Eagles-Bears: Numbers that matter | Paul Domowitch
Sunday's Eagles-Bears game by the numbers.
A look back at last January’s Eagles-Bears meeting and a look ahead to Sunday’s rematch:
The last time
--In the Eagles’ 16-15 playoff win over Chicago in January, the Bears held them to 42 rushing yards on 23 carries (1.8 yards per carry).
--Nick Foles had 17 passing first downs against the Bears. They had more than that just four times last season – 18 in a 26-23 loss to Tennessee, 20 in a 27-20 loss to Dallas, 18 in a 28-13 win over Washington and 18 in a 32-30 win over Houston.
--Alshon Jeffery was targeted nine times by Foles against his former team. He had six catches for 82 yards. Five of his receptions resulted in first downs.
--Golden Tate’s game-winning two-yard touchdown catch with 56 seconds left was one of just two touchdown catches that he had in 10 games with the Eagles.
--The Eagles converted six of 13 third-down opportunities against the Bears. Foles was 7-for-10 for 77 yards on third down. Five of his 10 third-down pass attempts produced first downs, including three to Tate.
--The Eagles averaged just 1.5 yards per carry on first down.
--The Bears were held to 65 rushing yards on 18 carries by the Eagles. Twenty-one of those came on a misdirection toss to wide receiver Taylor Gabriel. Jordan Howard, who was traded by the Bears to the Eagles in the offseason, had 35 yards on 10 carries. The Bears averaged just .89 yards per carry on first down (9-8).
--Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky was 6-for-11 for 55 yards on third down. Just three of his 11 pass attempts produced first downs.
--The Bills only converted six of 15 third-down opportunities against the Eagles last week, but five of the six third downs they converted were eight yards or longer, including one third-and-13 and two third-and-14s. Josh Allen completed six of nine third-down pass attempts for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Two of the Eagles’ four sacks of Allen also came on third down (by Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham).
--The Bills game was just the third time in Jim Schwartz’s four-year tenure as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator that his defense allowed three third-and-10-plus conversions in the same game. In the last three games, opponents have converted five of 12 third-and-10-pluses against the Eagles. In the first five games: just 3 of 19.
--Opponents have an 89.7 third-down passer rating v. the Eagles this season (58.6 completion percentage, 4 TDs, 3 INTs, 9.0 yards per attempt). In the last three game, however, they have a 115.4 third-down passer rating, including a 71.4 completion percentage.
--In the last three games, Eagles opponents have a 119.7 passer rating (73.3 completion percentage, 10.7 yards per attempt) on third and eight-or more. In the first five games: 29.6 rating, 47.8 completion percentage, four first downs in 23 pass attempts.
Special teams threats
--The Bears’ Cordarrelle Patterson leads the NFL in kick return average (32.1). He had the league’s top return average in three of his first six seasons.
--Patterson’s 30.1 career return average is the second best in league history, behind only late Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (30.6).
--Patterson has returned seven kickoffs for touchdowns in his career, including a 102-yarder in a loss to New Orleans two weeks ago.
--Eagles kicker Jake Elliott has had just seven of his last 35 attempts returned. One of those seven was a 100-yard return for a touchdown by the Lions’ Jamal Agnew in a 27-24 Week 3 Eagles loss. Since then, the Eagles haven’t given up a return longer than 32 yards.
--The Bears’ Tarik Cohen leads the NFL in punt return average (11.9). He has 16 returns with 11 fair catches. Seven of his 16 returns have gained 10 yards or more, including a 71-yard return against the Raiders in Week 5.
--Cohen didn’t have a punt return against the Eagles last January. None of Cam Johnston’s five punts in the Eagles’ win were returned. Cohen had four fair catches and a fifth punt went out of bounds. Johnston’s impressive 45.2 net average in that game was one of the unsung reasons for the Eagles’ 16-15 victory.
--The Eagles are 17th in the league in punt coverage (7.6). But just six of Johnston’s last 19 punts have been returned. Opponents have been held to 5.0 yards on those six returns.
Catching up with Carson
The good news. . .
--Wentz has the best interception percentage of his career. He has just four interceptions in 264 attempts, or one every 66 passes. He’s thrown just two interceptions in the last six games (183 attempts).
--Wentz has been sacked 16 times in 280 pass plays. That’s the second best sack rate (1/17.5 pass plays) of his career. He hasn’t been sacked more than three times in a game this season.
--Wentz has thrown just two interceptions in the red zone in 232 career attempts. He threw one last season and one as a rookie in 2016. He’s back sacked in the red zone just eight times in his career, only once this season in 34 attempts.
--Wentz is ranked ninth in third-down passing with a 102.6 rating. He’s completed 63.5 percent of his third-down attempts and has five touchdowns and one interception. All five of his third-down TD passes came in the first three games.
--Wentz has thrown at least one TD pass in 11 straight games and has at least one in 32 of his last 33 games. His only game without at least one TD pass during that period: the Eagles’ 48-7 Week 11 loss to New Orleans last season.
--Wentz’s 14 touchdown passes are the seventh most in the league. He’s averaging one every 18.9 attempts. That’s the second best TD rate of his career. He averaged one every 13.3 attempts in 2017 when he threw 33 TD passes. He averaged one every 19.1 attempts last year, and one every 37.9 attempts as a rookie in 2016.
--With three more rushing first downs last week against Buffalo, Wentz has 13 this season. That’s the fifth most among quarterbacks, behind the Ravens’ Lamar Jackson (30), the Cardinals’ Kyler Murray, the Texans’ Deshaun Watson (17) and the Bills’ Josh Allen (16).
--Ten of Wentz’s 14 touchdown passes have been on throws of zero to 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. His other four TD passes have been on 20-plus-yard throws. Three of his four interceptions have been on deep balls.
The bad news. . .
--Wentz has thrown for less than 200 yards in four of the Eagles’ last five games. Eighteen quarterbacks have thrown for more yards during that time than Wentz (1,018).
--Wentz is 23rd in completion percentage (62.1). That’s 7.5 points lower than his 2018 completion percentage.
--Wentz has a 70.7 passer rating in the first quarter. He’s completed just 52.5 percent of his passes and has averaged 6.5 yards per attempt in the first quarter.
This and that
--Jordan Howard is averaging 4.4 yards per carry. That’s his best rush average since his rookie year with the Bears, when he averaged 5.2. Howard is averaging 4.6 yards per carry out of 11-personnel, 4.3 out of 12-personnel and 5.1 out of 13-personnel.
--Howard has averaged 15 carries in the last five games. Miles Sanders has averaged 6.4.
--While the Eagles have run just 28 percent of their total offensive plays from under center this season, 47.7 percent of their rushing attempts – 112 of 235 – have been from under center. Fifty-seven of Howard’s 100 carries have been from under center. He’s averaging 4.3 yards per carry on under-center runs and 4.6 on runs out of shotgun.
--In the Eagles’ first three games, wide receiver Nelson Agholor was targeted 28 times and had 18 catches for 168 yards, three touchdowns and seven receiving first downs. In the last five games, he’s been targeted just 19 times and has 11 catches for 93 yards, no TDs and five first downs.