This one wasn’t quite as easy as it probably should’ve been.
Jalen Hurts and the offense struggled early, turning the ball over twice and only managing 10 first half points against one of the NFL’s worst defenses.
Haason Reddick, who had a monster game highlighted by two sacks, led a defensive effort that prevented the Bears from scoring on Philly’s first two turnovers The only Bears score in the first half came on a drive sparked by an incredibly Fields run after he broke free from a Reddick sack.
Hurts and the offense looked better in the second half. The Eagles’ quarterback largely rectified the accuracy issues that plagued him earlier on. Hurts connected on some big plays with both DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown. The latter made high leverage catches to set up Philly’s final touchdown and then later their final first down conversion to seal the game.
Though this battle was a bit too close for comfort at times, the Eagles ultimately exited with a win. They’ll certainly take that.
Next up for the Eagles? Well, you already know. It’s Dallas Week.
And a win over the Cowboys on Christmas Eve allows the Birds to officially clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture.
And the Cowboys just lost to Doug Pederson’s Jacksonville Jaguars as I was writing this! AAHHH!!!!!
Read on for a recap and stay tuned for BGN’s postgame coverage, including the BGN Radio postgame show!
- The Eagles won the coin toss and elected to defer, as they usually do. The Bears started at their own 25-yard line after an illegal return formation from Chicago allowed the Eagles to redo the kickoff (ultimately saved three yards in Philly’s favor). Despite getting hit with two false start penalties, the Eagles gave up a first down on 3rd-and-10 with James Bradberry getting beat by Equanimeous St. Brown on an dig route. ESB, the Bears’ leading receiver entering this game, got hurt on the play. Then Bears starting right guard Teven Jenkins went down and got carted off the field. Very unfortunate. And a real slow pace to start this game with 12:31 still on the clock at 1:18 PM Eastern in real time. The Bears converted another third down, this time a 3rd-and-1, with a David Montgomery carry. Milton Williams made a really nice open field tackle from behind on Cole Kmet to prevent a huge gain on a screen. On 3rd-and-1, Fields ran out of bounds for a loss with K’Von Wallace screaming down the edge to help force the Bears QB out. The BEars went for it on 4th-and-2 and Fields’ pass to Dante Pettis was thrown behind the receiver to lead to a turnover on downs. 10 plays, zero points.
- The Eagles took over at their own 32-yard line. Two straight Jalen Hurts runs brought up third down. On 3rd-and-3, Hurts rolled left and threw a pass with perfect ball placement to DeVonta Smith along the left sideline. Incredibly accurate despite not being an easy throw. On the very next play, however, Hurts threw an ugly pick right to Kyler Gordon. Not sure what happened there other than just an egregious underthrow (continuing the weird trend of Hurts underthrowing targets early in games). Perhaps Hurts’ worst pass of the season.
- Ndamukong Suh probably should’ve been flagged for a strike to Fields’ helmet after he slid but the Eagles got away with no call. The Bears picked up a first but then faced a third down. On 3rd-and-10, Josh Sweat broke free on a stunt to take down Fields for a 14-yard loss.
Josh Sweat up to 5 sacks (and counting) in his last 4 games.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 18, 2022
New career high with 8.5 so far (passing 7.5 from last year). #Eagles
- The Eagles took over at their own 35-yard line after a 7-yard return by Britain Covey. Hurts overthrew DeVonta Smith, who had a step, to bring third down. On 3rd-and-10, Hurts aired it out to A.J. Brown, who had a step, and it was off target again. Three-and-out.
- New Eagles punter Brett Kern punted 40 yards on his first try to allow the Bears to start at their own 29-yard line. Javon Hargrave sacked Fields for an 8-yard loss to force another Bears punt to end the first quarter. Hargrave’s ninth sack of the season.
