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Week 18 Game Recap: Philadelphia Eagles 16, Chicago Bears 15
What you need to know
The Eaglesí postseason magic continues from last season, needing a double goal post bounce on the Bearsí game-winning field goal attempt to secure the last-second victory. The Eagles struggled to run the football throughout the game, but Nick Foles
made a number of clutch throws including on a touchdown drive in the closing minutes. With a host of receiving contributors, the Eagles offense will need a myriad of weapons again next week if they are to take down the top-seeded Saints in New Orleans.
The Bears season ultimately came to an end on a blocked field goal at the end of the game. The game plan was relatively simple for the Bears which was to try to move the ball deep through the air to exploit the Eagles secondary. This was primarily through targeting Allen Robinson
who simply outmatched the Eagles secondary for a majority of this game. The Bears went back to their strategy earlier this season in which they largely abandoned the run as Jordan Howard
saw just 10 carries in this game and the volume back was largely ineffective in this game.
|QB Nick Foles, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 25 - 40 - 266 - 2 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - -1 - 0|
Foles found his postseason magic in the wildcard win at Chicago. Foles had two regrettable throws, both interceptions into tight coverage, but otherwise played a smart game including a host of clutch deliveries. Foles was at his best with intermediate and deep passes against the Bears, especially showing outstanding touch on a 25-yard floating pass to Golden Tate
on a third down. Folesí made multiple plus throws on the ultimate game-winning touchdown drive in the closing minutes, including the fourth-and-goal out route to Tate at the pylon.
|RB Darren Sproles, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 21 - 0, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (3 targets)|
Sproles emerged as the feature back, especially in the second half, against the Bears. Josh Adams
barely played and Wendell Smallwood
ís snaps were minimal after a promising first quarter. Sproles had tough sledding on the ground, routinely being stuffed outside of a well-blocked third-down draw play to convert. Sproles flashed for 10 yards on a wide receiver screen, exhibiting quality timing with his downfield blocks.
|RB Wendell Smallwood, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 20 - 0, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (3 targets)|
Smallwood drew the start for the Eagles against Chicago, but gave way to Darren Sproles
for much of the final three quarters of snaps and touches. Smallwood had a handful of successful contributions, including 30 yards on two of his opportunities alone, one being a well-blocked screen reception. Smallwood was invisible for much of the second half, rarely seeing work. The start moniker faded quickly after the first few drives and Sproles took over.
Jeffery led the team in receiving, consistently providing big plays amidst a muted offensive performance. Jeffery made two critical third-down conversions, including a red zone catch on the Eaglesí game-winning touchdown drive in the closing minutes. Jeffery had two opportunities thwarted which would have added to his already quality game. First, Jeffery had a one-on-one target down the sideline but was unable to corral the contested pass. Finally, Jeffery had a third-down end zone target tipped away. Jeffery has shown a quality connection with Nick Foles
and the duo continues to develop trust in small windows and contested situations.
|WR Golden Tate, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 46 - 1 (8 targets)|
Tate was at his best in critical situations against Chicago. Tate produced three impact plays among his five receptions, including two third-down conversions downfield and the ultimate game-winning touchdown. On fourth-and-goal, Tate corralled a perfect rollout throw to the pylon by Nick Foles
to take the lead with a minute to play. Tate, the midseason trade acquisition, came up big for the Eagles when they needed him the most for the wildcard round victory.
Agholor was an ancillary component of the Eaglesí passing game against the Bears. Despite the minimal role, Agholor converted a third down and eluded an initial defender on another reception for his main contributions. Agholor did have a touchdown opportunity with a seam target, but the contested pass was incomplete. Agholor represents the best speed threat the Eaglesí offense has leading up to the divisional round matchup against the Saints.
|TE Zach Ertz, 61 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 52 - 0 (7 targets)|
While Ertzís performance against Chicago was more muted than his typical high-impact games this season, he added one clutch catch in the fourth quarter as a positive contribution. Ertz high-pointed a seam pass in traffic in the closing minutes as Philadelphia drove the field for the game-winning touchdown. Ertz had another big play opportunity with a deep target, which was tipped away. Ertz did not have another touchdown chances and was near invisible for the middle two quarters of the game.
Goedert made the most of his two receptions against Chicago, scoring a touchdown on one catch and breaking a middle screen tackle in the closing minutes on the other. Goedert shook free from the defensive back in coverage for his score, separating at the top of his route stem with wide receiver-like smoothness. Goedert continues his positive progression as a productive rookie and is a wildcard matchup for the Eagles to exploit against the Saints.
|QB Mitchell Trubisky, 64 offensive snaps, Pass: 26 - 43 - 303 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 9 - 0|
The inconsistency with Trubisky continued in this game and while his overall stat line looked fine, third downs for Trubisky were drive killers in this game as when the Bears dropped back to throw the ball they were just 3 of 13 completing third downs in this game. It was not all bad from Trubisky however, as he hit Allen Robinson
on a 45-yard pass on a double move in which Trubisky pump-faked at the perfect time to get the defender to bite on the double move. He later made one of the best throws he has made all season on a 22-yard throw along the sidelines to Robinson for a touchdown in which Trubisky had to throw a perfect ball on the wheel route between the defender and the sideline.
|RB Jordan Howard, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 35 - 0 (1 targets)|
There was not a lot of room for Howard to run through this week, so the Bears quickly abandoned the run and went with a pass-heavy game plan. Howard saw the ball just 10 times in this game and while he was able to convert a critical third and 10 on a draw play that saw Howard use his power to carry a defender for a first down that set up a shorter field goal.
|RB Tarik Cohen, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0, Rec: 3 - 27 - 0 (5 targets)|
Cohen was mysteriously a non-factor in a game that should have set up well for the running back. Facing an Eagles team that has struggled with pass-catching running backs, Cohen only touched the ball four times in this game. Cohen did make a key 19-yard reception in the second quarter in which he went over the middle and took a big hit from Rasul Douglas.
The game plan was simple for the Bears this week and that was to throw the ball to Allen Robinson
often. The Bears set up the Eagles defense for the big plays as in the first three quarters, the Bears primarily ran underneath routes of less than 10 yards in depth for Robinson as he ran screens, slants and hitch routes. In the fourth quarter, Robinson was able to connect on two double moves that were critical in the Bears passing offense. The first was a 45-yard double move in which Robinson faked the in route and then turned the route upfield for a wide-open reception. The second move was on a wheel route for a 22-yard touchdown in which once the defender tried to jump the route to the flat, he had no chance as Robinson simply out-ran him for a touchdown.
|WR Taylor Gabriel, 51 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 20 - 0, Rec: 4 - 37 - 0 (9 targets)|
was largely the second receiver for the Bears this week and was largely used as the second receiver as Trey Burton
was out and Tarik Cohen
was largely non-effective. Gabriel who was quiet for a majority of the game stepped up in a big way in the fourth quarter on a key 3rd and 11 as he was able to hang onto a pass in which he took a big hit from Corey Graham as he was surrounded by three Eagles defenders.