Game Review – PHI 25, CHI 20

Posted: December 21st, 2022 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Game Review – PHI 25, CHI 20

The Eagles offense averaged 41 points a game in the three weeks prior to Sunday. It sure seemed like the coaches and players expected that to continue with the mis-matches they had against a porous Bears defense.

Jalen Hurts and his teammates didn’t come close to scoring 41 points and the game was close up until the very end. Things did not go as expected. This was the Eagles first cold weather game of the year and that had more of an impact than anyone expected.

I thought the Eagles play was sloppy when watching live. It was even worse when re-watching. I don’t know if the weather really got to them or their heads were just elsewhere, but this was a sloppy performance. It was frustrating to watch live and even worse on replay.

All that said, the Eagles still out-gained the Bears by 173 yards and led all but a couple of minutes of the game. They were clearly the better team and came up with a win, despite not having their A-game.

The Eagles went up 17-6 in the early 3rd and got the ball back on offense. I thought a TD there would have put the game away. I expected some running. A screen to Sanders led to a fumble and the game was suddenly 17-13.

The Eagles went up 25-13 late and I thought that was it. A blown coverage led to a quick TD and the game was 25-20. The Eagles never had a chance to relax. The Bears found a way to keep pressure on them throughout the game.


Nick Sirianni decided to go for 2 when up 23-13. The Eagles got it and that made the score 25-13, making it a 2 TD game. Smart move.

Sirianni and the offensive coaches had an aggressive gameplan.

The coaches liked the WR/CB matchups and thought that was the smart way to attack. Between the wind, the cold and the Bears playing surprising D, the plan didn’t work all that great. The offense didn’t have any rhythm or flow. It lived and died with big plays. The Bears have a bad run defense, but the Eagles didn’t really test it. RBs finished the game with 14 carries. And remember that the Eagles led almost the entire game. They just kept throwing the ball. And throwing it deep.

This was the coldest game of the year for the Eagles and some of the players made it sound like the coldest game they had played in. I hope the coaches learned a lesson. When it is that cold and windy, don’t obsess on deep balls, even if you have favorable matchups.

Jonathan Gannon focused on shutting down the Bears rushing attack and limiting Justin Fields. Bears RBs went for 62 yards. Good job by the D. Fields ran for 95 yards. On a couple of those plays the defense came painfully close to getting him down. Fields is a special runner. The Eagles kept Fields somewhat under control.


421 yards
9 of 16 on 3rd downs
1 of 2 on 4th downs
2 of 3 in the red zone
7 plays of 20 or more yards (2 of 40 or more)

The Eagles did some creative things late in the game on a 2-point situation. Had Cam Jurgens split out as a TE in space. Did this as part of pre-snap movement to get the D to jump. It worked, although the Bears could complain that Hurts got away with a head bob. The Eagles also did this.

So creative.


Jalen Hurts did not have his best game. He was 22-37-315 with no TDs and 2 INTs. He ran the ball 17 times for 61 yards and 3 TDs. Give him credit for making the big plays that he did. I just wish he had spent more time working intermediate routes. There were open receivers he ignored and he focused more on going deep. Hurts did make some terrific throws and he was clutch as a runner. The Bears didn’t get much of a pass rush, but they did hit him hard on the runs. We found out after the game that Hurts suffered a sprain shoulder in the 2nd half. He played through it and you would have never known he was hurting. Tough, tough dude.

AJ Brown was wide open on the first INT. The ball just died in the air. It sure looked like the wind got it. Watching that play on TV it looked like a terrible decision. On All-22 you can see how open AJ is and why Hurts tried to go there. He just didn’t get the ball to him. Later, he had AJ open for TD. This time Hurts tried to drive the ball to get it there but DB got a hand on it to break up the pass. It was tricky to know whether to loft the ball or drive it.

The throw to AJ that resulted in a 68-yard catch and run was a thing of beauty. That was right on the money. There were multiple throws to DeVonta that were outstanding.

Even when Hurts isn’t at his best, he’s pretty darn good.


