First, it was StubHub Center in Carson, California, on Oct. 1. Then it was the Los Angeles Coliseum last week.

This time, on Sunday, it was a turnpike drive to MetLife Stadium. 

Eagles fans travel — we know that. An Eagles game in North Jersey? It's nothing new, Eagles-Giants, no matter how big of a ghastly mess the New York football Giants are right now, will always attract plenty of Birds fans. But this is quite something.

Eagles fans on Sunday gave MetLife Stadium — which has been open for eight seasons now — a baptism of what real fan experience looks like, writes the New York Daily News' Gary Miles:

Thanks to the Eagles fans, we found out MetLife Stadium can actually be as loud as Giants Stadium used to be. This is the eighth year for the new stadium and it hasn't jumped like the old place.

It's hard to say more than 50% of the stadium were Eagles fans, but they seemed to account for 75% of the noise, even more down the stretch when they were chanting, "Defense, defense, defense," on the Giants last drive.

This was worse than late in the 1978 season when fans burned tickets, rented an airplane to fly over the stadium pleading for the end of bad football and hung Wellington Mara in effigy from the mezzanine.

The Eagles fans invaded and the only retribution was cops handcuffed a fan wearing an Eagles No. 11 jersey and escorting him through the bowels of the stadium after the game.

Well done, Eagles fans. Well done.

Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win over the Giants in Week 15

Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win over the Giants in Week 15

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Grading the Eagles' 34-29 win Sunday afternoon over the New York Giants at the MetLife Stadium (see breakdown):

QUARTERBACK
Nick Foles: 24/38, 237 YDS, 4 TD

Foles was far from perfect, missing his share of open receivers. He also wasn't afraid to stand in the pocket and take a hit or push the ball downfield. Foles threw a touchdown pass on four of the Eagles' six trips inside the red zone. Perhaps most importantly, he avoided the negative plays, taking only one sack and finishing the game without a turnover. You can't ask for much more from a backup.

Grade: A

RUNNING BACKS
Jay Ajayi: 12 ATT, 49 YDS, 2 REC, 40 YDS

The Eagles went with a running back by committee approach in the first half to only middling results. In the second half, they turned the reins over to Ajayi, who quickly racked up the offense's long gains of the day — a 22-yard rush and a 32-yard reception. Not sensational production by any means, but at least there weren't any fumbles.

Grade: C+

WIDE RECEIVERS
Nelson Agholor: 9 TAR, 7 REC, 59 YDS, 1 TD

The performance of these receivers with the backup quarterback at the helm is deserving of some respect. Agholor led the team in receptions and receiving yards, and Alshon Jeffery added four receptions for 49 and a score. Torrey Smith drew a pass interference penalty to set up six for the Eagles as well. With or without Carson Wentz under center, this is still a dangerous bunch (see Roob's observations).

Grade: A-

TIGHT ENDS
Zach Ertz: 9 TAR, 6 REC, 56 YDS, 1 TD

Another week, another stellar game for Eagles tight ends. Ertz picked up right where he left off with a big day after missing the previous week, while Trey Burton tacked on two receptions for 15 yards and a score as well.

Grade: A

OFFENSIVE LINE
Chance Warmack: Started at left guard

Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggled with the speed of All-Pro defensive end Olivier Vernon off the edge, allowing four quarterback hits and a sack. Warmack had trouble keeping his feet and reaching his landmarks is the running game. Of course, you can only expect so much when the left side of the O-line consists of backups. Vaitai and Warmack were adequate, even very good at times, and settled in as the game went along to the point where protection was actually solid in the second half.

Grade: B+

DEFENSIVE LINE
Brandon Graham: 4 TKL, 2 TFL, 1.0 SK

The Giants rely on quick passes, negating the Eagles' pass rush to some extent, but the defense was able to generate some mild pressure. Vinny Curry had a sack erased by a penalty in the secondary, and Fletcher Cox got to the quarterback on a two-point conversion attempt. Otherwise, it was a quiet day up front, though the Giants were limited to 75 yards rushing on 3.3 yards per carry.

Grade: B

LINEBACKERS
Nigel Bradham: 11 TKL, 1 TFL, 2 PD

Both Bradham and Mychal Kendricks with nine tackles were extremely active, as the Giants worked the middle of the field hard with their power running game and short slants. Bradham had a chance to put the game on ice late in the fourth quarter but dropped what could've been an easy interception.

Grade: B

DEFENSIVE BACKS
Ronald Darby: 5 TKL, 3 PD, 1 INT

The secondary got off to a horrendous start, allowing 14th-year veteran Eli Manning to set a career high with 252 yards passing in the first half of a game. Darby's interception and 37-yard return while trailing 20-7 in the second quarter flipped the momentum a bit. The coverage was perfect, and Darby's run to the Giants' 20-yard line was even better. Manning went back to work in the second half, racking up 427 yards and three touchdowns. This was supposed to be the 31st-ranked passing offense in the NFL. Not good.

Grade: C-

SPECIAL TEAMS
Eagles: 3 blocked kicks

Derek Barnett blocked an extra point attempt in the first quarter, which turned out to be a huge play. Kamu Grugier-Hill followed up Darby's pick with a blocked punt on the following possession. Malcolm Jenkins blocked a field goal, too. And Jake Elliott was perfect on field goals and extra points. Yet, Najee Goode nearly undid all of it. Goode's totally unnecessary neutral zone infraction on a Giants punt in the third quarter extended a failed drive, eventually resulting in a touchdown. The rest of the unit bailed him out.

Grade: A-

COACHING
Eagles' record: 12-2

This was not Jim Schwartz's best work. The Eagles' defense seemed wholly unprepared for the exact same offense the Giants ran against them in Week 3 — the same offense they run every week. There's no reason for Manning to go over 400 yards. None. Some of the issues were the poor play on the part of the defensive backs, but the game plan was questionable as well.

Otherwise, great job by Doug Pederson to rally the troops after falling behind by 13 in the first half. It didn't look like the offense dialed anything back at all with Foles under center, which was the right call, too. When the team scores 34 with the backup quarterback, the coach is doing something right.

Grade: B-