Last Sunday night proved easier than expected.
Fresh off a 37-9 whooping of the Cowboys in Dallas, the Eagles return home to kick off against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field (1 p.m./FOX).
Here are our expert predictions for the Week 12 matchup:
Reuben Frank (10-0)
This one could get ugly fast. Heck, lately, they’ve all been ugly. The Eagles have won three straight games by 23 or more points, and I fully expect that streak to increase to four Sunday. There have been only 12 instances in NFL history where a team has won four straight games by 23 or more points, most recently the 2004 Colts. Before that the 1961 Packers did it and so did the 1993 49ers. So if the Eagles do indeed blow out the Bears, they’ll be only the fourth team in the last 64 years to win four straight games by 23 or more points. The Eagles are just demolishing people right now, winning these last three by a combined 79 points. The Bears, meanwhile, come into Philly having lost three straight games and averaging just 15.3 points on offense this year, just 13.3 on the road. They’ve scored just six offensive touchdowns on the road all year. The Eagles have scored 21 offensive TDs at home. Blowout City.
Eagles 49, Bears 12
Dave Zangaro (8-2)
There's no such thing as a "trap game" for this Eagles team.
So feel free to spend your day worrying about their focus against an inferior Bears team, but don't feel the need to. The Eagles aren't looking past the Bears, which means they're going to crush them.
The Eagles had a bad half against the Cowboys and were still able to smoke them last week. If they come out just a little bit hotter Sunday afternoon, they'll put the Bears away early and keep the gas pedal to the floor. This Eagles team can taste blood in the water and there's a good chance they'll get the Bears bleeding early.
Sure, Chicago's defense is OK and they can run the football. But the Eagles have scored 30-plus points in the last four games and the Bears haven't scored more than 27 all season. They're not going to be able to keep up.
The Eagles win this one easy.
Eagles 34, Bears 6
Derrick Gunn (9-1)
Their record says the Bears are a 3-7 team, but their play on the field shows they can be competitive. The Bears have lost their last three games by eight, seven and three points. Their three wins this season have been against Pittsburgh (in overtime), Baltimore and Carolina. They have an impressive run game that averages 131.8 yards, which is fifth-best in the league, featuring second-year back Jordan Howard, who is third in the league in rushing with 84.1 yards per game, and rookie Tarik Cohen. Both average over four yards per carry. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has shown promise, but he's still a rookie and prone to make mistakes. Chicago's offense averages just 17.4 points. Their defense is ranked 11th and can get after the quarterback with 29 sacks, tied for fourth-best in the league.
Unfortunately for the Bears, they are running into a red-hot Eagles squad that is firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. Carson Wentz and his crew are shredding defenses and the Birds’ defense is making Sundays miserable for opposing offenses.
I look for this to be an entertaining game for maybe the first 30 minutes, then I expect the Birds to send the Bears into hibernation.
Eagles 30, Bears 14
Ray Didinger (9-1)
Last Sunday, the Eagles' offense went three-and-out on five straight possessions, looked totally out of sync for a half and they still beat the Dallas Cowboys by four touchdowns. That's pretty scary. They are averaging 32 points, most in the league, and they are allowing just 18.8 points a game. Crunch the numbers however you like, the bottom line is the same. The Eagles are the best team in football.
The Chicago Bears limp into town this week with a rookie quarterback (Mitchell Trubisky) and a 3-7 record. The Bears' coaches have done all they can to help Trubisky, calling lots of running plays with Jordan Howard (841 yards, third in the league) but no one has success running against the Eagles so this looks like a long day for the Bears. Their defense keeps them in most games, but they just don't have enough weapons on offense. It will be the same story this week.
Eagles 28, Bears 12
Andrew Kulp (9-1)
In order to believe this might be a trap game, you would first have to believe one of two things. Either the Eagles are not as good as their record indicates, and a vastly inferior opponent such as the Bears can actually pose a threat. Or the Eagles, as a team, don't possess the correct mindset to focus on the task ahead and are susceptible to going on autopilot for a week.
I'm 100 percent confident the latter isn't true. The immense leadership in the locker room and overwhelming quantity of self-motivated players makes it hard to believe this team would take anybody lightly. That means an upset would require the Bears to have the talent to take advantage of some weakness on the Eagles. I have a hard time seeing that.
Yes, the Bears are better than their 3-7 record would suggest, but unless they can limit the Eagles' offense to fewer than 20 points, I don't see how they score enough points to win. And considering the Bears have only held two opponents under 20 all season, and the Eagles have yet to post fewer than 20, the prospect seems highly unlikely. Trap game, schmap game.
Eagles 30, Bears 10
Corey Seidman (7-3)
The Bears play sneaky good defense but have little else. They barely throw downfield and have zero weapons on the outside.
This is probably the Eagles’ easiest game left.
Eagles 35, Bears 6