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Sunday night wrap-up: Foles continues his clean play

Chicago Bears v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

The Nick Foles the Cowboys will see next week with a playoff berth on the line is very different from the Nick Foles they saw the first time.

The Eagles quarterback has turned into one of the most efficient players in the league since then, as he showed in Sunday’s 54-11 demolition of the Bears.

Foles was 21-of-25 passing for 230 yards passing before being pulled for Michael Vick. That doesn’t sound all that flashy, but he made the Bears look either incompetent or disinterested for the brief time the game was competitive.

His sharpness was evident early on. He was 14-of-17 for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the first half (when the game was decided). Of those three incompletions, two were chunked out of bounds, as he’s shown a good feel for when to throw it away to avoid a sack or a bad play.

The second-year quarterback simply doesn’t show his age.

Coincidentally, his opponent next Sunday night doesn’t always either.

When the Cowboys and Eagles met in Week Seven, Foles was a brutal 11-of-29 for 80 yards before leaving with a concussion.

Since then, he’s been nearly flawless, and Sunday was no exception.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. As good as Foles has looked, it’s almost easy to forget they have the league’s leading rusher as well in running back LeSean McCoy.

McCoy ran 18 times for 133 yards, giving him 1,476 yards on the season.

Only giving him eight carries last week against the Vikings was a mistake, but one they figured out in time to face the Bears’ embarrassing rush defense.

McCoy’s helped by the fact he has an extremely athletic group of offensive linemen (center Jason Kelce and left guard Evan Mathis in particular), but a lot of it is McCoy himself.

His third-quarter touchdown, in case you missed it, will be a staple of the highlight shows for days to come, spinning away from Bears defensive end Julius Peppers for the score.

2. Bears coach Marc Trestman wasn’t willing to pull quarterback Jay Cutler after a disastrous first half, he waited until the disastrous fourth quarter pick-six.

But Trestman might think about protecting Cutler better, or else backup Josh McCown might end up back there next week anyway.

Cutler was sacked three times in the first half, but seemed to be pressured on every play.

It didn’t help that running back Matt Forte showed no apparent ability to pass-protect, giving Cutler little chance to look good. By the time Cutler was doing himself in late, it was too far gone to matter.

3. Not every team is willing to commit starters to special teams.

But the Eagles will, and it helped stake them to an early lead.

Both their starting cornerbacks were on the kickoff coverage team, and it paid an immediate dividend.

Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher forced a Devin Hester fumble in the first quarter, and Cary Williams recovered it.

That turned into a 14-0 lead, and put the Bears on their heels.

4. The Bears are clearly in the midst of a transition on defense.

Linebacker Lance Briggs came back after a seven-week absence, but it was a little hard to tell. Peppers simply no longer earns his salary.

Both guys are capable of making impact plays, or at least they have in the recent past. But with a slew of other free agents (cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, franchised defensive tackle Henry Melton, and oh by the way that Cutler guy), the Bears are about to look very different.

And that might not be a bad thing.

Certainly injuries have stripped away Chicago’s ability to do what Chicago has been known for doing. But this defense appears to have gotten old all at once.

5. Eagles coach Chip Kelly Schwartzed himself in the third quarter.

Kelly threw a challenge flag on a turnover which was already being reviewed, costing him a timeout.

At least the review continued, and the Eagles kept the ball.

It’s not like it particularly mattered, but it was the one hiccup on a night when everything broke perfectly.

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59 Responses to “Sunday night wrap-up: Foles continues his clean play”
  1. nfl4days says: Dec 22, 2013 11:26 PM

    The bears got obliterated. Way to step up in a vital game LOL.

  2. f1restarter says: Dec 22, 2013 11:28 PM

    The most important thing of all that came out of this game:

    The Green Bay Packers are still alive in the playoff hunt.

    None of the other stuff matters.

  3. vetelmo says: Dec 22, 2013 11:28 PM

    They should have no problems with the Cowboys. If they can’t beat the Cowboys, they really don’t have a shot at anything.

  4. Youknowimright says: Dec 22, 2013 11:31 PM

    False hope philly. You know something always goes wrong. It is coming.

  5. staffordsyear says: Dec 22, 2013 11:35 PM

    Looking forward to the Packers Bears game next sunday, glad i took the day off!

