Nick Foles magic continues as the Eagles upset the Bears

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The body of evidence for Nick Foles and his January magic continue to grow as Foles led a touchdown drive in the final two minutes to lift the Eagles to a 16-15 victory over the Chicago Bears. The Bears were able to get into field goal range with five seconds left but saw the game deciding field goal attempt blocked and the ball improbably banged off of the left upright and crossbar before tumbling back on the field of play.

While the Philadelphia Eagles eventually ended the game on top, they struggled mightily getting any sort of traction against the vaunted Bears defense. Khalil Mack and company bottled up the Eagles offense through much of the game, holding the Doug Pederson’s squad to drives of 25 yards or fewer on five of the first nine drives of the game.  The rushing attack was a non-factor, only amassing 43 yards for the entire game. Chicago was also able to force the risk averse Foles into throwing two interceptions as well, one of which was in the end zone.

The Bears offense only fared slightly better against the Eagles. Chicago’s running game was completely shut down and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had an uneven playoff debut. The former second overall pick played nervous through much of the first half, with two near interceptions in the first half that slipped through the fingers of Eagles defenders. It wasn’t until the second half that the former University of North Carolina quarterback got his bearings.

After halftime, Trubisky was able to move the ball a little easier and get the Bears on the scoreboard.  His connection with wide receiver Allen Robinson were key to both the field goal that cut into the Eagles lead in the third quarter and was the go ahead connection that gave the Bears the lead in the fourth.

With the season on the line, once again, just like last year, it came down to the magic of Nick Foles that allowed the Eagles to pull this game out.

Foles won this game, not with an overwhelming performance, but one which found a way to make little plays when they needed to be made, time after time.  A fourth and goal from the Chicago two-yard line was what it came down to. Foles connected with mid-season acquisition Golden Tate for the go-ahead score with less than a minute left in the game.

Now they move on to play a diametrically opposite team in New Orleans in the Divisional round and should not be counted out in pulling another upset. Of course, they will have to be better than when the two sides last met in week 11. On that night Drew Brees’ Saints offense carved up Philadelphia with 365 passing yards and four touchdowns. They also added 173 total yards on the ground and two more scores via rushes in a 48-7 route in the Super Dome.

For Chicago, they will be disappointed with how the season ended but they have to be thrilled with the direction they are going in.  They have a vastly improved quarterback, a dynamic duo running back tandem and one of the best defenses in the league. If they are able to build on this success in the off-season, they should be in the championship hunt for years to come.

 

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based in Frederick, MD, USA. Multi-sport correspondent for Prost International and Prost Amerika focusing mainly on Soccer/Football and American Football

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