Eagles Fan Reaction (EFR) WC Round: PHI 16, CHI 15 - Walk in the Parkey
And you thought the Flyers were the only ones who could hit the post with the game on the line at the buzzer.
As my Notre Dame articles may have told you, I'm not just a hockey guy. I am a Philly guy, 4 for 4, which makes me extremely happy to say...
Deep breath to add drama...
The Philadelphia Eagles WIN!!!! 16-15 over the Da Bears from Chicago, in the NFC Wild Card Round, and are moving on to a date in New Orelans with the Saints next Sunday.
Much like last year's Flyers team, the Eagles have been on a roller coaster all year long. Difference being the Eagles, you know, one the Super Bowl the year before. Still, the team struggled to get going early, Carson Wentz was inconsistent, the injuries started to mount, and the team found themselves at 4-6. But the Birds recovered to win 5 of their last 6, the last three with 2018 playoffs hero Nick Foles at the helm, and squeaked into the playoffs as the #6 seed when the Vikings lost to Chicago last week.
With the Eagles underdogs yet again on the road, the team got off to a pretty good start. The Eagles were able to march down the field on their opening drive and kicked a field goal to start things off. From there on out through the first half, the Eagles were suffocated by Chicago's defensive. Foles, who was coming off a rib injury in week 17, didn't look 100%, throwing 2 costly interceptions to take points of the board. The good news was the defense played spectacular, holding the Bears to just 2 field goals in the first half. Still, the Eagles found themselves trailing at the half.
After some more good defensive work, Foles and the offense finally got back into rhythm. After a few nice completions (and some penalties on Chicago), Foles found rookie tight end Dallas Goedert, the only Dallas that Eagles fans like, for the touchdown, giving the Birds a 10-6 lead.
Chicago tacked on another field goal (man, that kicker they have must be pretty good) to make it 10-9 early in the 4th. After getting another stop on D, 2nd year QB Mitch Trubisky was able to lead the Bears down the field, picking the Eagles depleted secondary apart. Eventually, Trubisky was able to hit Allen Robinson for their first touchdown, restoring the lead for Chicago. The only solace was a failed two point conversion by the Bears, so the lead was just 15-10.
The Eagles couldn't do much with their next drive, but the defensive came up clutch and was able to get them the ball right back. The Eagles picked their way down the field, getting the ball to the 2-yard line for a 1st & Goal. But they were stoned on their next 3 plays, and after calling a timeout, were banking their entire season on 4th down.
It proved to be a good investment.
With the Bears showing pressure, Foles was able to role to his right and throw the ball to the corner of the end zone. And unlike everyone playing in the Cotton Bowl, Golden Tate is the ONE Notre Damer to not choke on the big stage, securing the ball for the go-ahead score. Tate hadn't done much before tonight after being acquired from Detroit for a 3rd at the deadline, but I'd say he was worth it for that catch alone.
The only problem was the Eagles also failed on their 2-point try, meaning the Bears could win the game with any type of score. And thanks to a good kickoff return by Tarik Cohen and another big completion to Robinson, the Bears were well inside of kicker Cody Parkey's range. With 10 seconds left, the former Eagle Parkey was set up for a 43-yard field goal to end the Eagles season once and for all.
*Extreme Mike Emrick voice*
HIT THE POST WITH THE SHOT!!!!!!!
Parkey, who hit 4 posts in one game earlier this year, somehow rang the kick off the left upright AND the crossbar. But the ball bounced back out towards the field of play, away from the promised land that would have taken them to New Orleans, killing their mascot in the process. The Eagles, despite playing a somewhat sloppy game and giving the Bears a seamingly easy to chance to win the game, survived, and move on to the Divisional Round.
New Orleans certainly won't be an easy opponent - that was proved in Week 11, when the Saints destroyed the Eagles by a whopping 48-7 margin. The Eagles lost 7 games this year - that one to New Orleans by 41 points, and the other 6 by a combined margin of 28 points. The Saints boast a deadly offense that could give the Eagles fits, although their secondary is a bit of a question. Still, the fact the Eagles are even playing football right now is unreal. Hopefully they can follow up this miracle with a strong effort in the Superdome and find a way to pull off the upset. Until then, GO BIRDS!