Eagles Do It Again, Stun Bears in Chicago
(973espn.com) - The trade was worth it.
It's not as catchy as the "Philly Special" but get used to sprint-right option. That's what Doug Pederson pulled out of his playbook on 4th-and-goal from the 2-yard-line with a minute remaining in what turned out to be a 16-15 Eagles win over Chicago.
Nick Foles found Golden Tate, the oft-maligned midseason pickup who has struggled to assimilate into the Philadelphia offense, just inside the goal line as a stunned Soldier Field started to come to grips with an early exit from the postseason.
"You know I don't even listen to it," Tate said when asked about the recent criticism of the trade that sent a third-round pick to Detroit to get him to Philadelphia. "I just focus on helping this team win. I'm just glad I had an opportunity to make a play and help this team win. We found a way."
Things were hardly over, however, as Chicago (12-5) used a big kick return by Tarik Cohen and a 25-yard Mitchell Trubisky to Allen Robinson hookup to get into field-goal position but ex-Philadelphia kicker Cody Parkey, who came in with an NFL-high 10 missed kicks on the season, booted a 43-yard attempt that banged off the left upright before ricocheting off the crossbar and harmlessly back toward the playing field keeping the reigning Super champions alive for another week.
"Obviously we were hoping for a miss," Foles said after the heart-stopping win. "This was a hard-fought game. This was an amazing team we were playing against."
Pederson first iced Parkey, who sailed a 43-yard "practice" kick through the uprights before missing the second one that counted.
"I wasn't gonna take it with me," Pederson said of his final timeout.
The Eagles (10-7) now head to New Orleans for the divisional round next Sunday in hopes of avenging a devastating 48-7 loss in Week 11, the low point of their season.
Foles finished 25-of-40 for 266 yards with two interceptions and two picks against arguably the top defense in the NFL. Former Bear Alshon Jeffery was the top receiver, snaring six catches for 82 yards.
As expected Philadelphia had a very difficult time running it against the Bears front with just 42 yards on 23 carries but the offensive line held up when it came to pass blocking with both Jason Peters and Lane Johnson largely shutting down All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack.
Trubisky was really poor in the first half for the Bears but finished strongly by targeting Robinson, who finished with 10 catches for 143 yards and a TD, on a series of double moves.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen