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10 winners and 1 loser from the Eagles’ dismantling of the Bears

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Eagles were bullish on the Bears

NFL: Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles disassembled the Bears 31-3 to improve to 10-1. Chicago came into the game looking better than their record. They were 2-5 in one score games, so this was not your typical 3-7 team. But against the Eagles, they looked like a typical 3-7 team. The Eagles didn’t just beat them by 28, they dismantled them. The Bears had a very good run offense and defense, the Eagles out gained them on the ground 176-6. Whew.

WINNERS

Eagles celebrations

The NFL relaxed their penalties on celebrations this season, and as a result there have been some great celebrations on an individual basis. JuJu Smith-Schuster immediately comes to mind. But on a team level, nobody tops the Eagles. The Torrey Smith home run. The Alshon Jeffery hit by pitch. Kenjon Barner opening the safe. Add two more to the highlight reel with this game: the bowling pins and, even though the play didn’t count, the electric slide. This team is fun in every way.

Zach Ertz

Cross another talking point off the list: the Eagles finally got their 100 yard receiver. It was a fairly quiet one, with Ertz piling it up on 10 catches and his longest catch being for 22 yards. Another good day at the office. And for Ertz it was a nice bounce back after catching just 6 passes for 42 yards in his previous two games. That said, come on Zach, you gotta jump for that pass.

Nelson Agholor

Speaking of good games by players who have been quiet recently, Agholor had a nice game after catching just one pass for -2 yards last week against the Cowboys. Just when it seemed that he might be slowing down after a hot start (in the two games before that, he had 62 yards), Agholor rebounded with two touchdowns (one assisted by Jay Ajayi).

Alshon Jeffery

Meanwhile Alshon Jeffery continued to do what he’s been doing all season: he came into the game averaging 4 catches for 57 yards, and he had 5 catches for 52 yards, along with a touchdown. Jeffery is up to 7 TDs for the season, tied for the second best mark of his career. Five of those have come in the last four games.

LeGarrette Blount

Against a good run defense and with a crowded house in the backfield, Blount had one of his best games of the season with 97 yards on 15 carries. Credit Doug Pederson for going with the hot hand, and credit Blount for stepping up.

Eagles defense

After the Eagles offense played one of their worst games of the season against the 49ers, Lane Johnson said that despite winning by 23 the offense was treating it like a loss. After the Cowboys ran for 112 yards against the Eagles, Jim Schwartz said that despite only giving up 9 points to the Cowboys, his players were pissed about their performance. They took it out on the Bears, who entered the game averaging 131.8 rushing yards per game, 6th best in the league. They had six (6). Six.

Kenjon Barner

One of the fun things about sports is seeing something you’ve never seen before and probably again. Barner dragging Jaylen Watkins away from a live punt was a great heads up play, unique, and highly entertaining.

Offensive line

The Bears came into the game with one of the most efficient pass rushes at 3rd in raw sack rate and 2nd in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Sack Rate. The loss of Leonard Floyd in last week’s game hurt, but the Eagles offensive line completely dominated the Bears.

Jay Ajayi

Admittedly I’m just padding this out to get to 10 winners, and Ajayi’s fumble was bad, but Ajayi coming in midseason and having a big run in each game has been impressive. LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement have been good enough, but the addition of big runs has made the Eagles rushing attack lethal.

Doug Pederson

This was the last game with “trap” potential, as the rest of the schedule is either against a team with a winning record, a divisional opponent, or in prime time. Some are a combination of both. This was anything but a trap game. The offense pounded a good run defense. Carson Wentz threw three touchdowns. The defense embarrassed a very good run offense, holding them to negative yardage until garbage time. They neutralized a good pass rush. The Bears aren’t good, but they’re not horrendous either, they do some things well. The Eagles did them great. Though there have been a few lousy starts and the third quarter was very sloppy on both sides, Pederson deserves a lot of credit for having his team show up to play every week and put away teams with ease. And it was good to see Pederson be aggressive on fourth down.

LOSER

Whoever told Doug Pederson to challenge Nelson Agholor’s catch

Challenging a spot is always risky, but the decision to challenge Agholor’s third down catch late in the first half was stupid. It clearly wasn’t a first down live or on replay, and with the Eagles needing only inches to gain a first down in a game they were dominating, it wasn’t worth the risk of losing a challenge, even if it was unlikely they would need it. It’s been hard to find fault with Pederson and his staff this season, and the challenge didn’t hurt them in the slightest in this game, but that decision made no sense. Do better.