  6. davikes says: Dec 22, 2013 11:37 PM

    The NFC North – The division that no team really wanted to win.

  7. whitecastleisafoodgroup says: Dec 22, 2013 11:39 PM

    Bark all you want about what the Bears lost in personnel in attrition, free agency, or injury. They just suck and this year it falls on Mel Tucker and Joe DeCamillis.

    As a Bears fan, fire Tucker and DeCamillis. Both phases that were tops in the league just suck. I mean suck. Don’t blame Cutler on anything.

    The drop off of defense and special teams of the Bears is pathetic. It’s sad.

  8. ewyorksockexchange says: Dec 22, 2013 11:41 PM

    As an eagles fan, this game was really fun to watch. Nick Foles has played excellently throughout all of his games this season, excepting the Dallas game. McCoy is always a joy to watch, his moves are incredible. I hope he takes the franchise rushing record next week. He and desean have chances to break Eagles records in the Dallas game. As always, though, I’m nervous that the birds will fail to perform, as they did against Dallas in two consecutive weeks (week 17 and the first round of the playoffs) in 2009. Regardless, this game was fun to watch, as is this team.

    Their biggest problem is that the D is bipolar, hence they are definitely not Super Bowl contenders.

  9. ahs2 says: Dec 22, 2013 11:44 PM

    “5. Eagles coach Chip Kelly Schwartzed himself in the third quarter.”

    That’s never good when your name becomes a verb- ask Roy Munson!

  10. phillyphannnn83 says: Dec 22, 2013 11:46 PM

    Glorious.

  11. cunninghampeetemcnabbvick says: Dec 22, 2013 11:48 PM

    I’m pretty sure I could have ran for a TD against that defense.

  12. trapshoot says: Dec 22, 2013 11:49 PM

    Foles is turning out to be a damned good QB.

  13. eaglesnoles05 says: Dec 22, 2013 11:50 PM

    That. Was. Awesome.

    No surprise that the Eagles O destroyed the Bears D. Bu the Eagles D matching up like that vs Bears O was a surprise to me. That was supposed to be a favorable match for Chicago.

    That’s what happens when you stop the run and hit the qb.

  14. arwiv says: Dec 23, 2013 12:06 AM

    Im a giants fan for 35 years and I love eli. RIGHT now, foles is the best QB in the NFC east. If the eagles lose next week ill be stunned.

  15. orivar says: Dec 23, 2013 12:19 AM

    So is the firing of Jim still a thing because from the looks of it, Mike McCarthy is pretty clueless too without having a HOF QB taking up all the spotlight away from his many, many, faults. The Bears are finishing the same as always too and just got destroyed.

    So, um, keep him? Nobody is looking good in the NFC North.

  16. macjacmccoy says: Dec 23, 2013 12:25 AM

    The Bears scored only 11 points AND lost? Unfathomable, have you seen their wide receivers? They’re so BIG!

  17. elimanningsjustthrewpick6face says: Dec 23, 2013 12:27 AM

    You spelt em’Bear’assing wrong.

  18. Eli on Injured Reserve says: Dec 23, 2013 12:27 AM

    You forgot to mention that Foles was slowed by a groin injury in the 1st meeting with the cowgirls before getting his concussion.

    He’ll carve them up and make Dez cry again.

    Jerrah’s glasses will be steamed up, and the whole coaching staff will be fired the next day. But Romo will be safe once again, and playing golf while Dez cries.

  19. treesloth16 says: Dec 23, 2013 12:35 AM

    Stupid Philly fans should thank Andy Reid for Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy.

  20. The Shoeman says: Dec 23, 2013 12:36 AM

    LeSean McCoy does resemble BARRY at times.

  21. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Dec 23, 2013 12:41 AM

    regarding your item #3: chip kelly was asked in the postgame presser about fletcher and williams being involved on kickoffs, and noted that the inclusion of both starting corners on the kickoff coverage team was necessitated by the injuries to colt anderson and kurt coleman from last week’s game.

  22. tinbender2000 says: Dec 23, 2013 12:45 AM

    “Foles was 21-of-25 passing for 230 yards passing before being pulled for Michael Vick. That doesn’t sound all that flashy, but he made the Bears look either incompetent or disinterested for the brief time the game was competitive.”

