Game Review – PHI 22, CHI 14

Posted: November 9th, 2019 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 1 Comment »

The Bears had lost three straight games. Their season was on the line. They were the more desperate team.

The Eagles were the better team and that mattered more on Sunday.

The Eagles were able to dominate the first half, but Red Zone struggles meant that the score was only 12-0 at the break. That easily could have been a 21-0 Eagles lead. You have to give the Bears defense credit. That group isn’t playing at the elite level they did last year, but they are still a formidable group and made some key stops.

It was encouraging to see the Eagles win this game. Things really went their way in the first half, but then things changed. The Bears came alive and the Eagles made some key mistakes. The lead went from 19-0 early in the third quarter to 19-14 early in the fourth quarter. Suddenly, nightmares of the Carolina and Tennessee games from last year were front and center in the minds of Eagles Nation. Ugh.

Luckily the team righted the ship, on offense and defense. They made the key plays down the stretch and won the game 22-14.

This wasn’t an easy game. It wasn’t really a fun game. This was a tough win against a desperate team. The Eagles came out on top and improved to 5-4. It was critical for the Eagles to win that game and stay right in the thick of the playoff chase.

COACHING

Doug Pederson didn’t have many tough decisions in this game. The most interesting came late, with the Eagles up 19-14 and facing 4th and 2. If Pederson went for it and got the first down, game over. He chose to kick the FG to go up by eight. The Eagles then got the ball back on STs so all the drama disappeared in an instant. I was fine with kicking the FG. Jake Elliott is having a very good year and an 8-point lead against Mitchell Trubisky feels pretty safe.

Pederson and Mike Groh put together a strong gameplan. They focused on neutralizing the Bears pass rush. That meant running the ball, throwing screens, moving the pocket and focusing on the short passing game. The Eagles piled up 373 yards, 22 points and kept Khalil Mack under control. Pederson made some brilliant situational play-calls. His screen to Dallas Goedert late in the game was absolutely fantastic.

Jim Schwartz had his guys bully the Bears. That meant shutting down the run and attacking Trubisky. There weren’t a lot of blitzes, but there were some creative looks and rushes. The Eagles did struggle in the Red Zone and that kept the game closer than it should have been.

QB

Carson Wentz played well, going 26-39-239 with a TD and no picks. This was kind of a game-manager game, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The Bears had one of the best third down defenses in the league and the Eagles went 8 for 18 in those situations. The Eagles won TOP by keeping the ball 40:18. That happened because Wentz made some good reads and some very good throws.

There was one throw I’m sure Wentz would love to have back. Alshon Jeffery broke open down the right sideline. A good throw puts the Eagles in the Red Zone, maybe goes for a TD. Wentz over threw AJ and the ball just fell to the ground.

RB

Jordan Howard went up against his old team and had to be ecstatic with his performance. He was 19-82 on the ground and had several runs of 10 or more yards. The highlight was his 13-yard TD run in the early third. Howard hit the hole and had an easy path to the end zone. Howard took advantage of great blocking. Howard shows good vision and feel for where to run. He doesn’t have much of a burst, but knows when to plant his foot and attack up the field. He also caught one pass.

Miles Sanders was 10-42 on the ground. He made good reads and smart cuts. He’s not as indecisive as earlier in the year. Sanders isn’t forcing things to the outside. He looks for the hole and then gets upfield. The coaches gave him the ball when up five points late in the game. That shows confidence that Sanders fumbles are mostly behind him.

Sanders was 3-31 as a receiver. The highlight play came late in the game. He blocked and then saw a LB get lost. Sanders released into the flat. Wentz hit him and that went for 19 yards and a first down. Huge moment in the game. Great read by Sanders to go out on that. Also important that he caught the ball and got the first.

Darren Sproles played late in the first half and reminded us why we are ready for him to wrap up his great career. He carried twice for 7 yards. On third down, he ran a crossing route and had a defender behind him. Wentz put the ball on him and Sproles dropped it. That would have been a first down and might have gotten the Eagles into FG range or better. Brutal drop.

WR

Alshon Jeffery did not have a good game. He was 4-36. AJ dropped multiple passes. These were throws that would have moved the chains. Jeffery did come up big with the game on the line. He caught a third down-pass in the fourth quarter that moved the chains. AJ used his size to block out the defender and he held onto this ball. Huge play for him and the offense.

Nelson Agholor was 3-21 as a receiver. No runs this week. Agholor and Wentz continue to struggle to connect for some reason.

Mack Hollins played 42 snaps and didn’t have any passes come his way. He was called for holding late in the half and that negated a good run by Sanders. Ugh.

