PHILADELPHIA -- One team had everything to play for and the other team had nothing to play for, but viewers of Sunday night's game would have been hard-pressed to figure out which team was which.
The Eagles rolled past the Bears 54-11 at Lincoln Financial Field even though Philadelphia was playing what was basically a meaningless game and Chicago was attempting to win a division championship.
"We knew what was at stake tonight, and we didn't get it done," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "We were ready to play, but we played terribly in all three phases."
The Bears (8-7) would have won the NFC North championship with a victory over the Eagles, but now they must beat the Green Bay Packers (7-7-1) next week to take the division crown.
Chicago's win-and-in scenario unfolded in dramatic style earlier in the day, when the Packers lost 38-31 to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final seconds. Another NFC North challenger, Detroit, lost to the New York Giants 23-20 on an overtime field goal, eliminating the Lions from postseason contention.
Meanwhile, the Eagles (9-6) were playing with nothing on the line, at least as far as making the playoffs was concerned.
Had the Dallas Cowboys lost to the Washington Redskins earlier in the day, then the Eagles would have clinched the NFC East championship with a win over the Bears. However, the Cowboys' 24-23 victory made that scenario moot, and now the division title will be decided next Sunday when the Eagles travel to Dallas (8-7) in a game that was moved to prime time.
"It says a lot about the character of this team that we would go out and play as hard as we did tonight," Eagles guard Evan Mathis said. "We all knew what happened earlier today (in the Dallas game), and it would have been easy for us to take the night off, but that's not what this team is all about."
The Eagles jumped out to a 21-0 lead and were never threatened.
"That's a great way to start the game, scoring on three straight possessions," Eagles quarterback Nick Foles said. "When you start the game and you're up by 21 points, it allows you do to more things on both sides of the ball. We got the momentum early, and we pretty much kept it the entire game."
The margin was 24-3 at halftime. Philadelphia padded the lead in the third quarter on a safety and an impressive drive after the ensuing free kick. Running back LeSean McCoy capped the sequence with a spinning, 1-yard touchdown run, stretching the advantage to 33-3.
The Bears scored their only touchdown on the final play of the third quarter, but the Eagles answered with three more touchdowns, on a 10-yard rush by running back Chris Polk, a 54-yard interception return by cornerback Brandon Boykin and a 65-yard run by running back Bryce Brown with 6:14 left in the game.
Foles, who struggled in last week's loss to Detroit, got back on track against Chicago. He completed 21 of 25 passes for 230 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while posting a 131.8 passer rating.
McCoy rushed 18 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns, his sixth 100-yard game of the season, and Brown added 115 yards on nine carries.
Foles enjoyed something Bears quarterback Jay Cutler didn't have -- solid pass protection. Foles had plenty of time to find his receivers, while Cutler was pressured most of the game and was sacked five times, three times by defensive end Trent Cole.
Cutler completed 20 of 35 passes for 222 yards with a touchdown, an interception and a 73.7 passer rating.
"We lost the line of scrimmage tonight, on both sides of the ball," Trestman said.
Chicago lost the game in the first quarter. Foles threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper, McCoy scored on a 1-yard run, and Foles hooked up with tight end Brent Celek on a 10-yard touchdown for a 21-0 lead.
"It seemed like the game had hardly started and you looked up and we're already behind by three touchdowns," Bears linebacker Jon Bostic said. "To fall behind like that on the road against a very good team, well, we just dug a hole that was too deep.
"Give the Eagles credit, though, because they played a great game. But we didn't play Bears football, and that's probably the most frustrating thing, especially with what was at stake. We know we're better than what we showed tonight."
It would be hard for the Eagles to be better than they were against the Bears.
"We played a bad game last week (losing 48-30 to the Minnesota Vikings), and we played a good game this week, and none of that will matter next week," Cole said. "Right now, it's a one-game season."
NOTES: DE Trent Cole recorded his 77th career sack to move past Clyde Simmons into second place on the Eagles' all-time list, then added Nos. 77 and 78. Reggie White is No. 1 with 124 sacks. ... Bears LB Lance Briggs started after missing the previous seven games with a fractured shoulder. Briggs came into the game with nine tackles for losses, which led the team and was tied for fourth in the NFL even though he missed half the season. ... Eagles rookie S Earl Wolff suited up after missing the previous four games with a sprained knee. Wolff started six games this season.