The Linc proves itself the theater of the Eagles’ dreams | The Triangle

The Linc proves itself the theater of the Eagles’ dreams

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Golden Tate (19) makes a touchdown reception with 56 seconds left in the game as Chicago Bears defensive back Sherrick McManis (27) defends during the NFC Wild Card game on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. The Eagles beat the Bears, 16-15. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

The Chicago Bears arrived at the City of Brotherly Love this past Sunday to face the Philadel- phia Eagles. As both teams came into this matchup around a .500 record, it was a must-win for each side in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Bears looked to get their revenge for last year’s missed field goal in the playoffs against the Eagles.

The Monsters of the Midway, another name for the Chicago Bears, came into this game riding a three-game losing streak and a 3-4 record, which has them standing in fourth place in the NFC North. They looked tocontinue their stellar defensive play but need to improve on the offensive side of the ball as soon as possible. Bears Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has struggled in the pocket this year. Throwing just five touchdowns and three interceptions so far this season, Trubisky’s current record is everything the Bears do not want to see from their second overall draft pick from 2017. Their offense is ranked 27th of 32 in total scored points.

Luckily, their defense is the Bears’ strong spot and is doing their best to help their struggling offense. The Bears stand at ninth in the league for total yards given up per game and 12th in the league for total sacks. Also, they are ranked number six in points against at a total of 144 through seven weeks and 18 per game. Superstars like linebacker Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson contribute heavily to their superb defensive play.

On the other side of the ball, the Eagles entered week nine against Chicago with a 4-4 record and second in the NFC East. The Eagles have been trading wins and losses the last few weeks. Losing to Minnesota and Dallas has forced them to adapt to their opponents’ game plans, and they looked to do the same against a sneaky Chicago squad.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz faces the Bears’ all-star defense with 15 touchdowns on the season and just four interceptions, much more consistent than Trubisky. Wentz’s leading receiv- er, Zach Ertz, looked to further his 527 total yards and two touchdowns this season. Jordan Howard has six rushing touchdowns on the season and his remarks postgame read, “I just did a little more talking than I usually do. There was a little back-and-forth with the guys. Everything else was normal.” Howard was pumped up to face his former team.

The Lincoln Financial Field crowd brought their usual A- game this past Sunday. The mix of a brisk but sunny afternoon made for an ecstatic game atmosphere. The Eagles came out gunning first drive and capped it off with a 28-yard field goal by Jake Elliot to go up 3-0. The first half for the Bears was a total dreadful rout. The following Eagles drive ended in another 28-yard field goal that extended their lead 6-0. Penalties left and right all game against the Bears significantly affected their winning hopes. As a matter of fact, the Bears had a historically awful offensive start. They picked up just one first down throughout all of the first half, the first time since 1991. Also, their nine-yard total effort in the first half was the worst they have seen in 40 years. The halftime whistle blew and the Eagles went into half with a lead of 12-0, with their last score being a 26-yard pass play to Zach Ertz for a touchdown.

The Bears came out of halftime just how they started the game. The Eagles drove down the field with Jordan Howard, who then carried the pigskin for 14 yards into the promised land. This spelled hopelessness for Chicago, until, Trubisky hooked up with Bears’ receiver Taylor Gabriel for a 53- yard bomb to set up the Bears inside the Eagles’ five-yard line. Desperate for a score, a left side handoff is called to powerback David Montgomery, who plows his way through for the score.

There was some hope when the Bears finally got on the board to make the score 19-7. The following Bears’ offensive possession was their best of the game. Elusive back Tarik Cohen began the drive with a solid punt return to set up the Bears with good field position. Montgomery contributed to this hopeful drive with a 31-yard reception from Trubisky. Finally, Cohen got a toss play, which was originally called for six but was reviewed and overturned. The next play, Montgomery crossed the goal line from the one-yard line to cut the Eagles lead to 19-14.

It was time for the Eagles to chew the clock. Time manage- ment is a skill that the Eagles have struggled with in the past, but not this time. With 30 seconds remaining, Jake Elliot drilled a 38- yard field goal attempt to bring the score up to 22-14.

However, the Bears had a chance to give themselves some light. Nevertheless, a squib kick by Elliot caused a fumble on the kickoff which lead to an recovery for the Eagles.

This outing for the Bears was disgraceful. Their offensive game plan was non-existent and even the defense underperformed. Chicago had a total of nine penalties, seven from the defense, which cost them 70 total yards from scrimmage. They look to change their luck next week against division rival Detroit Lions. Despite the win, the Eagles had a sloppy game as well. However, this win lifted Philadelphia above .500. The Birds almost blew the game but maintained their lead when it mattered and pulled away with the victory. Wentz’s 239-yard passing game is enough to have high hopes as they welcome the New England Patriots next week.