Hurts, Eagles look to keep rolling against struggling Bears
PHILADELPHIA (12-1) at BEARS (3-10)
Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, FOX
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Eagles by 8½
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Eagles 8-5; Bears 4-8-1.
SERIES RECORD: Bears lead 29-16-1.
LAST MEETING: Eagles beat Bears 22-14 on Nov. 3, 2019, in Philadelphia.
LAST WEEK: Eagles beat Giants 48-22; Bears had bye.
EAGLES OFFENSE: OVERALL (3), RUSH (2t), PASS (14), SCORING (1)
EAGLES DEFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (18), PASS (1), SCORING (7)
BEARS OFFENSE: OVERALL (22), RUSH (1), PASS (32), SCORING (19).
BEARS DEFENSE: OVERALL (19), RUSH (27), PASS (11), SCORING (29).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Eagles plus-14; Bears minus-3.
EAGLES PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Jalen Hurts. Hurts continues to show why he is an MVP contender. At 24 years, 126 days, he became the second-youngest QB to start 12-1 or better since the 1970 merger behind Dan Marino in 1984 (23 years, 72 days). Hurts is 17-2 in his past 19 regular-season starts. Hurts is also the first QB in NFL history with at least 10 rushing TDs in back-to-back seasons.
BEARS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Justin Fields. Fields returned to his show-stopping ways two weeks ago in a loss to Green Bay after missing a game because of an injury to his nonthrowing shoulder, only he did it with his arm as well as his legs. Fields had perhaps his best game as a passer, completing 20 of 25 passes for a season-high 254 yards. He was not sacked for the first time this season, though he was intercepted on Chicago’s final two possessions. He also ran for a 55-yard touchdown.
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KEY MATCHUP: Philadelphia’s offense against Chicago’s defense. Yes, that’s a bit broad. But the Eagles offense appears to have advantages all over the place against a vulnerable defense.
KEY INJURIES: Eagles P Arryn Siposs (ankle) is out indefinitely after leaving last week’s game. ... S Reed Blankenship (knee) and T Lane Johnson (abdomen) also left the Giants game. ... Fields (illness) missed the Bears practice on Wednesday. ... WR Chase Claypool (knee), RT Larry Borom (knee) and E Trevon Wesco (leg) are banged up.
SERIES NOTES: Philadelphia has won five straight against Chicago counting the playoffs. The Eagles are visiting Soldier Field for the first time since a wild-card win four years ago remembered because of a double-doink missed field goal by the Bears’ Cody Parkey off the upright and crossbar in the closing seconds.
STATS AND STUFF: The Eagles became the first team this season to clinch a playoff berth, securing their fifth postseason trip in six years with last week’s win. ... The Eagles joined the 2004 Super Bowl team as the only ones in franchise history with 12-1 starts. Philadelphia won 13 of its first 14 that year. ... The Eagles lead the league in turnover differential and have an NFL-low 10 giveaways. ... Philadelphia is averaging an NFL-best 29.7 points. The Eagles have scored 35 or more points in three straight games. ... Philadelphia has allowed 30 or more points only three times. ... The Eagles have won the past two games by a combined 51 points, including a 35-10 romp over Tennessee two weeks ago. ... Philadelphia leads the NFL with 49 sacks, including 13 over the past two games. The Eagles had seven sacks against the Giants — three by DE Brandon Graham. At 34 years, 252 days old, Graham became the oldest NFL player to get three sacks since Dwight Freeney in 2015 (35 years, 311 days). ... Miles Sanders ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing with 1,068 yards. He’s the first Eagle to hit the 1,000-yard mark since LeSean McCoy finished with 1,319 in 2014. ... WR A.J. Brown has 65 catches for 1,020 yards and 10 TDs. He is the first Eagle to get 1,000 or more yards receiving since Zach Ertz in 2018 (1,163). He is the first Eagles WR to do so since Jeremy Maclin in 2014 (1,318). ... Chicago is on its second six-game losing streak in three years since a win at New England following a mini-bye. The Bears haven’t dropped more than six in a row since the 2002 team matched a franchise record with eight straight losses. ... Fields’ three touchdown runs of 50 yards or more are the most by a quarterback in a season. No other QB in the Super Bowl era has done it three times in a career. ... Claypool had a career-high four TDs — three receiving, one rushing — for Pittsburgh against Philadelphia on Oct. 11, 2020.
FANTASY TIP: Hurts could be in for a big game going against a shaky defense. And it’s hard to envision the Bears offense putting up big numbers with the Eagles containing just about everyone they’ve faced.
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