- Hurts threw a ball over a Bears linebacker to hit a crossing DeVonta Smith over the middle for a 43-yard catch-and-run. Hurts connected with an open A.J. Brown on a slant for another first after the Bears bit on a fake handoff to the right. Tyree Jackson got called for holding to set the Eagles back to 2nd-and-15. Obvious penalty. Hurts had brown open in the end zone but Jaylon Johnson was able to get a hand up to JUST break up the pass. Needed more touch from Hurts there instead of a line drive. Hurts connected with Brown short of the sticks to set up a 32-yard field goal attempt from Jake Elliott. After the Bears burned a timeout for no good reason, Elliott made the kick. No issues with Kern as the new holder. Still no running back carries for the Eagles at this point. Strange! EAGLES 3, BEARS 0.
- On 3rd-and-4, the Eagles left a wide open lane up the middle for Fields to run through for 16 yards. Too easy. The Eagles brought extra pressure but no one was able to get home, allowing Fields to dump off to Montgomery for a chunk gain. Haason Reddick came up with a BIG strip-sack on Fields ... that Fletcher Cox should’ve been able to fall on but allowed the Bears to recover instead. On 2nd-and-27, Fields survived a would-be Reddick sack to take off running through awful Eagles tackling for what looked like a touchdown. He was ruled out of bounds but it didn’t matter with Montgomery taking a carry to the end zone. Terrible sequence for the Birds there. At least Cairos Santos missed the extra point. That Cox non-recovery proved to be costly. EAGLES 3, BEARS 6.
- Miles Sanders’ first carry came with 6:41 remaining in the second quarter and it went for just one yard. Hurts threw his second pick of the day on a play where he anticipated Quez Watkins to be out of his break sooner than the receiver was. The vibes are not good!
- The Bears took over at the Eagles’ 25-yard line. They got set back to 2nd-and-16 after the Bears botched a read exchange. Reddick forced Fields into a completion to bring up third down. On 3rd-and-16, Reddick beat the Bears right tackle Alex Leatherwood (who clearly could not block him!) yet again to bring up 4th-and-27. Then the Bears punted (!) from Philly’s 31-yard line. The punt was downed at the 9-yard line for just a 22-yard difference. Lol, that’s a gift from Chicago.
Haason Reddick, who has a team-leading 12.0 sacks this season, has contributed to sacks in 6 straight games, marking the longest streak by an Eagle since Trent Cole in 2009. #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 18, 2022
- The Eagles went with two straight Sanders runs to pick up a first down and hit the 2-minute warning. After picking up two first downs, the Eagles got to 3rd-and-3 after an A.J. Brown drop on a comeback along the sideline. On third down, Hurts aired it out into Bears territory and DeVonta Smith made a nice over-the-shoulder grab for 38 yards. Good throw, good catch. Hurts threw short to Kenneth Gainwell, who got lit up for just a 2-yard gain. The Eagles called their first timeout. A designed run by Hurts went for no gain and caused the Eagles to burn their second timeout with 0:48 left. On 3rd-and-8, the Bears brought a blitz but Hurts kept the ball on a QB draw and ran up the middle through WIDE OPEN space for an easy 22-yard touchdown. Not sure if that was the coaching staff having the right call or Hurts seeing the blitz or both. In any case, great play for the offense to allow Philly to retake the lead. EAGLES 10, BEARS 6.
Pretttyyy touch pass from Hurts to Smith.pic.twitter.com/nkfzZDuY6v— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 18, 2022
Make that 5 catches for 30+ yards in the last 3 games for DeVonta Smith, who has 3 catches for 104 yards so far in the first half of today's game (including receptions of 45 and 38 yards). #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 18, 2022
DeVonta Smith is 38 receiving yards shy of setting a new career high (916 as a rookie in 2021). #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 18, 2022
Jalen Hurts has set a new franchise QB record with his 11th rushing TD of the season. #FlyEaglesFly— John Gonoude (@john_gonoude) December 18, 2022
- Sweat picked up another sack on Fields via a stunt. Two for him on the day and 9.5 for him on the season. The Eagles called their final timeout to bring up 3rd-and-18 for the Bears. Chicago took a knee to end the first half.