I thought Miles Sanders would have a big game. Opps. He was 11-42 as a runner and caught one pass for -13 yards (fumbled screen). Ugh. I’m sure the plan was to build a good lead and then feed Sanders the ball. The Eagles didn’t get many snaps with a double-digit lead so they kept throwing the ball and looking for big plays. Sanders best run was an 18-yard sprint to the right side.

He had some key mistakes. He fumbled after catching a screen and that set up a Bears TD. He also failed to block a rusher who got loose in the pocket. Sanders was right there. No idea what he was thinking. Jimmy Bama mentioned seeing Sirianni yelling at Sanders on the sideline. I could see him doing that after the missed block.

Kenny Gainwell was 3-5 as a runner and 2-9 as a receiver. No touches for Boston Scott.


AJ Brown posted big numbers, going 9-181. Still, it was a weird game for him. He had 16 passes thrown his way. Felt like he could have caught a couple more of those. On the long play, AJ cut from the sideline to the middle of the field. I’m not sure why. He didn’t always block well on runs/screens. The 68-yard catch and run set up the final TD and gave the Eagles command of the game. The final 3rd down catch put the Eagles in position to run out the clock. AJ was clutch. The rest of the game seemed like more of a mixed bag than it should have been.

DeVonta also had big numbers, going 5-126. He made a great sideline catch. No idea how he kept his feet in there. He had a 45-yard catch and run. Caught ball on a crossing route and almost broke it all the way. That led to points. Had a really good catch late in the half that led to a TD. Had the one successful screen in the game. Caught the ball on 3rd/10 and got up the field for a 1st down.

Had one outstanding block. Got two guys on Sanders long run. Just got a hand on the first guy, but slowed him and then got a good block on the DB, clearing the way for the run.

Quez Watkins was 4-6. That stat line is hard to believe, but it’s right. I wasn’t happy with all the passes to Quez when watching the game live. A couple of the screens made more sense on review. The Eagles had a 3 on 2 advantage out wide. Those plays should have worked. The WRs didn’t block well. The other issue is that Quez isn’t an instinctive runner. He’s fast, but isn’t at his best in traffic. This isn’t a guy to feed the ball on short throws. That skill just hasn’t gotten better.


The TEs were quiet this week. Jack Stoll was 1-6. Grant Calcaterra had a couple of passes thrown his way, but no catches. The blocking wasn’t consistently good. Not their best day.


The OL did a good job in pass pro. Hurts was sacked once and hit once (as a passer).

Run blocking was a different story. The Bears seemed to do some things that gave the Eagles. There were last minute shifts. There were LBs who scraped over the top to affect Hurts as a runner. There were defenders who jumped inside of blocks to avoid getting sealed.

Jason Kelce won’t be submitting this game as his case for the Pro Bowl. He had multiple plays where he missed a block or got knocked back. He failed to get a clean block on the DT on the screen. The DT then hit Sanders and knocked the ball out. That was a tough reach block so I’m not sure if the OL should have adjusted pre-snap or what.

Give the Bears credit. LB Nick Morrow might have played his best game of the year. DT Mike Pennel won multiple battles and made some plays. There were other players who performed better than I expected.


248 yards
5 of 13 on 3rd downs
0 of 1 on 4th downs
2 of 3 in the red zone
4 plays of 20 or more yards (2 for more than 35…not ideal)
1 takeaway
6 sacks, 6 QB hits
9 TFLs

The Eagles gave up 3 TDs. One came on a 15-yard drive after a turnover. One came at the end of the game. For the bulk of the game, the Eagles kept the Bears offense under control.

The pass rush was outstanding and clutch. Not all sacks are equal. When you get a sack on 3rd down, that’s a drive-ender. Can be a huge play. The Eagles have been great at those this year.

Gannon was creative with how he defended Fields. Sweat and Reddick would line up over slot receivers and then come back inside at times. There were inverted coverages (as Fran Duffy had predicted before the game). Gannon wanted to give Fields lots of looks to try to slow him down. Some of the ideas worked.


Josh Sweat had a very good game. He had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 QB hits. Got his first sack when he looped inside on a stunt. Just engulfed Fields with his length and speed. Was disruptive on stunts throughout the game. Created one sack for Hargave on a stunt. Did a great job of pursuing Fields when he took off running.

Fletcher Cox had a quiet game. Had a chance to make a huge play. Reddick knocked ball loose from Fields and Cox was there to recover. Dove for the ball, but couldn’t control it. Bears recovered and scored a TD a few plays later. No tackles or QB hits for Cox.

Javon Hargrave had a good game, finishing with 3 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 QB hits. First sack came when he cleanly beat the LG. Flew into the backfield and got Fields. Other sack came on a stunt when Sweat freed him up. Hargrave was active against the run.

Linval Joseph played his best game as an Eagle. Usually he eats blocks. LJ did that, but also beat the C and was disruptive. He useds his hands to get by the C and into the backfield. Only finished with 2 tackles, but he was more of a factor than that. Had one play where he chased Fields out wide. No chance to catch him, but that’s great hustle.

Ndamukong Suh was in on one tackle. Quiet game.

Brandon Graham frustrated me. Against Fields you must play outside in. Do not let him get wide. BG didn’t do that. Failed to contain Fields and let him get loose for a gain of 11. Happened again and Fields ran for 13 yards. BG was crashing down to play the run. Dumb. Let Montgomery get his 3 or 4 yards. Keep Fields in the backfield. No tackles or QB hits.

Milton Williams only had one tackle, but it was important. Made a great play to chase down TE screen from behind. Play had a chance to go along way without his hustle. Love to see that.


Haason Reddick played his best game of the year. The Bears used 2 RTs and neither guy slowed him down. Finished with 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 QB hits, 1 PD, 1 FF and 1 FR. Should actually have been 2 FFs, but Maddox got credit for one play. Also drew a holding call. Reddick had a strip sack. Hit Fields as he threw and the ball went off-target. Blew by the RT on the next play and got a sack. That knocked the Bears out of FG range. Had a great play on an end around. Lined up on the right side and went wide as the WR ran out there. Kept him from getting up the field and then knocked the ball loose (just before Maddox). Reddick then fell on the ball without going out of bounds. Clutch play to end a good drive.

That was one hell of a performance. Great signing by Howie.

TJ Edwards led the team with 9 total tackles. Didn’t make any plays, though. Solid vs the run. Did miss a tackle of Fields near the sideline on a play that turned into a big run.

Kyzir White was in on 6 tackles and had a TFL. I thought he was solid against inside runs and used his speed to chase the ball out wide. Played 16 fewer snaps than Edwards, but flashed more to me.


Marcus Epps played well. He was in on 5 tackles. Good vs the run.

K’Von Wallace shared time with Maddox at safety. Wallace played in most packages and had a good game. Led the team with 7 solo tackles (8 total). Also had a TFL. Beyond the stats, looked good. Was confident and aggressive in run support. Forced Fields out of bounds for a TFL on the first drive. Hard hit on TE right after he caught the ball. Saw plays in front of him at attacked the ball. That’s what you want from a safety. Best game of his young career. It was hard to get a feel for him in coverage because the Bears have such a limited passing attack.


James Bradberry had a good game. Had a couple of tackles and a TFL. Gave up an early completion on a crossing route. Had good coverage on the one deep ball that came his way.

Darius Slay didn’t have many balls come his way, but made one key mistake. Had 3 tackles and a PD. The error came late in the game with the Eagles up 25-13. Fields moved to Slay’s side and Slay started watching him. WR went down the sideline with no one near him. Easy TD. Epps had been deep, but got drawn to the middle of the field by another WR. Slay should have focused on the receiver. Not the time to worry about Fields as a runner.

Avonte Maddox played both S and NB, mostly at NB. Good game. had 6 tackles and a couple of FFs. Initially beaten on 4th down, but ball was off target and receiver couldn’t make the grab. Maddox was close enough that he did get a hand on the ball and affected the play. Played the run well when down in the box. Fought off blocks and got to the ball.


Brett Kern averaged 45 yards on 2 punts. No issues as the holder.

Jake Elliott missed a 38-yard FG. Pushed the ball a bit and the wind took it right and into the upright. That was a crucial miss at the time.

Britain Covey was 1-7 as the PR. The wind kept him from having returns.

Boston Scott had a 58-yard KOR to open the 2nd half. That led to a TD. He’s really come alive the last few weeks. He is averaging 28 yards per KOR for the season.


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