    21 of 25′s not too shabby. Especially when your run game takes over the offense.

  23. dandrol says: Dec 23, 2013 12:53 AM

    Fly Eagles Fly!!!

  24. thegreatestofalltimes says: Dec 23, 2013 1:12 AM

    This Eagles team is so exciting to watch! What a great way to come back against a horrendous loss against a bad team.

    Divisional games are always strange affairs, so I don’t care how we do it, I’m just hoping for a win against Dallas without anybody getting injured. The offense has got to be licking their lips though, as this has all the makings of a nightmare game for the Cowboys in prime time.

    Go Eagles! And great job, Chip!

  25. usdcoyotesfan says: Dec 23, 2013 1:32 AM

    Thanks, Nick!

    Sincerely,
    a Packers fan

  26. notrelated says: Dec 23, 2013 2:06 AM

    Nick Foles was concussed in the first quarter of that Dallas game.

  27. larryboodry says: Dec 23, 2013 2:11 AM

    As a Bears fan, that was embarrassing…And Phiily is no pushover if they reach the playoffs. (Unlike whichever team backs in from the North.)

  28. bspurloc says: Dec 23, 2013 2:19 AM

    “as he showed in Sunday’s 54-11 demolition of the Bears.”

    Um Jay Cutler played a huge role in that…

  29. macrohedgefund says: Dec 23, 2013 3:22 AM

    Please be the first person to break this: the game DID matter. Suppose Eagles-Cowboys tie the game next week. With this win, who goes through? Eagles. If they had lost, who goes through? Cowboys. In the strategic mind of Coach, it would be an embarassment beyond forgiveness to be left out of the playoffs for losing this intentionally and then getting a tie next week. He won’t allow for that possibility. No way.

  30. eagleseagleseagles says: Dec 23, 2013 3:49 AM

    Thats more like it. Just wanted reassurance from my Eagles that last week was a fluke! Also this is what happens when you hand Shady the ball! #BirdGang #FlyEaglesFly #PlayoffBound #RomoisthefemaleversionofCutler

  31. Iain says: Dec 23, 2013 5:49 AM

    I’ll never understand that lots of timeout rule. Why can’t they just pick up the flag and say “Coach, it’s being reviewed automatically.”?

    They have no issue ignoring red flags thrown on unreviewable plays, like Mike Tomlin’s on the field goal play yesterday., so why is this different?

  32. flavordave says: Dec 23, 2013 6:18 AM

    Chips 11 headed offensive monster machine tour 2013 is hungry for some Cowboys. And theyll be spittin out bones. Nothing but bones. And there’s simply nothing anyone can do about it. GAME ON!!!

  33. elmerbrownelmerbrown says: Dec 23, 2013 6:30 AM

    The BEARS were pretty clean after that game also

  34. billh1947 says: Dec 23, 2013 7:16 AM

    Thank you Eagles for softening up the Bears last night,now the Packers must go in and finish them off once and for all next Sunday to win the North.

  35. gustwo says: Dec 23, 2013 7:28 AM

    Well, Chicago looked like we looked last week. Nice win, makes Mondays that much easier. Only game that matters now is the Cowboys game. Hope this game starts a win streak that goes deep into the playoffs. Hell of a win though.

  36. packerbackernj says: Dec 23, 2013 7:44 AM

    The defense got old the minute Lovie was fired

  37. doctorart2013 says: Dec 23, 2013 8:49 AM

    The Eagles are firing on all cylinders and look to hand a similar beat down on the Dallas Cowboys and put them out of their misery.

  38. vinceofdarkness says: Dec 23, 2013 9:02 AM

    The Iggles will put up sixty against the girls.

  39. Youknowimright says: Dec 23, 2013 9:16 AM

    How many people praising the eagle’s last week were destroying them last week. Front running city.