Jalen Hurts had an aDoT of 15.4 on 16 1st Half attempts, which would be his highest number by a mile this season. #FlyEaglesFly— Deniz Selman (@denizselman33) December 18, 2022
- The Eagles got the ball to start the second half. Boston Scott took the Bears’ kickoff 58 yards to Chicago’s 42-yard line. Second straight game with a big return by BoSco. Nice to see special teams contributing in a positive way. Hurts took a big hit on a designed run to the right side for just two yards. I dunno, maybe use the running backs instead? A short completion to Jack Stoll brought up 3nd-and-2. On third down, Kenneth Gainwell took the handoff up the middle for a conversion. Hurts aired it out to A.J. Brown, who made an over-the-shoulder grab despite being tightly covered. Another dart by the QB. Two players later, Hurts got in the end zone with a QB sneak. 12th rushing TD this year by QB1 to take a two possession lead. EAGLES 17, BEARS 6.
That's the 12th rushing TD on the season for Jalen Hurts. NFL single-season record for rushing TDs by a QB is 14, by Cam Newton.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) December 18, 2022
- On 3rd-and-5, Fields got the crap sacked out of him by Hargrave for a 9-yard loss.
Eagles up to 6 sacks on Justin Fields thus far.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 18, 2022
2 by Josh Sweat, 2 by Haason Reddick, 2 by Javon Hargrave.
Javon Hargrave (10 sacks) joins the double-digit sack club along with Haason Reddick (12 sacks).— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) December 18, 2022
Josh Sweat needs 0.5 sacks for admission, Brandon Graham needs 1.5.
- Sanders caught a pass in the backfield and immediately fumbled for a Bears recovery. Sanders’ first fumble of the year came at a pretty bad spot on the field. Third Eagles turnover on the day.
- The Bears took over at the Eagles’ 15-yard line. The Bears picked up six yards on the ground. The Eagles sniffed out a Fields designed run to the left side to force the QB out for no gain. On third down, the Eagles brought a blitz and Fields was able to get the ball out quick for a wide open touchdown. Sanders’ mistake made it a one possession game. The defense had previously held the Bears to zero points off of Philly’s first two turnovers. Weird decision by the Bears to not go for a two-point conversion to potentially make it a field goal game. EAGLES 17, BEARS 13.
- Hurts saw another Bears blitz coming so he took off running straight and he took a big hit to bring up 3rd-and-2. On third down, Hurts targeted Quez deep but the pass went incomplete. Looked like the WR wanted pass interference but it wasn’t called. But why take the deep shot when you can probably trust your offensive line to get the first down on the ground?
- The Bears took over at their own 40-yard line. The Bears ran a jet sweep to ancient rookie WR Velus Jones Jr. and Reddick forced a fumble AND recovered it for an Eagles takeaway. Huge!
- The Birds took over at their own 43-yard line. Hurts to an open Brown over the middle got the Eagles into Bears territory. Hurts took a big sack on a blitz despite likely having time to dump off to his checkdown. On 3rd-and-15, Hurts connected with Brown again but short of the sticks. The Eagles decided to go for it on 4th-and-6 from the Bears’ 33-yard line, which was a no man’s land given the cold and windy conditions. Hurts targeted Brown at the marker and the pass was knocked down for a turnover on downs. So much for capitalizing on the defense’s takeaway.
- Fields nearly threw a pick to Reddick that instead landed incomplete. Fields threw a pass too far out in front of a bubble screen target to bring up third down. On 3rd-and-10, T.J. Edwards dodged a blocker and made a nice tackle on Kmet to prevent a first down. Three-and-out by Chicago.
- The Eagles took over deep in their own territory at the 3-yard line. Hurts underthrew an open DeVonta despite having a clean pocket. Brown had a catch knocked out of his hands by Jaylon Johnson. On 3rd-and-10, a screen out wide to DeVonta beat a Bears blitz for a first down. Nice lead blocking by Zach Pascal and Jack Stoll on that one. Hurts was slow to get up after taking yet another big hit on a carry. He came right back and fired a pass to DeVonta for a first down, though, to end the third quarter. Hurts did look to be grimacing a bit as the game was sent to commercial break.
