In a game where points were at a premium for the most part, Nick Foles led the offense down the field for what would seem like a game-winning touchdown with less than a minute to go in the fourth quarter. The Eagles escaped Soldier Field with a 16-15 victory over the Chicago Bears thanks to a missed field goal by Cody Parkey.
It was a hard-fought game by both teams as Philly stepped up to the plate against the NFC North champs. The defending Super Bowl champs never swayed away from their game plan on both sides of the ball, giving themselves a chance at the end.
With the victory, the Eagles will now head down to the Big Easy for a rematch against the No. 1 seed New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs.
However, before we look toward next week, here are three takeaways from Sunday’s exciting postseason win:
1. Foles does it again
After last season’s magical postseason run, many fans and analysts alike were wondering if Foles still had any magic in his arm this time around.
Luckily enough, the reigning Super Bowl MVP did as he shook off two first-half interceptions and hit veteran wide receiver Golden Tate III for a game-winning touchdown on fourth and goal. It was another pressure-packed moment for Foles, who did not look phased at all.
After a rough first half, the veteran quarterback did a great job, especially on the last drive, spreading the ball around and placing the ball where only his wide receivers could get it.
Foles finished the game with 266 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
2. Defense bends but does not break
Heading into Sunday’s game, there was a lot of discussion about how great the Chicago Bears’ defense is, and rightfully so. However, the Eagles’ defense proved down the stretch this season that they can make plays, too, despite missing numerous key players.
Philly’s defense did a great job of not allowing the Bears’ running game to go off (Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen), holding them to only 35 yards on the ground.
Along those same lines, they also made sure quarterback Mitchell Trubisky made a non-factor in the running game, making him predominantly a pocket passer.
The second-year quarterback rose to the occasion and made some great throws down the stretch, but it was not enough at the end.
3. Inexcusable mistakes
Even though the Eagles won on Sunday, they sure made their lives hard for themselves in the first half. For starters, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds had a costly special teams penalty, allowing the Bears to pin the Eagles inside their own five-yard line.
After that, Foles threw the first of his two interceptions in the second quarter as he tried to squeeze a pass into Wendell Smallwood. His second interception came by throwing into quadruple coverage inside the red zone.
Later in the quarter, veteran defensive end Michael Bennett picked an unnecessary roughness penalty, which led to a Cody Parkey field goal.
Then in the fourth quarter, rookie cornerback Avonte Maddox got picked on by Trubisky, leading to a DPI and receiving touchdown for Allen Robinson.
Despite the Eagles not getting a single takeaway, they somehow still came away with a victory.