Eagles crush Bears, who squander opportunity to clinch division
With little on the line until next week, Chip Kelly didn’t rest his starters until they finished whipping the Chicago Bears.
Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes, LeSean McCoy ran for two scores and the Philadelphia Eagles routed the Bears 54-11 on Sunday night in a matchup of first-place teams with opposite stakes.
Chicago’s loss sets up two winner-take-all games for NFC division crowns next week.
The Bears (8-7) came in needing a win to clinch the NFC North and secure the No. 3 seed while Philadelphia was just trying to stay healthy. But the Eagles (9-6) played like the team trying to lock up a playoff berth.
Now, the Bears must tie or beat the Packers (7-7-1) at home next week to win the North.
The Eagles (9-6) have to tie or beat the Cowboys (8-7) in Dallas next Sunday night to win the NFC East and complete a worst-to-first season under their rookie coach. Once Dallas rallied to beat Washington earlier in the day, the Eagles knew they were only playing for a No. 3 seed even if they win the division.
Still, Kelly played all his guys,
Foles was 21 of 25 for 230 yards, and set a franchise record with a completion percentage of 84.0. In only nine starts, Foles has 25 TD passes and two interceptions. He was replaced by Michael Vick midway through the fourth quarter.
By that time, fans were chanting: "We want Dallas!"
McCoy, trying to become the first Eagles player to lead the NFL in rushing since Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949, ran for 133 yards and leads Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles by 189 going into the last game.
Bryce Brown had 115 yards rushing, including a 65-yard TD run.
The Eagles dominated from the start.
Trent Cole sacked Jay Cutler to force a three-and-out on Chicago’s first possession, and the Eagles went right down the field and scored when Foles hit Riley Cooper going across the back of the end zone on a 5-yard pass.
Bradley Fletcher then forced Devin Hester to fumble after a 36-yard kickoff return and Cary Williams recovered at the Bears 39. Foles connected with Zach Ertz for 27 yards and McCoy ran in from the 1 to make it 14-0.
The Bears went three-and-out again and Foles drove the Eagles 72 yards, tossing a 10-yard TD pass to Brent Celek on third down.
Cedric Thornton tackled Matt Forte in the end zone for a safety and a 26-3 lead in the third quarter. McCoy then ran in from the 1 to make it 33-3.
Chris Polk had a 10-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and Brandon Boykin returned an interception 54 yards for a score to make it 47-11.
Chicago’s only TD came when Cutler tossed a 6-yard pass to Brandon Marshall on the final play of the third quarter.
Cole had three of Philadelphia’s five sacks on Cutler, who hadn’t gone down more than three times in a game previously this season.
Bears seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs returned to the lineup after missing seven games because of a fractured shoulder. He wasn’t much help.
The Eagles racked up 514 yards.
The Bears had a chance to secure a division title because Green Bay lost to Pittsburgh and the New York Giants eliminated Detroit from playoff contention.