CHICAGO, IL. — Coming into this wildcard matchup between the Bears and Eagles the big question was whether running or passing would get the job done. The Eagles led the league in rushing yards while the Bears were 6th in passing yards. Both defenses were suited to stop the other as the Bears were third in rushing yards allowed while the Eagles were 6th in passing yards allowed. While the Eagles dominated the stat sheet in their week 16 matchup, turnovers killed them and the Bears walked away with the victory. For the two worst teams in the league as far as turnover differential went, turnovers would once again seal the game for one and send the other to an early vacation.
Although windy, I mean it is Chicago, the weather was perfect. The Bears received the opening kickoff but whether it was nerves or a stifling Eagle defense a 3 and out ensued. Having learned from their last game vs. the Bears, the Eagles took the ball out of their QB’s hands and placed it in the sure hands of HB Lesean McCoy. McCoy led them down the field and capped it off with a touchdown. After a Jay Cutler pass was intercepted by CB Perrish Cox, the Eagles found themselves with a great chance to take control of the game. Once again the Eagles pounded the rock which gave them an opportunity in the red-zone. On a 3rd and 8 on the Bears 10 yard line, instead of settling for a field goal QB Nick Foles forced a throw and had it picked off by CB Tim Jennings. This breathed new life into the Chicago faithful and you could see the Bear’s energy pick up. This led to a beautiful drive orchestrated by Cutler connecting with Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett on deep passes which had Chicago threatening with a little under a minute left in the half. Unfortunately with :40 left a poor decision by Cutler resulted in momentum killing 90 yard interception return to the house by SS Patrick Chung. As the half came to an end Chicago fans couldn’t believe what they had just seen.
The Eagles started the second half right where they left off, putting the team on McCoy’s shoulders. A five minute drive was capped off with a 20 yard touchdown run by McCoy increasing their lead to 21-0. The Bears were not about to quit though. After a 50 yard kickoff return by Hester, Jay Cutler found Martellus Bennett a few plays later on a 20 yard seem route straight up the gut of the defense. The Bears defense then stood tall to start the 4th quarter and on a 3rd down attempt forced a punt, giving their offense the ball right back. Alshon Jeffrey came up big on a 3rd down converting catch resulting in a 1st and goal from the 8 yard line keeping the Bears drive and hope for a comeback alive. On the very next play Cutler connected with Bennett for the touchdown bringing them to within a possession with only 4:30 to play.