‘We want Dallas! We want Dallas!’

‘We want Dallas! We want Dallas!’

The Chicago Bears had everything to play for with a division title on the line. The Philadelphia Eagles had the bare minimum to gain—improved seeding in the playoffs, if they get in. Guess which team showed up?

The Eagles blew the doors off the visiting Bears 54-11 at Lincoln Financial Field in front of a national TV audience. Nick Foles was flawless. LeSean McCoy paced the running game to 289 yards. The defense and special teams shut down numerous Pro Bowl players. It was a complete effort in every phase, and the outcome was never in question.

Long before the final gun sounded, 70,000 Birds fans echoed the message the home team had just sent: bring on the Dallas Cowboys.

Throughout the second half, an energized South Philly crowd could be heard chanting, “We want Dallas,” as the Eagles continued pouring it on, using the Bears like a punching bag with a blue star on it. The Eagles head to Cowboys Stadium for their long-awaited Week 17 clash to decide the NFC East championship, just as it had been foretold way back at the beginning of September.

Frankly, the Cowboys should be scared after what they saw. Dallas is ranked dead last in total defense, 30th versus the pass, 27th against the run and 25th in points allowed. They barely knocked off the 3-12 Washington franchise earlier on Sunday, otherwise Philadelphia would’ve clinched the division with their decisive victory.

[Chip Kelly Video: "We're from Philadelphia and we fight."]

Nick Foles hit on 21 of 25 attempts (84.0%) for 230 yards (9.2 AVG) and two touchdowns, good for a 131.7 passer rating. Three of his four incompletions were throwaways, and the two sacks he took only lost five yards.

LeSean McCoy likely solidified himself as the NFL’s leading rusher for the year. He racked up 133 yards on 18 carries (7.4 AVG) with two touchdowns, and added six receptions for 29 yards. Bryce Brown also went over the 100-yard mark thanks to a 65-yard scamper for six, and Chris Polk punched one in as well to give all three backs scores.

[GIF: Shady McCoy's Madden-like spin move]

Brent Celek and Riley Cooper caught touchdown passes from Foles.

Meanwhile, the Birds’ defense recovered in a big way after allowing the Minnesota Vikings to post 48 points a week ago. Philadelphia was able to get tremendous pressure on Bears signal-caller Jay Cutler from the jump. Outside linebacker Trent Cole recorded three sacks, giving him eight in the last seven games, while Mychal Kendricks added two from his spot on the interior.

That helped the secondary immensely against perhaps the best wide receiving tandem in football. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery were held to a combined 10 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown, as Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher’s physical style of coverage really worked well against those big targets.

Brandon Boykin capped off the secondary’s big day with a 54-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter to finally end Cutler’s night.

Of course, some of the Bears issues were self-inflicted. For one thing, Matt Forte only got nine carries for 29 yards, in part because Chicago was trailing almost immediately. A back of Forte’s caliber still needs the ball more, although the run defense really came to play. Cedric Thornton tackled Forte for a safety in the third quarter and made a handful of big plays in the backfield.

Chicago’s special teams didn’t do them any favors, either. Adam Podlesh shanked a punt and Devin Hester fumbled a kick return—stripped by Fletcher, recovered by Williams filling on an injury-plagued kick coverage unit—to setup the Birds with great field position on their first two scoring drives.

Regardless, the Bears didn’t appear to have any answers for the Eagles this week. The question is will the Cowboys have better luck?

It’s worth pointing out Dallas did shut down the Philly’s bid for first place once before this season. It was the worst day of Foles’ career, as he struggled to complete 37 percent of his passes in a baffling performance, then exited with a concussion. Matt Barkley threw three interceptions in relief, as the Birds were held out of the end zone in the 17-3 loss.

Times have changed though. Foles still has occasional bouts of inconsistency, but by and large has developed into a steady leader for the offense.

With the win, the Eagles improved to 9-6, guaranteeing a winning season in Chip Kelly’s first year on the sidelines. The fun is just getting started though. It’s December, Week 17, and we want Dallas.

Flyers-Capitals 5 things: Washington on ridiculous roll into Wells Fargo Center

Flyers-Capitals 5 things: Washington on ridiculous roll into Wells Fargo Center

Flyers (28-24-7) vs. Capitals (39-12-7)
8 p.m. on NBCSN, CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

After finding some offense to finish up a 1-2-0 road trip, the Flyers return home for a not-so-glorious welcome when they host the NHL-leading Washington Capitals on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

We’ll get into that and more with five things to know:

1. Capping things off
What’s the Flyers’ reward for salvaging the final game of a road swing through Canada? A date with the Capitals, who are the NHL’s hottest team since New Year’s Eve, and by a landslide.

Just how dominant has Washington been?

Dating back to Dec. 31, the Capitals are 19-3-2 and have scored an incomprehensible 104 goals in those 24 games. That’s 4.33 goals per game, while yielding only 50 markers over that stretch.

Meanwhile, the Flyers have scored an NHL-low 40 goals since New Year’s Eve and allowed 62 for an Eastern Conference-worst goal differential of minus-22.

Washington, coming off its first back-to-back defeats since Dec. 27-29, has lost three straight games only once this season.

2. A Ghost sighting
On Sunday, for the first time in close to four months, we saw the Shayne Gostisbehere from the Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie) runner-up season last year.

The sophomore blueliner delivered his first three-point game of his career to ignite the Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Canucks.

Although Gostisbehere has made it clear he’s focused on his defensive game, the Flyers are a different animal when he’s generating offensive chances at 5-on-5 and the power play.

