Ground Game Leads Philadelphia Eagles Over Chicago Bears

By Nicholas Crimarco
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The prediction for Sunday Night Football was easy to make. The Philadelphia Eagles came in with the no. 1 rushing attack in the NFL that averages 152.9 yards rushing per game, and the individual leader in rushing yards in LeSean McCoy with 1,343 yards

The Chicago Bears, on the other hand, have given up the most rushing yards by far in the league with 2,134, almost 300 more than any other team in the NFL. The 5.2 rushing yards per attempt is also by far the worst, as every other team is under 5.0.

Both teams came into the game fighting for their playoff lives, and it was going to come down to Philadelphia trying to run the ball and Chicago trying to stop them. Philadelphia ran the ball 36 times for 289 yards and four TDs. The Eagles had two players, McCoy and Bryce Brown, gain over 100 yards rushing and had three players get a rushing TD.

Chicago only tackled one runner for a loss on the 36 carries by the Eagles and were never able to prevent Philadelphia from running the ball. The eight yards per carry the Eagles got allowed them to play their no-huddle, uptempo game and never allowed Chicago to sub players in and out on defense.

In the postseason, the most important thing is running the ball and playing defense. While Philadelphia hasn’t been consistent on defense, the running game they showed on Sunday Night will be their ticket to a Super Bowl. McCoy finished with 18 carries for 133 yards and two TDs, and Brown had 115 yards on only nine carries and a score.

It was well known the Philadelphia would be among the league leaders in rushing with Chip Kelly at coach and Mike Vick at QB. The surprising part is they have been able to do this with the less mobile Nick Foles at QB and have not run the spread option that Kelly was known for in Oregon.

With the win, the Eagles can clinch the division next week if they beat the Dallas Cowboys. Chicago had the chance to seize control of their division with losses by the Detroit Tigers and Green Bay Packers, but not only did they lose the game, they may have lost all their confidence to win next week.

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