PHILADELPHIA — Following an 8-yard touchdown reception late in the first half, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery lined up a good 15 feet from the rest of his offensive brethren, who were bunched together like bowling pins. He sized them up, flicked his wrist, and after a beat, they all fell over. A perfect strike.
It was that kind of day for Jeffery against his former team. He outgained the anemic Bears all by himself in the first half and finished with five catches for 52 yards and a score. That TD — his seventh of the season — also happened to trigger a $250,000 bonus in his contract. From a personal standpoint, it doesn’t get much better.
Jeffery has been more focused on team achievement this season, though. He downplayed this week’s matchup against Chicago, where he spent the first five seasons of his career, saying it was just another game on the schedule. On pace to finish with about 60 catches and 900 yards entering Week 12 — a far cry from the 85-catch, near-1,300 yard campaign he had in his best years with the Bears — Jeffery stated that “winning championships” is what matters to him.
The Eagles continue down the track in that pursuit. Their 31-3 win over Chicago moves them to 10-1 on the season. The past two times they started 10-1 (1980 and 2004), they reached the Super Bowl. The odds of postseason success continue to tilt in their favor. Per ESPN Stats & Information, 67 teams have started 9-1 or better in the Super Bowl era before the Eagles. All 67 reached the playoffs, 48 won at least one game, 33 reached the Super Bowl and 17 won it.
They can clinch the NFC East with a Dallas loss or tie against the Washington Redskins on Thursday night. If Dallas wins, The Eagles will clinch by beating the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night.
Quarterback Carson Wentz continues to be the guiding force in the Eagles’ surge towards NFL supremacy. He finished with three touchdowns, upping his league-leading total to 28. He joins Donovan McNabb (2006) and Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen (1960-61) as the only Eagles players to throw multiple TD passes in seven consecutive games. He is on pace to throw 41 touchdowns this season. The most touchdown passes by an Eagles quarterback in a single season is 32, established by Jurgensen in 1961.
Wentz seems to have at least one highlight-reel play per game. This week, the most dazzling came on 3rd-and-9 in the second quarter, when he somehow felt defensive back Cre’Von LeBlanc bearing down on his blind side, spun away from contact and scrambled 16 yards to set up his second touchdown throw of the game. He continues to add to his MVP résumé.
His developing chemistry with Jeffery will only help the Eagles down the stretch. Jeffery has 15 catches for 203 yards with four touchdowns over the past three games. Five of his seven TDs have come over his past four outings.
Personally and team-wise, it’s all starting to come together for Jeffery, and just in time for a critical two-game West Coast trip to face Seattle and the L.A. Rams. His old squad, meanwhile, continues to slide in the other direction.