DeSean Jackson caught a short pass early in the game. He then went into the medical tent. Eventually DJ went to the locker room. He aggravated his abdominal injury and is now done for the year. Ugh.

TE

Zach Ertz had a great game. He was 9-103-1 and made crucial catch after crucial catch. Chicago tried a variety of defenders against Ertz and he made plays against all of them. Eagles fans understand how good Ertz is. I do wonder about other fans. Do they know just how good he is? Ertz had a 25-yard TD catch, the first time the Bears have allowed a TD from outside the RZ in the last 12 games.

Dallas Goedert was 4-39 and also blocked well. There were a couple of plays where Mack just overwhelmed him. Goedert came up big in the fourth quarter when he caught a screen and then rumbled up the middle of the field for the first down.

OL

Andre Dillard made another start at LT and faced his biggest challenge. The Eagles didn’t put him on Khalil Mack blindly. They had a gameplan of how to help Dillard out. That said, there were times when he was on his own. Dillard played well. You can see that he’s going to be a very good LT down the road.

Brandon Brooks had a very good game.

Wow. I can’t say that Brooks stood out to me nearly that much. He was very good, but that is some incredible praise. Brooks did have the key block on Howard’s TD run. He got good movement in the run game on multiple plays.

Jason Kelce and Wentz got the Bears to jump offside multiple times. The Bears accused Kelce of moving the ball. Jimmy Bama found at least one play where there was a flinch, but the officials never called anything against Kelce so who knows. Kelce did have a great block on Goedert’s screen. Kelce didn’t fire upfield. He was patient. While waiting to go, he saw someone out of the corner of his eye. Kelce blocked a defender coming from the side. That allowed DG to get up the field and move the chains.

DL

Fletcher Cox is playing at a very high level these days. The stat sheet shows 2 tackles and a QB hit, but the tape tells a different story. Cox was able to consistently push the pocket and affect Trubisky. Cox clogged the running lanes. 

Brandon Graham had another strong game. He led the team in tackles and added a sack. BG was disruptive throughout the game.

Derek Barnett played well. He was only credited with one tackle. Barnett came up the middle on a loop and just missed a sack, but flushed Trubisky right over to Sweat.

Josh Sweat was productive. He had a sack, although it was a gift from Barnett. Sweat got pressure on a couple of other plays. He also helped vs the run. Every week we see flashes. He’s just got to be more consistent. 

Vinny Curry had the hardest hit on Trubisky of any Eagle. Really nailed him. Solid vs the run.

Tim Jernigan returned to the field and started at DT. Didn’t stand out to me, but helped to control the run. Jumped offside on one play.

Anthony Rush had a good showing. The big man was more active than last week. He held his ground vs the run and showed good effort in chasing the ball. Got in on a pair of tackles. He definitely has potential.

Albert Huggins played 12 snaps and flashed on a couple of plays. He uses his hands well. Has some quickness off the ball. Needs work, but can be a solid rotational DT.

Genard Avery only played three snaps, but was productive on two. Blitzed from upright position and got 1/2 a sack. Blew up a run later in the game. Can’t wait to see more of him.

LB

Nate Gerry was up and down. Missed several tackles, but always with someone else right there to finish the play. Was in on 4 tackles. Needs to work on his blitzing and his short yardage defense. Has to be stronger and more physical. Gerry is more active than ever and covers a lot of ground. Improving player.

Kamu Grugier-Hill was in on 3 tackles. He gets a bit better each week.

Rookie TJ Edwards had another good game. He was in on 3 tackles. Edwards reads plays well and gets to the ball. He can take on blockers. Good tackler. I love his instincts and he moves well. Has a chance to develop into a regular starting MLB.

DB

Jalen Mills had a pair of tackles and broke up one throw, a deep ball. Mills battled to knock the ball loose.

Rasul Douglas played in some dime sets.

Avonte Maddox was back in the slot and had a solid game. He broke up a pass late in the game. Maddox was credited with one tackle. He was around the ball a lot. Didn’t look too rusty.

Rodney McLeod was in on 3 tackles.

Malcolm Jenkins was up and down. He was in on 2 tackles and had 1/2 a sack. Jenkins also made some mistakes. The biggest came when he got caught looking in the backfield and a deep ball went over his head. That led to a TD.

STs

Cameron Johnston averaged 49 yards per punt.

Elliott hit his all 3 of his FGs . He missed another PAT.

Sproles was the PR. Muffed one late, but the ball went out of bounds.

Sanders was the KOR. Dave Fipp needs to have a long talk with him about the value of touchbacks. The Eagles struggled with field position. Sanders must be smarter about when to run the ball and when to take a knee.

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