“He had his confidence and a little bit of swagger,” Wayne Simmonds said of Gostisbehere’s performance Sunday.

“Ghost has had his ups and downs this year, but he's a heck of a player and has unbelievable skill. He can be a catalyst offensively for us, that’s for sure.”

3. Good cage match
This one makes for an intriguing goalie matchup between Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby, who were once battling for the net in Washington.

Holtby is having another stud season after winning the 2015-16 Vezina Trophy (top goalie). Among all netminders, he is tied for first in goals-against average (2.01) and shutouts (seven), while he hasn’t been beaten in regulation since Dec. 27.

The 27-year-old blanked the Flyers twice in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs and stopped 149 of 154 shots over the first-round series that the Capitals won in six games.

Neuvirth hasn’t been too shabby himself, starting eight of the Flyers’ last 10 games. Aside from a bad showing in a 6-3 loss to the Oilers, Neuvirth has not surrendered more than two goals in any other outing during that span.

A 2006 second-round pick of Washington, Neuvirth was brilliant last postseason against his former club, making 103 saves on 105 shots faced to get the Flyers two victories.

4. Keep an eye on ...
Flyers: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare can be crucial in these types of games. The fourth-line forward often sees work against the opposition’s top offensive threats and is the Flyers’ most important piece to the penalty kill. Bellemare has played 16-plus minutes in both meetings with the Capitals this season, while the PK is 15 for 17 in February and tied for the NHL’s third-fewest goals against this month.

Capitals: T.J. Oshie is such an underrated asset for Washington. The right winger, who played his college hockey at North Dakota under Flyers coach Dave Hakstol, leads the NHL with a 22.8 shooting percentage, a big reason why the Capitals are scoring 3.34 goals per game, good for second most in hockey. Oshie has 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists) in his past 22 games and is a plus-24 on the season.

5. This and that
• Neuvirth has just two career regular-season matchups against the Capitals, going 1-0-0 with a 2.44 goals-against average and .914 save percentage.

• Holtby is 6-4-7 with a 2.71 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 18 lifetime matchups with the Flyers.

• The Flyers are three points out of the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, trailing the Panthers, Bruins and Islanders, all of whom have 66 points.

• Simmonds has four goals in his last five games.

• Claude Giroux has two points (one goal, one assist) in his previous 10 games.

• Washington ranks first in the NHL with a plus-69 goal differential.

• Jordan Weal (upper-body injury) is expected to miss his second straight game.

NBA trade deadline: Buyer's market? Lakers got next to nothing in Lou Williams trade

NBA trade deadline: Buyer's market? Lakers got next to nothing in Lou Williams trade

If the two NBA trades this week indicate anything, it's that we're in a buyer's market.

Two days after DeMarcus Cousins was traded by the Kings to the Pelicans for a shockingly light return, Magic Johnson made his first move as the Lakers' new head honcho, shipping Lou Williams to Houston.

In exchange for Lou-Will, the Lakers got Corey Brewer and the Rockets' first-round pick, another surprisingly modest return.

Williams, 30, is having the best season of his 11-year career and it's not just because he was playing big fish on a bad team. You'd think the Lakers' lack of talent would result in somewhat inefficient scoring from Lou-Will, but that's not the case.

He's averaging a career-high 18.6 points, shooting a career-best 38.5 percent from three and 88.4 percent from the line. Only once, 2009-10 with the Sixers, did Williams shoot better than his current 44.4 percent from the field.

Because Williams signed his three-year deal with the Lakers before the salary cap spiked last offseason, he's underpaid in the current NBA landscape. He's owed just $7 million next season, a team-friendly salary for a player who can provide instant offense off the bench.

Brewer is a non-factor in the trade and won't have much of a future role with the rebuilding Lakers, so the trade was basically Williams for a very late first-round pick. The Rockets are 40-18 and would pick 27th if the season ended today.

Picks that late in the first round just aren't that valuable. Over the last five drafts, only eight of the 30 players selected in the 25 to 30 range have even cracked an NBA rotation. And two of them are Spurs, which is almost like its own separate category given how regularly San Antonio unearths talent in the draft.

Even those who've cracked rotations after being drafted 25-30 over the last five years are not impact players: Pascal Siakam, Larry Nance Jr., Andre Roberson, Miles Plumlee. Keep in mind that's a good scenario for that late of a first-rounder. The only two actual difference-makers drafted in that range the last five years are Rudy Gobert and Clint Capela.

Keep this return in mind when wondering what the Sixers might be able to recoup in a deadline trade of players like Ersan Ilyasova or Nik Stauskas. 

It's a worse return for the Lakers than the Kings received on draft night last summer for Marco Belinelli. Sacramento traded Belinelli, a journeyman bench player, for the No. 22 overall pick.

Could the Lakers have possibly gotten less than the 27th pick if they just held onto Williams and traded him in the offseason?

When I opined last night on Twitter that the Lakers didn't do well in the Lou-Will deal, a few people replied that the Lakers aren't trying to win, they're trying to finish with a bottom-three record and keep their pick rather than ship it to the Sixers.

But keep in mind that finishing with even the second-worst record in the NBA guarantees the Lakers nothing. The team that finishes with the second-worst record has a 55.8 percent chance of landing a top-three pick. The team that finishes with the third-worst record has a 46.9 percent of chance of landing a top-three pick.

Far from a sure thing.

One sure thing is the Lakers won't be catching the Nets for the league's worst record. Even if the Lakers go 0-24 the rest of the way to finish 19-63, they'd still need the Nets to go 11-15 or better. Brookyln's lost 14 games in a row, so that ain't happening.