The 3-10 Chicago Bears will play the 12-1 Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field in a Week 15 matchup.
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Halftime: Eagles 10, Bears 6
The Bears intercepted Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts twice in the first half, but the Eagles still led 10-6 at halftime. Kyler Gordon and DeAndre Houston Carson had the takeaways, but the Bears didn’t capitalize on either play by scoring.
Hurts completed 8 of 16 passes for 139 yards and also had seven carries for 40 yards and a 22-yard touchdown in the final minute of the half.
Bears quarterback Justin Fields rushed for 81 yards on 11 carries to pull within 14 yards of 1,000 rushing yards for the season. He would be just the third quarterback in NFL history to reach that mark, along with Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson.
Fields also completed 8 of 12 passes for 81 yards and was sacked five times.
Fields broke free for a 39-yard run midway through the second quarter, and David Montgomery followed with a 9-yard touchdown run. Bears kicker Cairo Santos missed the extra point, so the Bears led 6-3. Santos has missed extra points in 3 of the last 5 games.
Santos’ miss added a layer of questions to the Bears’ decision on their next drive.
After Houston-Carson intercepted Hurts and returned it 18 yards to the Eagles 25-yard line, the Bears lost yardage on a Fields fumble and a Fields sack on separate plays..
The Bears had fourth-and-27 at the 31-yard line but they passed up a 49-yard field-goal attempt and instead opted to punt, with Trenton Gill landing the punt at the 9.
The Eagles took a 3-0 first lead on Jake Elliott’s 32-yard field goal with 11:50 to play in the second quarter. Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson had a nice pass breakup against A.J. Brown in the end zone on second down to help hold the Eagles to the field goal.
Gordon made his second interception of the season on a deep pass from Hurts to Brown in the first quarter. Gordon’s takeaway gave the Bears the ball at their own 17-yard line, but they didn’t take advantage of it, stalling when Fields was sacked for a loss of 14 yards on third down.
The Bears went for it on fourth-and-3 at the Eagles 32-yard line on their first drive. But Fields’ pass to Dante Pettis fell incomplete.
The Bears lost two players to injury on the first drive of the game.
Bears right guard Teven Jenkins was taken off the field on a stretcher with 12:31 to play in the first quarter.
Jenkins was injured on a 7-yard David Montgomery run and didn’t get up off the field. After medical staff went out to check on him, they strapped him to a stretcher and carted him off the field. Several players and coaches from the Bears sideline went out to the field to watch as they put him on the stretcher.
The Bears said Jenkins is out for the game with a neck injury.
Earlier, wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown also left with a potential head injury after making a 20-yard catch. He went to the medical tent and then to the locker room.
The Bears said St. Brown was in concussion protocol, and downgraded to out from questionable later in the first quarter.
The Weather Channel forecast for Sunday in Chicago calls for considerable cloudiness early with a decrease in clouds later in the day. The high will be 26 degrees with west winds at 10 to 20 mph.
The Packers played in the NFL’s coldest game, referred to as “The Ice Bowl”: 13 degrees below zero on Dec. 31, 1967. The Bears are 6-4 during their 10 coldest games at Soldier Field since they began playing their home games there in 1971 — including 3 wins and 2 losses against the Packers.
Bears wide receivers Chase Claypool and N’Keal Harry are inactive against the Eagles.
Claypool, who has a knee injury, already was declared out Friday. Harry is dealing with a back issue and was listed as questionable Friday, but he will not play.
With Darnell Mooney on injured reserve, that leaves the Bears with wide receivers Equanimeous St. Brown, Byron Pringle, Dante Pettis, Velus Jones Jr. and Nsimba Webster.
The Bears elevated Webster and tight end Jake Tonges from the practice squad Saturday. Tight end Trevon Wesco is inactive with a calf injury.
Also inactive for the Bears are right tackle Larry Borom (knee), quarterback Tim Boyle, defensive lineman Justin Layne and offensive lineman Ja’Tyre Carter.
Justin Fields is rushing toward history
Bears QB Justin Fields needs 95 rushing yards to become just the third NFL quarterback to run for 1,000 yards in a season. Michael Vick did it in 2006 with the Atlanta Falcons, and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson did it in 2019 and 2020.
Fields said it would be “crazy” to be in the same category as Vick.
“Me growing up in Atlanta, I remember I was 8, 9 years old, I had his cleats,” Fields said. “So that would just be crazy, kind of just full circle. It would be awesome.”
Fields has twice rushed for more than 95 yards in a game this season. Here’s a look at some of the other records Fields could break soon.
What can the Bears learn from the Eagles? Invest in the lines, admit mistakes — and hope the QB pans out.
The Eagles will offer a good look at how far the Bears have to go to join the small mix of teams in position to complete for a Lombardi Trophy.
You can draw parallels between the organizations. Both have exciting, young dual-threat quarterbacks with the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts an MVP candidate in his third season and the Bears’ Justin Fields coming along in Year 2. Both have head coaches plucked from the Colts staff.
Don’t get carried away making comparisons, though, because the Eagles (12-1) have the best record in the NFL and the Bears (3-10) have the worst in the NFC, which is why the Eagles are 9-point favorites Sunday at Soldier Field.
Here’s what the Bears can learn from the Eagles.
10 things to watch in the final stretch of the season
If the 2023 NFL draft were held today, the Bears would own the No. 3 pick, positioned either to select one of the biggest stars of the draft class or to shop that selection in a possible trade back that could net general manager Ryan Poles a bounty of valuable draft capital.
It seems unlikely the Bears would climb to the top of the draft board between now and Jan. 8. The 1-11-1 Houston Texans have remaining games against the Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts and might be hard-pressed to win two more times than the Bears do.
Here’s what else to watch as the Bears close out their season, including bowl season and the quest for 3,000.