Either way the game ended, it was going to bring with it a good narrative and keep one fan base happy. Unfortunately for those wearing orange and blue, a last second field goal off the foot of Cody Parkey hit the upright and the goal post as it fell, bouncing back into the field of play and giving Philly the ball back with just a few ticks left on the clock.
This wasn’t a new scene to the Chicago faithful, myself included. Parkey had missed several field goals earlier in the season, including an astounding pair of field goals and extra points against the Detroit Lions. In that case, the Bears got the win, so his foot wasn’t as crucial. He almost wasn’t given a chance to advance the Bears to the second round of the playoffs but the late push by Mitch Trubisky and his receiving core had the Bears move down the field and get them in range. Parkey made his first attempt, which didn’t count because Doug Pederson called the last Philly timeout. In this case, icing the kicker was the icing on the cake for the Eagles as Parkey executed the aforementioned “Double-Doink”.
Philly’s story continues
The Eagles were held in check for the most part during this game but the big plays they managed to hit ended up making the difference.Alshon Jeffery was back in Chicago with hopes of crushing the Bears’ spirits, mentioning he had the best hands in the league. He backed that up with numerous big plays and finished the game with six receptions for 82 yards. He didn’t do it all however with “St. Nick” Foles stepping up again and continuing his post-season narrative. Golden Tate III caught the game winning pass on 4th and Goal.
After the first touchdown of the game was scored by Philly, it was noted the Bears only had 10 players on the field and the Eagles took advantage. Even despite that, the Bears almost shut down the play, but Dallas Goedert made the better play to get open for the receiving touchdown.
Monsters of the Midway
Although they gave up the touchdown to Goedert and the late score to Tate, the defense showed up in a big way, as most Chicago fans expected. It just didn’t seem possible the Eagles offensive line could block the numerous stars on the other side of the ball which included Khalil Mack, Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks in addition to their linebacking core which could straightup fly across the field. Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, two of those talented LBs, finished out the game with a combined 12 solo tackles while Hicks and Mack blew up several plays up the middle. The number one defense in the league added to their total with a couple interceptions, one by Smith early in the game and another by Amos in the end zone, ending an important drive by theEagles.
Offense came up short
This game had a similar feel to the other playoff games with defense starting out strong and the offenses coming on late in the game. It happened in Dallas and it happened in Baltimore as well. The Bears finally got some things clicking in the final quarter with some double moves on play-action passes, making the Philly defense, whom exceeded some people’s expectations up to that point, look like the younger talent that they truly were. Trubisky looked the part of a Franchise QB in the clutch moments by connecting with Josh Bellamyand Allen Robinson for the go-ahead score.
What happens NEXT?
I feel bad for Parkey, I really do. Even with how great the GMs and coaching staff are for the Bears, it might be inevitable that Parkey gets cut. Kickers can often get overlooked but when they have an impact in the key moments, those opportunities get magnified. Parkey had his ups and downs this season but still given the chance, showed he could bounce back in the next game. There is no next game this time, with it being one and done, so it just seems likely his time in Chicago is over.
What happens to the defensive mastermind Vic Fangio? He’s being interviewed by at least two teams this coming week and for good reason, he is GOOD. If he happens to leave, does that change the defensive scheme? Theoretically, the scheme could change but the pieces remain with Mack being the big name interms of the salary cap. I’m sure either someone within would get promoted or it wouldn’t be that difficult to find someone who’d want to orchestrate theMonsters of the Midway.
Regardless of what changes do or don’t happen, the Bears proved just how good they can be and will continue to get better as Trubisky adds another slate of games to his career. He didn’t have his best game in his first playoff appearance, and the first playoff game at Soldier Field in years, but what he did this year should give Bears fans hope and get excited for nextseason.