Grayson’s Grades: Eagles at Bears
CHICAGO - Cody Parkey hit the upright and the crossbar on what would have been a game-winning 43-yard Field Goal and the Philadelphia Eagles survived and advanced behind a 16-15 win over the Chicago Bears.
Nick Foles threw a pair of interceptions while also throwing a pair of touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Eagles defense did a good job of stopping Chicago's rushing attack but gave up a lot of yards through the air. Ultimately, they did enough to survive.
This playoff edition of Grayson's Grades has a little bit of everything:
Doug Pederson - Pederson wanted to commit to the run in this game and he remained committed to it. Most of the time, running plays did not gain many yards. However, remaining committed to it allowed the passing game to have success and the Eagles did a good job of converting third downs. Pederson did not hesitate to punt the ball away on fourth and less than a yard with 12:00 left in the game and a 10-9 lead on his side of the field. It was the right call because a failed attempt would have given the Bears the ball inside field goal range and the ability to take the lead. Pederson looked like a genius icing Cody Parkey at the end of the game because after making the kick right after the timeout was called, he missed the one that mattered.
Alshon Jeffery - Jeffery's return to Chicago proved to be a solid one. He made several big catches in this game and each of them brought with it a chorus of boos from the crowd. Jeffery hauled in six passes for 82 yards including a couple of receptions on the game-winning drive.
Golden Tate - Tate had a couple of huge plays in this game. There was none bigger than his reception by the sideline on fourth-and-goal from the two that went for a touchdown and proved to be the game-winning score. Another one came earlier in the game when he took a shot as he pulled it in and somehow held onto the ball for a big first down catch. Tate came off the field and waved off medical attention and ultimately went back to his coaches and wanted to get back into the game. Tate had five receptions for 46 yards and the game-winning touchdown in this one.
Rasul Douglas - Douglas once again led the team in tackles. He remains a solid tackler on the outside and finished with eight tackles in the game and one pass successfully defended. Douglas continues to look more and more comfortable with each passing game. Remember, he gained playoff experience a year ago and is playing with confidence right now.
Nigel Bradham - Bradham had a pretty good game. He batted a pass away on third down to force a punt. Bradham also stayed at home and tackled Trubisky for a loss of one in the second quarter. He was constantly around the ball. Bradham finished second on the team with seven tackles. He also had a total of two tackles for a loss and two passes successfully defended.
Nick Foles - Foles did a good job distributing the ball completing four passes to three different receivers on the opening drive. It covered 50 yards on ten plays to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead. Foles got picked off on a low throw intended for Wendell Smallwood in the second quarter. Later that quarter he lofted a ball into the end zone that was an easy pick for the Bears. Foles has always preached to live in the moment and have a short memory as a quarterback. He appeared to put both of the interceptions out of his mind when he led the Eagles on a touchdown drive in the third quarter that gave them a 10-6 lead. Foles faced adversity with the Eagles trailing 15-10 late in the game. He marched them down the field as cool and calm as could be and eventually found Golden Tate for the game-winning score on fourth-and-goal. Foles completed 25 of 40 passes for 266 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Zach Ertz - Ertz was limited in his catch total thanks to the game plan put in by the Bears. He did have an impact and was there when Foles needed him. The attention he received allowed Dallas Goedert to operate effectively when given the chance. Ertz had five receptions for 52 yards.
Dallas Goedert - Goedert caught the first touchdown of the game. He ran a solid route and was wide open in the endzone when Foles delivered him an easy catchable ball to give the Eagles a 10-6 lead in the third quarter. He added another key reception on the game-winning drive that moved the chains. Goedert finished with two catches for 20 yards and a touchdown.
Michael Bennett - Bennett would have had an 'A' if not for a very costly unnecessary roughness penalty he took after a third down stop that gave the Bears 15 yards and extended their drive. That drive wound up netting three points on a Cody Parkey Field Goal. Bennett did register a sack in the game and added a pair of tackles for a loss along with a quarterback hit. He had a total of three tackles in the game.
Running Backs - The Running Backs had a very difficult day in this game. Wendell Smallwood managed 20 yards on eight carries. Darren Sproles had 21 yards on 13 carries and Josh Adams had one carry for two yards. The Bears shut them down and prevented much running room. However, they did grind out what they could as Pederson remained committed to the run. That decision likely helped some of the passing game find success.
Avonte Maddox - Maddox had an up-and-down kind of game. He nearly had an interception after he batted a ball away, but he was unable to get his second foot down in play before going out of bounds. However, later in the game he bit hard on a double-move and it went down as a completion to Allen Robinson for 45 yards. Maddox got beat again on the ensuing possession for a 34-yard reception by Bellamy. He got beat again on the very next play for a touchdown giving the Bears a 15-10 lead. They picked on Maddox once more on their final drive as they tried to get into Field Goal range. He allowed a 25-yard gain to Allen Robinson. Maddox has played very well on the corner and will learn from some of his mistakes in this one.