Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Bears
The Philadelphia Eagles overcame three turnovers to beat the Chicago Bears 25-20. The offense lacked rhythm in the first half while the defense produced six sacks.
Jalen Hurts threw a pair of interceptions in this game. But he managed to shake each of them off to finish this game with more than 300 yards passing and three rushing touchdowns.
The defense racked up six sacks. They now have at least six sacks in three straight games for the first time in franchise history.
The Eagles improve to 13-1 and this sets up a major showdown in Dallas on Christmas Eve. A win on Saturday over the Cowboys will clinch the NFC East and the top seed in the NFC playoffs.
It produced a mixed report card. Here is the latest edition of Grayson's Grades:
AJ Brown - Brown set a new career high for receiving yards in a game and receiving yards in a season. He caught nine passes for 181 yards. Brown also has gone over 1,200 receiving yards for the season. Brown was getting one-on-one matchups in this game and Jalen Hurts was giving him plenty of opportunities to win them. He was targeted 16 times. Brown continues to prove the Eagles got the better end of the trade with the Titans.
DeVonta Smith - Smith also went over 100 yards receiving in this game. He is now closing in on 1,000 yards receiving for the season. Smith caught five passes for 126 yards. He had a lot of yards after the catch. Smith and Brown combined to go over 300 yards receiving against the Bears.
Haason Reddick - Reddick was a nightmare for Justin Fields in this game. He seemed to be in his face in just about every play. Reddick forced two fumbles, recovered one and sacked Fields twice. He has 12 sacks this season. Reddick seems to be getting better as the season goes on, perhaps indicating he is getting more and more comfortable in the system and his assignments.
Josh Sweat - Sweat continues to impress with a quick first step off the line of scrimmage. He is beating his man off the line. Sweat has a quick motor and is starting to rack up sacks on stunts where he dips below the line and suddenly uses his burst of speed to rush up the middle and hit the quarterback. Sweat finished with six tackles, two sacks, three tackles for a loss and two quarterback hits.
Javon Hargrave - Hargrave is another defensive lineman having a great year. He racked up two sacks in this one. Hargrave proves to be a problem for the middle of the offensive line and bull rushed his way to a couple of sacks against the Bears. He finished with three tackles, two sacks, two tackles for a loss and two quarterback hits.
Jalen Hurts - Hurts got off to a slow start, but you have to love the way this guy can quickly turn the page and forget about anything negative that happened. He threw two interceptions, yet ultimately finished with more than 300 yards passing and three touchdown runs. Hurts showed great confidence in AJ Brown and Devonta Smith giving both of them frequent opportunities in one-on-one coverage downfield. 24 of his 37 passes were intended for Brown or Smith. The turnovers cannot happen and to his credit he has done a great job of not turning it over this season. The only other negative I saw was that he took several hits in this game. Throughout the season Hurts has done a great job of avoiding those big hits. He needs to be smarter when running the ball and understand those hits are unnecessary. Hurts completed 22 of 37 passes for 315 yards and two interceptions. He also carried it 17 times for 61 yards and three touchdowns. Hurts also set a new franchise record for rushing touchdowns by a Quarterback.
K'Von Wallace - Wallace started this game in place of the injured CJ Gardner-Johnson and Reed Blankenship and he took advantage of the opportunity. Wallace did a great job of using his speed to help make some tackles. One of his more impressive tackles was when he saw Justin Fields plant his back foot and start to go up the field. Wallace quickly sprinted below his defensive line to the middle of the field and held Fields to a short gain. I liked the way he seemed to trust his instincts and go make plays. Wallace tied for the team lead with nine tackles. He also added a tackle for a loss.
Shane Steichen - I have no idea what Steichen was doing with his play-calling throughout the first half. Miles Sanders did not get his first touch in this game until about six minutes to go in the second quarter. He finished with three carries in the first half. How do you ignore a thousand yard rusher? There was no rhythm for this offense throughout the first half. They seemed to rely too heavily on the passing game in the first half while also dealing with the wind. Ultimately the offense figured it out. Simply put, this was not even close to Steichen's best game.
Quez Watkins - Watkins needs to understand that at some point you have to cut a screen pass up the field. I saw him keep stringing plays along and was indecisive as to when to cut it up field and eventually he ran out of real estate and had to go out of bounds. I love his speed, but it works far more effective going north-south versus east-west. Watkins caught four passes for six yards. He also had two carries for four yards.
Miles Sanders - I want to be clear that Sanders grade is partially on Shane Steichen for not utilizing him enough. Sanders had the biggest turnover in the game. He caught a pass and went to tuck it when he dropped it. The Bears recovered that fumble and scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Perhaps it was due to a lack of touches for Sanders on a cold day at that point. Whatever the reason, it cannot happen. I do not understand how a 1,000 yard rusher does not get a touch until late in the first half. That is obviously not on Sanders. The fumble was a dark stain on his day. But once he started to get some carries, he did produce. Sanders finished with 11 carries for 42 yards. He also caught one pass for -13 yards.