- Chicago’s season came down to a field goal, and kicker Cody Parkey—who has struggled all season—couldn’t convert when it mattered most.
CHICAGO — Inconsistency has plagued Bears kicker Cody Parkey all season (remember when he hit the upright four times against the Lions?), and it was the same story in the wild-card game against the Eagles.
After he made three field goals on Sunday, Parkey’s game-winning attempt with five seconds left on the clock bounced off the left upright and the crossbar, giving Philadelphia a 16–15 win. It was Parkey‘s seventh time hitting an upright this season. Following the game, Eagles DT Treyvon Hester revealed that he tipped Parkey’s attempt.
The Bears offense had been stagnant until the fourth quarter, when Mitch Trubisky led a touchdown drive—Allen Robinson hauled in the 22-yard scoring pass with 9:04 left on the clock—to give the Bears a 15–10 lead. Nick Foles and the Eagles answered later in the fourth with their own touchdown drive (and a missed two-point conversion) to put Philadelphia up by a point with 56 seconds left. A big kickoff return from Tarik Cohen brought Chicago fans to their feet, and two Trubisky completions to Allen Robinson set up Parkey’s 43-yard attempt—and miss.
Trubisky ended 26-for-43 with 303 yards and one touchdown, and the usually mobile quarterback was limited to three rushes for nine yards on the ground. Through the game’s first four possessions, the Bears offense totaled only 63 yards on four possessions, and when forced out of the pocket by the Eagles defense, Trubisky struggled to complete a pass and narrowly avoided an interception in the Philadelphia end zone.
As the Chicago offense was limited, the Bears defense did its part, with the secondary coming up clutch as the line put pressure on Foles. The Bears added to their league leading 36 takeaways with two interceptions, and in the fourth quarter, Chicago prevented a two-point conversion after Philadelphia scored to take the 16–15 lead the Bears the ball back and while Trubisky set up Parkey for the win, Parkey did not deliver.
Penalties both helped and hurt the Bears. In the second quarter, the Bears got on the board and extended a drive after a Michael Bennett unnecessary roughness penalty that cost Philadelphia 15 yards. This score came after Foles had already turned over the ball after Roquan Smith intercepted a pass intended for Wendell Smallwood. Before halftime, two Eagles penalties advanced the team and ended up with another Cody Parkey field goal to give the Bears a 6–3 lead into the half.
Philadelphia capitalized on the Bears sloppiness in their opening drive of the second half. There were three defensive penalties that set up a touchdown to give the Eagles a 10–6 lead in the third quarter. The biggest mistake came when cornerback Prince Amukara drew a pass interference call in the Philadelphia redzone, which set up an easy Foles pass to Dallas Goedert for a score.
The Eagles will go on to play the Saints in New Orleans in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs next weekend.
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