NFL GAME RECAP

Matthews scores twice to lead Eagles past Bears

The Sports Xchange

September 19, 2016 at 10:40 pm.

Sep 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (24) scores a touchdown in front of Chicago Bears cornerback Tracy Porter (21) during the second half at Soldier Field. Philadelphia won 29-14. Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (24) scores a touchdown in front of Chicago Bears cornerback Tracy Porter (21) during the second half at Soldier Field. Philadelphia won 29-14. Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

CHICAGO — The Philadelphia Eagles scored touchdowns on three consecutive second-half possessions, two of them short runs by Ryan Matthews and two of them following Chicago turnovers, and beat the Bears, 29-14, Monday night.

Matthews scored on runs of 3 yards and 1 yard, sandwiched around a 2-yard touchdown pass from Carson Wentz to Trey Burton. One of the touchdowns followed an interception and 28-yard return by Nigel Bradham to Chicago’s 2-yard line and another followed a fumble recovery by Ron Brooks.

The Bears lost turnovers on three of their first four second-half possessions and also lost starting quarterback Jay Cutler, who left the game with a hand injury following the Bradham interception.

Cutler completed 12 of 17 passes for 157 yards but was sacked three times. One of the sacks resulted in a fumble which the Eagles recovered, killing a promising drive that started the second half at a time Philadelphia led by only two points.

A short time later, the Eagles mounted their only long touchdown drive, a 68-yard march that ended with Matthews, seemingly stopped on a run into the line, able to slither out, keep his balance and stumble around the pile of bodies to the end zone. That made it 16-7.

Bradham’s interception came on the first play following the kickoff, and the next play was Burton’s touchdown. Three plays after the following kickoff, a Jeremy Langford fumble was recovered by Brooks, a 30-yard run by Matthews set up his second touchdown, and the rout was pretty much complete at 29-7.

Eddie Royal returned a punt 65 yards for a consolation touchdown for the Bears with 5:09 remaining.

The Eagles led, 9-7, at the half, on three field goals by Caleb Sturgis, the last a 53-yarder with three seconds remaining. The Bears tried to “freeze” Sturgis with a late timeout just as the ball was being snapped, and Sturgis missed the “practice kick” badly. The next one counted, and was drilled perfectly.

Sturgis’ other field goals came from 25 and 29 yards.

Chicago’s touchdown, a 1-yard run by Jeremy Langford, was set up on a 49-yard bomb from Cutler to Alshon Jeffery early in the second quarter.

Philadelphia missed two good touchdown opportunities, the first when Bryce Callahan made a nifty breakup of a ball thrown by Wentz to tight end Brent Celek, who appeared momentarily open in the end zone, the next when Jordan Matthews dropped a pass in the end zone just before Sturgis’ third field goal.

NOTES: The Bears played again without regular starting cornerback Kyle Fuller, who had minor knee surgery in August. … The Eagles were without TE Zach Ertz (ribs) and CB Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), both injured in the season opener. … Anthem update: No players appeared to kneel but three Eagles — Malcolm Jenkins, Ron Brooks and Steven Means — raised fists during playing of the national anthem.

 

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