By ANDREW SELIGMAN | AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — Jalen Hurts had trouble feeling his hands. With bone-chilling wind whipping through Soldier Field, he even found it difficult to see. Some big hits only added to his pain.
None of that prevented him from leading the Eagles to their franchise record-tying 13th win of the season.
Hurts tied a career high by running for three touchdowns and Philadelphia outlasted the struggling Chicago Bears 25-20 on Sunday.
The Eagles came in with the best record in the NFL and walked away with a tighter-than-anticipated win. At 13-1, they matched the best start in franchise history, achieved previously by the 2004 team that reached the Super Bowl.
“The great teams, the great players, they find a way,” Hurts said. “And I think collectively as a group, we all came together and found a way as a team. And I think that's the biggest takeaway from this game.”
Chicago’s Justin Fields ran for 95 yards to reach exactly 1,000 on the season, joining Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson as the only quarterbacks to rush for 1,000 or more. He also set a franchise single-season rushing record for a QB. But the Bears (3-11) lost their seventh straight game — their worst skid since dropping eight in a row in 2002 to match a franchise record.
Hurts is also closing in on history as a ball-carrier. He has 13 rushing touchdowns, one short of the NFL record for a QB, set by Cam Newton during his rookie year in 2011.
Hurts finished with 61 yards rushing and has 747 this season. He completed 22 of 37 passes for 315 yards, shaking off two first-half interceptions while playing in temperatures recorded at 18 degrees Fahrenheit at game time.
“He can't control a bad play earlier; he moves on to the next play,” coach Nick Sirianni said. “It's no surprise. That's who this guy is. And we've seen that over and over again.”
Hurts could be in store for some cold playoff games in Philadelphia.
“It ain't Chicago,” he said.
The Eagles' do-it-all QB ran for a 22-yard touchdown in the closing minute of the second quarter and 1-yard TD early in the third that made it 17-6. Hurts added another 1-yard score and ran in the 2-point conversion with 4:20 left in the game to put Philadelphia ahead 23-13. But the Bears weren’t finished.
Fields — who hobbled to the sideline because of leg cramps on the previous possession and briefly exited the game — hit a wide-open Byron Pringle for a 35-yard touchdown that pulled Chicago within five with 2:43 remaining.
But the Bears didn't get the ball back. After the two-minute warning, Hurts connected with A.J. Brown for 12 yards on third-and-6, allowing Philly to run out the clock.
Brown caught nine passes for a career-high 181 yards, including a 68-yarder that set up the final touchdown. DeVonta Smith had five receptions for 126 yards.
Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and Javon Hargrave each had two of Philadelphia's six sacks, helping the Eagles squeeze by after winning their previous two games by a combined 51 points.
Fields said he doesn't intend to make 1,000-yard rushing seasons a regular occurrence for him. But he called reaching the milestone “an honor."
He broke Bobby Douglass’ previous franchise rushing record for a QB of 968 yards in a 14-game season in 1972. Jackson holds the NFL mark with 1,206 in his 2019 MVP season.
“I mean, I’m already deep into this year," he said. "So I might as well just try to get that record.”
Coach Matt Eberflus called Fields a “special guy.”
“He’s doing an excellent job,” he said. “He’s doing a really good job of leading our football team. I think it’s where he’s growing the most over the second half of the season. He’s just getting more and more confident as he goes.”
After passing for a season-high 254 yards two weeks earlier against Green Bay, Fields threw for 152 and two touchdowns.
David Montgomery ran for a touchdown for Chicago, which remained winless since a surprising victory at New England on Oct. 24.
Bears right guard Teven Jenkins was carted off the field and taken to a hospital with a neck injury on the opening drive. Eberflus said Jenkins was responsive and able to move his hands after he was hurt blocking on a run by Montgomery.
“They just told me it’s encouraging,” he said. “That’s all I got from the medical staff right now.”
The 24-year-old Jenkins, a second-round pick by Chicago in the 2021 draft, stayed face down after he was injured. The sideline emptied and players looked on in a semicircle as he was tended to by medical staff.
Bears WR Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion protocol) exited after a reception on the game's opening drive. ... LB Jack Sanborn (ankle) left after he was hurt making a tackle early in the third quarter. ... CB Jaylon Johnson said he hurt his abdomen. ... WR N’Keal Harry (back) missed the game after being listed as questionable.
Eagles: Visit Dallas on Saturday.
Bears: Host Buffalo on Saturday.
At just $20/year, your subscription not only helps us grow, it helps maintain our commitment to independent publishing.
If you're already a subscriber and you'd like to send a tip to continue to support the Chicago Journal, which we would greatly appreciate, you can do so at the following link:
Chicago Journal Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.