ONE win down, three more to go. On the road, with a back-up QB, playing against the league’s top ranked defense. Oh, and down at the half. If it were any other team, that game would have turned into a blowout. Instead, OUR defense came out and showed our opponent the difference between being ranked as the best, and actually being the best.
(It also helped that our opponent kicked the potential game-winning field goal, smack into the upright. For the ELEVENTH time this year. Yes. Eleventh.)
EAGLES 16 – Bears 15
QB Nick Foles (25/40 – 62.5% – 266 – 2 – 2) had the worst playoff game of his career. Meanwhile he proved as clutch as a handbag, slinging the go-ahead touchdown on 4th down, to WR Golden Tate (5 – 46 – 9.2 – 1) leaving less than a minute in the game. LT Jason Peters let the world know, that even with a bad wing, he’s still a one-on-one match for one of the best pass rushers in the game.
The guy playing out of his mind was OLB Nigel Bradham (7 – 0 – 0 – 0). Deflections, tackles for losses, even diving on a loose ball that was an incompletion. His stat line can’t communicate how disruptive he was. S Tre Sullivan (3 – 0 – 0 – 0) got his hand on three passes and played the best game I’ve ever seen from him.
Nobody made plans for Nigel. So he just wrecked shit.
I hear you asking, “What about all the stuff that stats don’t reveal?” Well, that’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. We introduce an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that fans have to honestly answer questions about those things, AFTER the game. This helps to get us, and keep us, all on the same page.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Score more than 22 points: Okay, the Eagles didn’t score 22, but everything else in that section, we did. We left no points on the field due to 4th down gambles. We put the game on their QB. Though we accomplished the spirit of this, the heading wasn’t matched so I put ot down as not. NOT DONE
2) Run the damned ball!: We had 22 handoffs, not 25. We also started G Isaac Seumalo and got no push inside. In a way it’s like the coaching staff was just paying lip service to running. NOT DONE
3) Set hard edges: We didn’t allow a bunch of runs to the outside, and kept the ball-carriers well bottled. DONE
4) Work the edges: The TE’s saw plenty of work, but most of the passes on the outside were for WR’s. Still did the job. DONE
This game saw us snag 2 of 4 of our Four Things goals. Not bad since we got out with the win. Next week we head down to New Orleans, to give them the playoff game they wanted from us so much, last year. Careful what you wish for fellas!
On The Whole:
Wanna hear something hilarious? Bears K Cody Parkey (3/4FG, 0/0XP), is in the first year of a four year deal. With 9M$ guaranteed. Yes. You read that right. Guaranteed. Current 49er and former Bears K, Robbie Gould was in the stands watching the game. Did I mention he’s the Bears all-time scorer? I didn’t? Well he’s the Bears all-time leading scorer. Aaaand they probably could have used him. Such a shame that they cut him. Looks like the team came down with a case of that there Karma. Heard it’s been going around and coming around.
Okay, stop laughing, stop laughing. We have our own glaring issue to stare down. This thing where we’re trying to wring one RB out of four players, has me worried. Yes, I said four. RB Boston Scott got to see time in the backfield, picking up at least one blitz.
The inability to manufacture meaningful rushing yards, is a problem. If we don’t figure out how to provide balance, this magic carpet ride likely ends next Sunday.