Eagles lead Bears 33-11 after 3 quarters
Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes, LeSean McCoy ran for two scores and the Philadelphia Eagles led the Chicago Bears 33-11 after three quarters Sunday night in a matchup of first-place teams.
If the rout holds, it sets up two winner-take-all games for NFC division crowns next week.
The Bears (8-6) came in needing a win to clinch the NFC North and secure the No. 3 seed while Philadelphia had little on the line. The Eagles (8-6) have to beat the Cowboys (8-7) in Dallas next Sunday night to win the NFC East so they were only playing for a No. 3 seed if they win the division.
But it seemed the Eagles were already in playoff mode as they tried to complete a worst-to-first season under rookie coach Chip Kelly.
Barring a comeback, the Bears must tie or beat the Packers (7-7-1) at home next week to win the North.
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.
Cutler tossed a 6-yard TD pass to Brandon Marshall on the final play of the third quarter and he hit Earl Bennett on the 2-point conversion.
Alex Henery kicked a 49-yard field goal for the Eagles in the second quarter and Chicago's Robbie Gould kicked a 50-yarder at the end of the first half.
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 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.
The game became less important for Philadelphia when Dallas rallied to beat Washington. If the Eagles beat the Bears, however, a tie against the Cowboys also would secure a division crown.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org