- Hurts to Brown on a slant, easy first down. Hurts aired it out deep and Brown and the ball was off target a bit wide and behind. A run by Sanders — gasp, a running back run! — went for 16 yards. Perhaps more of that?! The Eagles got to 3rd-and-4 after back-to-back runs by Hurts (scramble this time, not designed) and Sanders. On third down, Gainwell was tackled short of the marker to bring up 4th-and-2. On fourth down from the 33-yard line, the Eagles went for it ... and Hurts kept the ball to take off running for JUST enough for the first down. Phew. A unstoppable sneak from 3rd-and-1 gave the Eagles another first down into the red zone. Hurts had a pass tipped at the line to prevent a completion underneath to Grant Calcaterra. On 3rd-and-10, Hurts threw out of bounds on a target to DeVonta. Should have been a touchdown, the QB had a clean pocket to throw from and the WR created space for a completion along the sideline. Jake Elliott came in for the 38-yard field goal and ... MISSED IT. Single doink off the far side of the right upright. Oh no. Killer to come away with zero points on that 19-play drive. Fourth straight drive in the second half with zero points. Not gonna cut it.
- Wallace made a nice tackle on a Fields QB draw to bring up 3rd-and-4. On third down, Fields avoided a sack to take off running but there was a holding penalty to bring it back. The Bears’ right tackle tackled Reddick and he almost got a sack anyway. Fields came up limping after the run, forcing the Bears to insert Nathan Peterman. On 3rd-and-14, Peterman’s third down throw short of the sticks was broken up by Darius Slay. Three-and-out for the Bears.
- The Eagles took over at their own 25-yard line with 6:47 remaining. Perfect time for a long, clock-eating scoring drive to put the game away. A pop pass to Quez went for a yard. Too many designed touches to him, especially after they haven’t been working! Hurts completed a pass to Quez to bring up 3rd-and-6. On third down, Hurts aired it out ... and the ball was ON THE MONEY to Hurts in the bread basket. Brown got to the 3-yard line before being taken down. HUGE. The Eagles were stopped for a 1-yard loss on the ground. It looked like Sanders fought his way into the end zone but he was JUST shy to bring up 3rd-and-goal from mere inches away. On third down, the Eagles got in with a sneak ... but there was a flag ... and it was offside on Chicago. Lmao, the Bears defender was clearly over the ball. The Eagles decided to go for two and their multiple shifts (including one from Cam Jurgens!) out of a goal line set caused the Bears to jump offside. Brilliant! The Eagles got it in with Hurts easily running in. 12-point game. EAGLES 25, BEARS 13.
Great call by Nick Sirianni to go for 2 there to have the Eagles to go up 25 to 13.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) December 18, 2022
12-point game forces the Bears to score 2 TDs as opposed to 11 points via 1 TD + 2 pt conversion + 1 FG.
Most rushing TDs by a QB in one season:— Mitch Goldich (@mitchgoldich) December 18, 2022
14 - Cam Newton (2011)
13 - JALEN HURTS (2022)
Hurts has 3 games left to set the record
- The Bears took over with Fields back in and 4:12 remaining with just one timeout to work with. The Bears ran a sad flea flicker that resulted in an off target incompletion. The Bears converted a 3rd-and-4 with a Fields completion. Then the Eagles absolutely blew a coverage to allow a wide open touchdown to Byron Pringle. Terrible. EAGLES 25, BEARS 20.
- The Bears attempted an onside kick but DeVonta recovered it easily enough at the Bears’ 43-yard line. Chicago called their final timeout with 2:37 remaining. Another designed touch to Quez (WHY?!) resulted in no gain. On 3rd-and-6 from the 2-minute warning, the Eagles tried to draw the Bears offside but ending up taking a timeout instead. On third down for real this time, Hurts connected with Brown on yet another slant for the first down. Boom! Game. Victory formation to run out the clock.
FINAL SCORE: EAGLES WIN, 25 to 20
- K’Von Wallace got the start at safety but Avonte Maddox was playing deep in certain looks with Wallace in the box. Maddox the slot cornerback with Wallace playing on the back end when the Eagles were in nickel.
- Hurts appeared to be in some pain at one point but he did not miss any snaps.