Typically, the team with fewer turnovers and better quarterback play wins the game, but it appears that St. Nick still has some holiday magic left in him. In a game that saw four lead changes and came down to the final minute, Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles – with a little help from the left upright – are headed to the second round of the NFL playoffs.
Foles marched his offense down the field on his first drive going 4-5 for 65 yards but the Eagles would have to settle for a field goal when Leonard Floyd made his way in to the backfield, sacking Foles for an eight yard loss. That would be the first and last sack of the game for Chicago. Eagles up 3-0.
Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense would be forced to punt on their first two drives and struggled to get anything going until rookie linebacker Roquan Smith outmanned Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood on a short pass from Nick Foles. It would be the first of two interceptions Foles would throw in the second quarter. On the Bears following drive Trubisky and company would go eight plays for 47 yards and tack on a field goal of their own. Score tied 3-3.
In Nick’s fourth drive, he appeared to have Philly on the verge of breaking the tie but would throw up an ill-advised pass to a sleuth of Bears defenders, resulting in an interception by Adrian Amos for a touchback.
The teams would then trade punts before Trubisky and the Bears offense would go on a 13 play drive that would end with a field goal as time expired headed in to halftime. 6-3, Bears.
The Bears would come out of the locker room just as flat as they did in the first quarter and punt on their first two drives of the second half, failing to put any points on the board in the third quarter. To make matters worse, the Bears “D” would give Philly 53 yards in penalties in the Eagles first drive of the second half – a drive that eventually saw Foles connect with tight end, Dallas Goedert, for a 10-yard touchdown. 10-6, Eagles.
Chicago would find their grove in the next two drives, adding points to the board both times with a field goal and a touchdown. Head Coach, Matt Nagy, would try to divert the Eagles attention on a two point conversion when they made linebacker Khalil Mack and offensive tackle Bradley Sowell both eligible receivers, but the Eagles weren’t fooled and stuffed the attempt. 15-10, Chi-Town.
Enter, St. Nick. Foles would orchestrate a 12 play, 60 yard drive – 59 of which would be passing yards – that would result in a two yard touchdown pass (on fourth down!) to Golden Tate. Philly would also fail on their own two-point conversion attempt. 16-15 away team, with just under a minute left.
Tarik Cohen would return the next kickoff to Chicago’s 42-yard line, setting his team up with great field position. A few completions by Trubisky and suddenly the Bears are on Philly’s 25-yard line. In dramatic, but very familiar fashion, Cody Parkey’s 43 yard field goal would bounce of the left upright and the crossbar, dashing the windy city’s playoff hopes.
The Saints will be waiting for the Eagles in Louisiana. In a meeting earlier this year, the Eagles got embarrassed in New Orleans, 48-7. Then again, those were Carson Wentz’s Eagles. Will the Foles fairy tail continue? We’ll find out next Sunday.
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