What We Saw: Week 15

Vikings and Raiders and Jaguars - oh my!

Eagles @ Bears

Final Score: Eagles 25, Bears 20

Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)


The best team in the NFC was visiting the worst, so obviously, this one finished as a five-point game and came down to the last possession. The Bears were looking good to start the game, taking their opening possession 43 yards before stalling on a fourth and three. Philly took the ball 28 yards, seeing their drive end with a Jalen Hurts interception. After a trio of punts, Philly broke through with a 32-yard field goal for the 3-0 lead. Chicago answered with the first touchdown of the game thanks to a breath-taking run by Justin Fields that led to a nine-yard score from David Montgomery on the next play. Jalen Hurts threw another pick on the Eagles’ next drive, but the Eagles still managed to find the endzone before halftime, taking a 10-6 break into the half. The first half generally saw Philadelphia struggling and Chicago playing excellent defense to limit AJ Brown. The Chicago offense–as we are used to–was a one-man show trying its best to keep up.

Philly took the ball to start the second half and scored with a QB sneak. Chicago went three-and-out, and a good run from Miles Sanders looked like it might be putting the game out of reach. Well, Sanders fumbled at the end of the run leading to a Bears scoring drive that made it 17-13. Both offenses stalled for a while with Philly eventually ending the drought–finding the endzone on another Jalen Hurts sneak. The Eagles went for two and succeeded, making it 25-13. Chicago scored on the ensuing possession with Justin Fields finding Byron Pringle for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The Eagles recovered the onside kick and successfully killed the clock. The Eagles improve to 13-1 while the Bears fall to 3-11. Here’s everything I saw this week.


Philadelphia Eagles




Jalen Hurts: 22/37, 315 Yards, 2 INT | 17 Carries, 61 Yards, 3 TD


Jalen Hurts‘ game today was truly a tale of two halves. He looked sloppy in the first half, only relying heavily on Devonta Smith to keep the offense moving early. Hurts threw a few questionable passes, looking like he wasn’t always on the same page as his receivers. On Hurts’ first pick, he threw the ball short and looked like he thought it was a free play. It was not. On Hurts’ second pick, it looked like he and Quez Watkins were not on the same page. The result was an easy pick. Hurts cleaned it up in the second half, making a concerted effort to get AJ Brown more involved despite tight coverage all day. He had a much better second half and brought his team to the win. I don’t see Hurts as an elite talent, but he is at least very good and a guy you can easily win with. As a runner, Hurts is nearly unstoppable in short-yardage situations. Hurts is capable of making big gains and turning a handful of bad plays into huge gains. His longest touchdown was an untouched 22-yard dash up the middle. Hurts took too many hits today for my liking, but the game flow demanded that he pick up everything he could to ensure the win. I look forward to seeing a healthy Hurts in the playoffs.


Running Back


Miles Sanders: 11 Carries, 42 Yards | 1 Target, 1 Reception, -13 Yards | 1 Fumble (Lost)

Kenneth Gainwell: 3 Carries, 5 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 9 Yards


The Eagles’ run game was basically non-existent early thanks to the aforementioned two picks and Philadelphia generally stalling out. Miles Sanders was the lead, but he couldn’t find much room early. Outside of one nice 18-yard run, there just wasn’t much to see here. Sanders’ one reception was a short catch that he fumbled–resulting in a huge loss on the play. Sanders is still an explosive back, but not a priority in this offense.

Kenneth Gainwell spelled Sanders, but he didn’t show much worth mentioning. Given how the Eagles rely on Hurts near the goal line, I don’t see Gainwell having much value even if Sanders went down.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


A.J. Brown: 16 Targets, 9 Receptions, 181 Yards

DeVonta Smith: 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 126 Yards

Jack Stoll: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 6 Yards

Zach Pascal: 1 Target

Grant Calcaterra: 2 Targets

Quez Watkins: 2 Carries, 4 Yards | 6 Targets, 4 Receptions, 6 Yards


Devonta Smith was the driving force early in this game, tallying 104 of his yards before halftime and keeping his team in the game while they struggled to get rolling. Smith made a great catch on the team’s first drive, finding space near the sideline while Jalen Hurts scrambled to buy time. Smith started the team’s third series with another big gain, catching a short pass over the middle and then running free. Smith had one more ‘wow’ catch shortly before halftime. He beat tight coverage to make a big grab near the sideline and set up the first Eagles touchdown. Smith is an excellent player and would be the best wide receiver on most teams in the league.

AJ Brown–as the yin to Smith’s yang–started slow but took over late. Brown had two receptions for 25 yards at halftime as was facing tough coverage all day from Bears’ corner Jaylon Johnson. Brown came alive in the second half, routinely finding just enough space to make a tough grab despite a defender draping him. Brown’s catch of the day came on the team’s first drive of the second half. Brown was blanketed, fighting through plenty of grabbing from his defender. He beat his guy and made a great catch to get Philly rolling. Brown is one of the best receivers in the league and a game-changing weapon for Philly.


Chicago Bears




Justin Fields: 14/21, 152 Yards, 2 TD | 15 Carries, 95 Yards

Nathan Peterman: 0/1


If you’ve been following the Bears, this stat line is nothing new. What can we say about Justin Fields? Let’s start with the running. Fields had a pair of amazing runs today, though one was called back. On the team’s fourth drive, Fields was wrapped up around the neck and seemingly going down. He somehow slipped free, turning the sack into a first down. He then cut outside to shake the next tackler, getting the ball down to the nine before narrowly stepping out. Fields is a transcendent runner and one you just have to see to believe. He is already challenging Michael Vick in my mind as the best runner I’ve ever seen. As a passer, Fields started strong with completions on eight of his first nine passes. He was in a great rhythm and it looked like Chicago might actually win this one. Things slowed down once RG Tevin Jenkins went down and the Eagles’ pass rush–specifically Haason Reddick–started finding Fields much too often in the backfield. The Eagles tallied six sacks, and they were regularly in the backfield causing mayhem. The constant pressure made Fields uncomfortable, and he finished the game by completing only six of his last twelve passes. Fields is improving as a passer, but he still struggles to throw the quick wide receiver screen. This pass is routinely off-target and it’s a glaring problem at the moment. Still, I’ll take the great strides Fields has made in every other area of his game. Fields briefly left the game with a leg injury, but stretched out and was back in to finish things off. He should be fine for next week.


Running Back


David Montgomery: 12 Carries, 53 Yards, TD | 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 38 Yards, TD

Darrynton Evans: 2 Carries, 9 Yards


David Montgomery continues to eat with Khalil Herbert out, but he is ceding more work to Justin Fields than we would like. Montgomery continues to run hard, and he is helpful as a check-down option when nothing opens up. Montgomery’s best catch of the day was a 21-yard gain out of the backfield. Montgomery found open space, made a clean catch, and ran for a big gain. Montgomery isn’t elite, but he is capable of doing a lot with a big workload. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that workload in a while. The touchdown was an easy nine-yard gain and helps make this a good day.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Byron Pringle: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 39 Yards, TD

Cole Kmet: 5 Targets, 4 Receptions, 25 Yards

Equanimeous St. Brown: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 20 Yards

Nsimba Webster: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 14 Yards

Dante Pettis: 4 Targets, 1 Reception, 13 Yards

Trestan Ebner: 1 Target, 1 Fumble (Recovered)

Velus Jones Jr.: 1 Carry | 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 3 Yards | 1 Fumble (Lost)


Let’s first remind everyone that Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool were both out today. Mooney is done for the season while Claypool appears to be week-to-week.

Cole Kmet made some nice catches but wasn’t used as much as I’d have liked. I still feel like the game plan can improve to utilize Chicago’s best weapons more.

Equanimeous St. Brown made a nice catch early, but he was hurt on the play and never returned. This is a thin group of weapons, and we can’t trust anyone beyond Kmet to be useful each week.

Velus Jones Jr continues to look like a terrible pick, losing a costly fumble today. It feels safe to completely abandon Jones if you have him in a deeper league.


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