  40. dublindemonszfl says: Dec 23, 2013 9:19 AM

    The Vikings pounded on the Eagle, then the Bears get pounded by the Eagle. The Bears are HORRIBLE. Which really sucks because the damn packturds are getting the division handed to them. Damn Lions, crappy Vikings, Horrible Bears

  41. jbeagles23 says: Dec 23, 2013 9:22 AM

    Philly fans are far from front running. Philly fans more than any other fans stick with the eagles no matter what. So you’re actually wrong

  42. officialgame says: Dec 23, 2013 9:27 AM

    In the immortal words of Terry Bradshaw ” the Eagles have the worst offense in the NFL”. The bigger question would be why does Terry Bradshaw who obviously spends no time at his craft even have a job?

  43. kastout11 says: Dec 23, 2013 9:31 AM

    Shady was awesome last night and has been most of the season. I think he is the best RB in the NFL, even better than AP. If you remember, Foles was also nursing a sore groin against the Cowboys when they first played. Now completely healthy, Foles will schred that Cowboys secondary. They cannot stop the run, and they have the worst pass defense in the NFL. Unless the Eagles play like they did against the Vikings, I see no way for the Cowboys to beat the them Sunday night.

  44. kastout11 says: Dec 23, 2013 9:34 AM

    Phil Simms also said the Eagles have one of the worst offenses in the NFL. I think he said that on 97.5 the week before they went on their run. Good call Phil, you have been retired for 10-15 years and no longer play for the stinking Giants, you can stop hating the Eagles any time now.

  45. kdub79 says: Dec 23, 2013 9:36 AM

    treesloth16 says:
    Dec 23, 2013 12:35 AM
    Stupid Philly fans should thank Andy Reid for Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy.

    ————————————————–

    Both stupid and smart Eagles fans should also thank Andy for Foles and McCoy, right after slamming him for drafting a 26 year old fireman in the first round, going into the season without a punt returner, a linebacker playing fullback, an offensive line coach turned defensive coordinator, first round disasters such as Freddie Mitchell, Jerome McDougle, Broderick Bunkley, Mike Patterson (turned out to be a solid player but definitely not worthy of a 1st rounder), the Andrews brothers experiment, letting Dawkins walk, and so much more.

    By your logic Andy Reid should be thanking the prior regime in KC for the players he has there more than Eagles fans should be thanking Andy.

  46. maidenrocker says: Dec 23, 2013 9:36 AM

    Should be a great game next Sunday….

  47. flavordave says: Dec 23, 2013 9:37 AM

    We sell out the building even in 3-13 years. Eagles fans are the best most faithful vocal bunch the league has ever seen! We invented the language of Boo. Its ours. Its all love. Ahhh the Beautiful people. GAME ON COWBOYS!

  48. kdub79 says: Dec 23, 2013 9:47 AM

    kdub79 says:
    Dec 23, 2013 9:36 AM
    treesloth16 says:
    Dec 23, 2013 12:35 AM
    Stupid Philly fans should thank Andy Reid for Nick Foles and LeSean McCoy.

    ————————————————–

    Both stupid and smart Eagles fans should also thank Andy for Foles and McCoy, right after slamming him for drafting a 26 year old fireman in the first round, going into the season without a punt returner, a linebacker playing fullback, an offensive line coach turned defensive coordinator, first round disasters such as Freddie Mitchell, Jerome McDougle, Broderick Bunkley, Mike Patterson (turned out to be a solid player but definitely not worthy of a 1st rounder), the Andrews brothers experiment, letting Dawkins walk, and so much more.

    By your logic Andy Reid should be thanking the prior regime in KC for the players he has there more than Eagles fans should be thanking Andy.

    ——————————————————

    Just to clarify, Andy did a great job in Philly despite questionable draft picks and mind boggling time management. MOST Philly fans are very appreciative of the job he did, but the things listed above drive us nuts when we try to figure out why he couldn’t bring the Lombardi to Philly.

  49. Youknowimright says: Dec 23, 2013 9:47 AM

    Chip Kelly should thank michael Vick’s hamstring for helping the offense get turned around. The smartest coach in the world chose vick over foles. the rest he should thank andy for. This is completely the same team just healthier. reid got a raw deal in philly. The media and fans ran him out of down like only they can. Go Chiefs.

  50. 23rdusernameused says: Dec 23, 2013 9:48 AM

    Gonna be a slaughter next Sun night in Dallas!! man oh man it’s gonna be good, good good!!!

