CHICAGO – It’s been eight years since Bears fans have felt tension like this, and it’s a good thing.
The team’s return to the NFL Playoffs for the first time since the 2010 season had everyone in a jovial mood, even if it made for some unfamiliar “Win or Go Home” stress for the team and fans.
Indeed Sunday’s game for the Bears against the Eagles was full of the jitters you would expect from playoff football. There were missed plays, big plays, errors, redemption, bumps, and bruises.
But in the end, the Bears weren’t rewarded.
In a see-saw battle with the sixth-seeded Eagles, the reigning Super Bowl champions beat the Bears 16-15 Sunday at Soldier Field. Cody Parkey’s 43-yard field goal in the final ten seconds to take the lead hit the goal post, bringing a disappointing end to a breakthrough season.
It was a tight game throughout, with the Eagles grabbing the advantage on the opening drive on a field goal by Western Springs native Jake Elliott. The Bears wouldn’t respond till the second quarter, when the rode the momentum of a Roquan Smith interception to get a Cody Parkey field goal of their own to tie it up.
A 78-yard drive at the end of the half led to another Parkey field goal to make it 6-3 at the break.
Philadelphia got the lead back on their first drive of the second quarter, completing the 83-yard drive with a Nick Foles to to Dallas Goedert touchdown to make it 10-6. But the Bears started their comeback after that, beginning with another Parkey field goal early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to one.
Trubisky and the offense would finally reach the end zone in the fourth quarter as the quarterback hit Allen Robinson for a 22-yard touchdown. They wouldn’t convert the two-point conversion, so the Bears’ lead was at 15-10.
That would be important, as Foles led the Eagles on a 60-yard drive that finished with a two-yard touchdown catch by Golden Tate to get the lead. The two-point conversion was no good so the Philadelphia lead stood at 16-15.
With 56 seconds to go, Trubisky made one more rally. A 25-yard completion to Robinson was the highlight of a quick drive that got the Bears to the Philadelphia 25-yard line. That set up Parkey for a 43-yard field goal try, and he made the first try, but a Eagles’ timeout negated the kick.
On his second try came a familiar sight for the kicker – hitting the post. Parkey’s kick smacked off the left upright, bounced off the crossbar, and to the ground, as a Bears season came to an end with a thud.