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

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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. 

Why did Eagles draft JJ Arcega-Whiteside over D.K. Metcalf?

Why did Eagles draft JJ Arcega-Whiteside over D.K. Metcalf?

It’s hard not to compare J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and D.K. Metcalf.

They play the same position, they were taken seven spots apart in this year’s draft, and they’ll both be playing at the Linc on Sunday.

Through 10 games?

Metcalf has 35 catches for 595 yards, 23 first downs and five touchdowns.

Arcega-Whiteside has 3 catches for 43 yards, 1 first down and no touchdowns.

It’s still awfully early. But so far the Seahawks’ rookie has a monumental edge in production.

Doug Pederson said Wednesday that the Eagles liked Metcalf coming out of Mississippi. 

They just liked Arcega-Whiteside better. 

“We liked the player,” Pederson said. “He’s a big, powerful, physical guy, and he had some really good tape out there. And then we also liked J.J. We loved his size, his ability to play above the rim so to speak in the red zone and things like that. Similar players and made the decision with J.J. and we’ve been happy with that.”

The Eagles took JJAW with the 57th pick in this year’s draft, and the Seahawks selected Metcalf at No. 64. 

Metalf’s 595 receiving yards leads all NFL rookies, and Redskins rookie Terry McLaurin, a 3rd-round pick, is second with 566. 

The Eagles could have had either one. 

Metcalf and McLaurin are tied with the second-most receptions this year by rookies, three fewer than 49ers wideout Deebo Samuel, the 36th pick out of South Carolina. 

The only Seahawk in franchise history with more yards in his first 10 games of his career than Metcalf is Joey Galloway, a high 1st-round pick who had 650 in 1995.  

Metcalf has played 577 snaps. Arcega-Whiteside has played 195 but only 62 in the last six games.

His 29-yard reception against the Patriots Sunday was his first catch since Week 3.

“He did some nice things in the game, even though the ball necessarily didn’t come his way,” Pederson said. “He ran some really good routes and he played physical. The signs of him getting work in practice kind of paid off in the game and it will just give him more confidence moving forward.”

With Alshon Jeffery’s status still up in the air, there’s a chance JJAW will get more work against the Seahawks.

But it won’t be as much as Metcalf.

The only person who can really explain why the Eagles liked Arcega-Whiteside more than Metcalf is Howie Roseman, and he doesn’t do interviews during the season.

So Pederson sometimes has to answer questions about personnel that really aren’t his department.

“Young players sometimes it just takes time,” Pederson said. “It takes time to settle into their role, to understand their role and then to understand our game, to be able to play fast and to be able to play at a high level, and he showed some of that Sunday.”

Metcalf has been showing that every Sunday. 

It’s still way too early to write off Arcega-Whiteside or speculate who’s going to end up having the better career. There is certainly no reason to think JJAW won’t become a key part of this offense. 

But something is holding him back right now. Whether it’s coaching or just a poor evaluation by Roseman and his scouts, something is keeping him off the field. 

Meanwhile, Metcalf is producing at a high level as a 21-year-old rookie for one of the NFL’s best teams. 

And the way the Eagles’ wide receivers have been playing, it’s hard not to wonder how things would have gone if the Eagles had taken Metcalf instead.

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Eagles injury update: Nigel Bradham returning to practice field

Eagles injury update: Nigel Bradham returning to practice field

Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham, who has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, will return to the practice field today, according to head coach Doug Pederson. 

Bradham, 30, hasn’t played since the Vikings game on Oct. 13.

On Tuesday, Bradham wasn’t sure if he’d be ready for this Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. 

“Hopefully,” he said. “That’s the goal, but can’t force it.” 

Getting their top linebacker back would be a huge boost for the Eagles. Since Bradham has been out, Nate Gerry has assumed defensive play call responsibilities. While Jim Schwartz wouldn’t say the plan for when Bradham returns, it would stand to reason that Bradham would take back that job. 

“It’s been difficult (to miss games), not being out there to contribute with the team,” Bradham said. “It’s obviously tough, but I think our young guys are doing well. We just gotta keep motivating them and keep them going until the time I can come back.” 

Here are a few other injury updates from Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex: 

Lane Johnson: Johnson is still in the concussion protocol and the Eagles are preparing to play on Sunday without him. That means rookie Andre Dillard will spend the week getting first-team reps at right tackle. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who struggled after replacing Johnson on Sunday, will be the swing tackle. 

For the most part, Dillard has only ever played left tackle, so this will be an important week of practice for the first-round pick. 

Jordan Howard: The Eagles’ workhorse running back still hasn’t been cleared for contact and won’t be allowed to play until that happens. Howard suffered a stinger in the Bears game on Nov. 3 and even with the bye, missed the Patriots game on Sunday. He’ll be a limited participant in practice until he gets cleared, which means he’ll participate in individual drills. 

Pederson said Howard is improving. “It’s just a slow process right now,” he added.

If Howard can’t play this coming Sunday, it’s possible Jay Ajayi could find a role. Pederson emphasized on Wednesday, though, that the Eagles re-signed Ajayi to fill Darren Sproles’ roster spot and it had nothing to do with Howard, despite their similar playing styles. Still, Howard’s injury could create opportunity for Ajayi. 

Alshon Jeffery: Jeffery (ankle) is expected to be a limited participant in practice this week. He suffered his injury against the Bears and missed the Patriots game. 

Nelson Agholor: Agholor was not at Wednesday’s practice, presumably for injury reasons. Agholor banged his knee pretty hard on the ground in the end zone on that fourth down play in the fourth quarter Sunday. 

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