  51. greatgallopingghost says: Dec 23, 2013 9:52 AM

    It has been ages since I’ve seen a more lack-luster, flatfooted game as the Bears turned in last night. The entire offense seemed to not care.
    I’ll hesitate to blame Cutler fully but for an “audition” for franchise or renewed long term contract he showed little to justify either. He really has to do better than 3 and out and absolutely must lead the offense, not give lip service to the game. Past games have shown that Jay’s always had trouble with Green Bay; he lets them get in his head. Throwing away a golden opportunity to make them a non-factor is inexcusable. We shall see what next week brings.

    Risking playoff position with contract posturing and justification might be a great way to test the waters but does the franchise no good. Maybe it’s time to stop the grand experiment, pull the plug on Jay, and let Josh ride out the season?

  52. dallassux says: Dec 23, 2013 9:55 AM

    But….but….but…..Chip Kelly’s offense won’t work in the NFL.

    oh wait,it’s working. Well there’s always booing Santa and have a jail cell in your stadium.

    Signed,

    any fan besides eagles fans

    Dopes

  53. mancave001 says: Dec 23, 2013 10:16 AM

    youkmowimright:

    hip Kelly should thank michael Vick’s hamstring for helping the offense get turned around. The smartest coach in the world chose vick over foles. the rest he should thank andy for. This is completely the same team just healthier. reid got a raw deal in philly. The media and fans ran him out of down like only they can. Go Chiefs.
    ——

    No sane person would have picked Foles over Vick when Kelly came in. And no, it’s a totally different team. Their approach and preparation and reliance on sports science has transformed them into what we thought they could be with this roster.

  54. Youknowimright says: Dec 23, 2013 10:49 AM

    No sane person would have picked Foles over Vick when Kelly came in. And no, it’s a totally different team. Their approach and preparation and reliance on sports science has transformed them into what we thought they could be with this roster.

    ————————

    Yep, smoothies and getting more sleep lead to this. I watched every preseason game they played. I walked away with Foles being the better qb from every game. everything flowed better. just thank vick’s hammy and move on. Flukes happen.

  55. bjennings2013 says: Dec 23, 2013 11:06 AM

    Let’s get real. Jay Cutler on the road is far from being Romo at home. Dallas has a good Oline with a good running back. Look for a healthy Dallas team to jump out to an early 14 point lead. Question will be play calling and game management . Dallas will not make coaching mistakes . Dallas 27 – 23 At home.

  56. mkat33 says: Dec 23, 2013 11:18 AM

    Youknowimright says:
    Dec 23, 2013 10:49 AM
    No sane person would have picked Foles over Vick when Kelly came in. And no, it’s a totally different team. Their approach and preparation and reliance on sports science has transformed them into what we thought they could be with this roster.

    ————————

    Coming into the season, I doubt that even Kelly expected the kind of success this team has had. In my opinion, Kelly chose Vick because, at that time, Vick most closely resembled the kind of QB that Kelly felt would best run his desired offense. I think pe0ple should understand that there was likely a lot of experimentation taking place, early on. But, next thing you know, experimentation took a back seat to the Eagles actually being in the playoff hunt.

  57. phillyphannnn83 says: Dec 23, 2013 12:42 PM

    Bjennings2013
    Let’s get real. Jay Cutler on the road is far from being Romo at home. Dallas has a good Oline with a good running back. Look for a healthy Dallas team to jump out to an early 14 point lead. Question will be play calling and game management . Dallas will not make coaching mistakes . Dallas 27 – 23 At home.
    ————————–
    FYI matt forte is a better running back than demarco Murray and the Dallas d is just as bad as chicago’s. Stop looking through your blue-tinted glasses and realize your team needed a 4th-and-the-season to beat a 3 win team. Eagles absolutely demolished a playoff contender. Man, the delusion really does run from Jerruh all the way down to the fans in big D.

  58. happster says: Dec 23, 2013 12:42 PM

    Jay Cutler is simply not a championship caliber quarternack. It’s really that simple. Flood him with talent to get mediocrity. Put the team on his shoulders to get what you got last night.

  59. asublimeday says: Dec 23, 2013 2:23 PM

    Bears are going to destroy the packers next week. For the love of God their starter is Matt Flynn!

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