Even if a game doesn’t matter much in the standings, the Philadelphia Eagles don’t take nights off.
Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes, LeSean McCoy ran for two scores and the Eagles routed the Chicago Bears 54-11 Sunday night in a matchup of first-place teams with opposite stakes.
Instead of resting his starters for a winner-take-all game at Dallas next Sunday night, Chip Kelly didn’t pull them until they finished whipping the Bears (8-7).
Meanwhile, the Bears hardly looked worthy of a playoff spot with a division title on the line.
Now, Chicago must tie or beat the Packers (7-7-1) at home next week to win the NFC North. The Eagles (9-6) must beat or tie the Cowboys (8-7) to win the East. When Dallas beat Washington earlier in the day, the Eagles knew going into their game that a win only affected seeding.
It didn’t stop them from piling on.
Foles was 21 of 25 for 230 yards, and set a franchise record with a completion percentage of 84.0. He was replaced by Michael Vick midway through the fourth quarter.
By that time, fans were chanting: “We want Dallas!”
McCoy, trying to become the first Eagles player to lead the NFL in rushing since Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949, ran for 133 yards and leads Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles by 189 going into the last game.
The Eagles dominated the Bears from the start.
Foles tossed TD passes of 5 yards to Riley Cooper and 10 yards to Brent Celek in the first quarter. McCoy had 1-yard TD runs in the first and third.
Chris Polk had a 10-yard TD run in the fourth quarter and Brandon Boykin returned Jay Cutler’s interception 54 yards for a score to make it 47-11.
The Eagles racked up 514 yards.
Five things we learned in Philadelphia’s win over Chicago:
FABULOUS FOLES: Despite only nine starts, Foles is putting together one of the best seasons for a quarterback in franchise history. His 25 TD passes are tied for sixth most in a season, and he leads the NFL in passer rating. Foles has the most TD passes by far for anyone who threw two or fewer picks in a season. Boomer Esiason had 13 TDs and two picks in seven games in 1997 for the Bengals.
“That’s the one thing that he’s been great with his decision-making,” Kelly said. “He’s been outstanding. He doesn’t put the ball in harm’s way.”
BEARS ATROCIOUS VS. RUN: A run defense that already was ranked last in the NFL allowed 289 yards on the ground, including two 100-yard rushers. After McCoy finished padding his league-leading totals, Bryce Brown chipped in with 115 yards, including a 65-yard TD. Chris Polk added a 10-yard TD run.
“We had to get it done, me and the guys up front,” McCoy said. “Watching them on tape, we knew we could run the ball on them.”
UNSTOPPABLE OFFENSE: Foles, McCoy and Co. look unstoppable. Even in a loss at Minnesota last week, the Eagles scored 30 points. They’ve averaged 34.6 points during a 6-1 stretch. They’ve totaled more than 450 yards three straight games and surpassed 425 yards 10 times.
“We had the mind-set to dominate,” McCoy said.
BEARS QUIT: The Bears didn’t look like a playoff team. Even worse, they didn’t seem to put in much effort after falling behind by double digits. On Brown’s 65-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, it didn’t seem like the defense tried hard to make a tackle.
“There is no excuse for what happened or what we didn’t do,” Matt Forte said. “Nobody played well across the board. We need to execute better. With this game, we just want to forget about what happened, throw it in the trash and study for Green Bay.”
NOT THE SAME EAGLES: These aren’t the same Eagles who lost 17-3 to Dallas in October. Foles was awful in that game, going 11 of 29 for 80 yards before suffering a concussion. The Eagles are 6-2 since that loss.
“I can tell you they didn’t see the best of the Eagles,” McCoy said. “It will be a different story.”
NOTES: Trent Cole had three of Philadelphia’s five sacks on Cutler, who hadn’t gone down more than three times in a game this season. … Eagles S Earl Wolff returned after missing four games with a knee injury, but left in the second quarter.