Bears’ Hopes of Beating Eagles End With a Thunk-Thunk-Thud
CHICAGO — Eleven months have elapsed since Philadelphia’s fantastic Super Bowl name, and on Sunday it was once ever extra important to re-establish this period as truth. The playoffs, once more, had arrived, and there, once more, was once Nick Foles, reprising his function because the Eagles’ backup-turned-starter-turned-savior.
So, to elucidate for any individual squinting at their televisions and questioning how Foles controlled to bend time and house: No, he didn’t in fact leave one stadium within the Midwest after bewitching his opponent after which materialize in every other to do the similar — despite the fact that such confusion can be comprehensible.
Foles, and the Eagles, appear to inhabit a position untouched via the mayhem churning throughout them. Their mojo has been so excellent for the closing month that on Sunda they foiled the league’s maximum harmful protection with a go-ahead landing on fourth down after which watched a kick that will have doomed them clang first off the left upright after which jump off the crossbar.
The ultimate rating — Philadelphia 16, Chicago 15 — silenced the gang at Soldier Field, which hosted its first playoff sport in 8 years, however now not the occupants of the guests’ sideline, who danced and shouted and swarmed the grass after Cody Parkey’s 43-yard strive ricocheted to the bottom, ushering the Eagles into a divisional-round matchup subsequent Sunday afternoon at top-seeded New Orleans.
When the Eagles’ locker room opened to the inside track media, tune was once blaring and a few gamers have been huddled, staring at replays of the kick. Chris Long became to his fellow defensive finish Brandon Graham, sitting beside him, and stated, “It’s a hard job being a kicker.” Graham stated, “I know, boy.” Above the din, tight finish Zach Ertz bellowed, “Club Dub,” referencing the dance birthday celebration that raged after Bears victories this season, all 12 of them. No strobe lighting fixtures pulsing in the house locker room Sunday, best the tough glare of the cameras.
“You can’t make this up,” Parkey stated. “I feel terrible.”
In retrospect, the Bears’ largest blunder of the season got here closing week, once they beat the Vikings within the closing week of the common season. By successful in Minnesota — the place the Eagles captured their first Super Bowl, it must be famous — the Bears granted Philadelphia’s access into the postseason.
Chicago’s praise, after going 12-Four to seize the N.F.C. North and the convention’s 1/3 seed, was once to stand the reigning champions, who barged into the playoffs via successful 5 of their ultimate six video games — the closing 3 in the back of Foles, in aid, once more, of an injured Carson Wentz. The Eagles have a quirky, if enviable, quarterback state of affairs — the franchise famous person in Wentz and the loved backup in Foles, who simply secured Philadelphia’s first soccer championship since 1960.
Since ascending to the beginning task in Week 15 at Los Angeles — the place Wentz injured his knee closing season — Foles, not likely to go back to Philadelphia subsequent season, has approached each sport realizing it might be his closing in an Eagles uniform. He tamed the Rams, then the Texans and the Redskins, however had now not but encountered a protection as dominant as Chicago’s.
Just how dominant? The Bears have been the one group this season with extra interceptions (27) than landing passes allowed (22).
Even after Chicago added two extra interceptions Sunday — after the primary 25 mins, he have been picked off extra instances than in his earlier 4 playoff video games blended — Foles remained at peace.
“What I’ve learned on these stages,” Foles stated, “is just how to calm myself in a chaotic moment.”
He simplifies. He gazes at 10 gamers he trusts within the huddle. He calls the play. With Four mins 48 seconds final and trailing via 15-10, Philadelphia took over at its 40 and within the huddle Foles simplified, gazed, relied on — and located Alshon Jeffery for 15 yards. He guided the Eagles to the Bears’ 2, changing a third-and-Nine to Jeffery, ahead of 3 instantly performs backfired.
Before fourth-and-their-season, Coach Doug Pederson signaled timeout. Expecting the Bears to blitz, Pederson referred to as a play that will transfer the pocket for Foles, who rolled to his proper and sidearmed a toss to Golden Tate, who stuck it at the function line and spun into the top zone with 56 seconds left.
The second reminded Foles of his first playoff sport with the Eagles, at house 5 years in the past towards New Orleans again in his first stint with Philadelphia. He threw a overdue go-ahead landing go in that sport — after which noticed Darren Sproles, now his teammate, gash them with a lengthy kickoff go back that located the Saints for the successful box function.
And on Sunday, after Philadelphia ignored the 2-point conversion, Foles, who finished 25 of 40 passes for 266 yards, watched Tarik Cohen ran again the following kickoff 35 yards.
“That definitely came into my mind a little bit,” Foles stated of the New Orleans sport.
Mitch Trubisky, whose 22-yard landing go to Allen Robinson with Nine:04 left had put the Bears forward via 15-10, directed the Bears to the Eagles’ 25, the place Parkey measured his fourth strive of the day. His travails this season have unnerved Bears enthusiasts, who sulked as he ignored 10 kicks — seven box objectives and 3 additional issues.
He drilled his preliminary check out, however Philadelphia had referred to as timeout ahead of the kick to ice him. The 2nd bounced off the yellow posts and onto the turf.
When it was once famous to Pederson at a information convention closing week that Foles had now not misplaced the closing two Decembers (and past), Pederson banged the wood lectern for, you realize, good fortune. That was once superfluous. He oversees a group that trampled liked New England within the Super Bowl, that has coalesced after a 48-7 defeat Nov. 18 in New Orleans, that outclassed the league’s peak protection at the street.
The identical Eagles workforce that donned canine mask closing postseason — directly lampooning their perceived underdog standing and inviting it — has birthed a new wearable gimmick: ski mask. As if robbers, they began stealing the ball. Then they began stealing wins. Then they stole a playoff berth. Then they stole victory from the Bears.
Ask the Eagles, and so they say don’t seem to be performed. They were down a identical trail ahead of, and located a trophy on the finish. New Orleans, beware.