Cody Parkey missed a 43-yard field goal attempt with five seconds to go and the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles kept their season alive with a 16-15 victory over the Chicago Bears in Sunday night’s NFC wild card game.
Golden Tate caught a two-yard touchdown pass from Nick Foles on fourth-and-goal with 56 seconds left, leaving just enough time for Mitchell Trubisky to drive the Bears 33 yards to the Philadelphia 25-yard line after a 35-yard kickoff return by Tarik Cohen. Parkey was given a de facto practice attempt when the Eagles took their final timeout just before the snap. That kick went down the middle. The second one, the one that counted, drifted to the left before hitting the upright and the crossbar before dropping harmlessly to the Soldier Field turf. Bears fans on social media lamented the #DoubleDoink.
The Eagles’ win sends them to New Orleans to play the No. 1 seed Saints, while the Dallas Cowboys will play the Los Angeles Rams in the other NFC divisional playoff game. Philadelphia will return to the scene of their biggest loss of the season, 48-7 to New Orleans in Week 11.
Chicago took a 15-10 lead with nine minutes to play on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky to Allen Robinson, but the Bears missed the crucial two-point conversion, leaving the door open for Foles to engineer a 12-play, 60-yard march three possessions later.
“I think the big thing is, we saw some adversity tonight in the first half (and) I had a couple of turnovers,” Foles said. “I think the big thing is that no one loses faith, no one stops believing, everyone just keeps talking, keeps believing in one another and we just rallied. Our defense really kept us in this game.”
Foles’ heroics overshadowed a fine performance by Trubisky, who completed 26 of 43 passes for 303 yards in addition to the touchdown to Robinson. Until the very end, he appeared to have done enough to knock off the defending Super Bowl MVP Foles, who threw two first-half interceptions that halted promising Eagles drives.
The Bears are 1-15 all-time in playoffs when trailing after three quarters. They fell behind 10-6 when Foles connected with rookie Dallas Goedert for a 10-yard touchdown that was set up by a 33-yard pass interference call on cornerback Prince Amukamara.
Philly did score on its opening series of the game, a 50-yard drive to Jake Elliott’s 43-yard field goal, but Chicago took advantage of Eagles mistakes to take a 6-3 lead at halftime. A 15-yard personal foul penalty on Michael Bennett led to a 36-yard field goal by Parkey, and a dropped interception in the end zone by Tre Sullivan allowed Parkey to make a 29-yarder as the half concluded.
Earlier Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s AFC wild card game but had to hold off a furious rally by the Baltimore Ravens to secure a 23-17 win.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson looked like a 21-year-old rookie for long stretches of his first playoff start, but he managed to lead Baltimore on two fourth-quarter touchdown drives before getting the ball back on his own 34-yard line with 45 seconds remaining.
At that point, however, the magic ran out as Jackson was stripped by Uchenna Nwosu and the loose ball was recovered by Melvin Ingram to secure the Los Angeles victory. With the win, the Chargers will travel to Foxboro, Mass. to play the AFC East champion New England Patriots in Sunday afternoon’s divisional playoff game. The No. 1 seed Kansas City Chiefs will host the Indianapolis Colts in the other AFC playoff game Saturday afternoon.
Jackson finished the afternoon completing 14 of 29 passes for 194 yards, two touchdowns and a first-half interception. But the final stat line couldn’t overshadow an ugly first three quarters for the Baltimore offense, which was showered with boos by the crowd of 70,432 at M&T Bank Stadium at one point in the fourth quarter as the Chargers took a 23-3 lead behind a defense that sacked Jackson seven times.
“I wasn’t playing my game today. I’m ticked off about that, definitely,” Jackson said.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was efficient and effective Sunday, completing 22 of 32 passes for 160 yards. Running back Melvin Gordon was largely bottled up by the Ravens defense, but his one-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal on the second play of the fourth quarter proved to be the winning score. The touchdown came one play after Gordon lost control of the ball at the goal line and the Ravens took it the other way for a touchdown, but he was called down by contact and a replay confirmed the call.
“He had control of the football as he hit the ground,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron.
The first half was dominated by Los Angeles’ defense and special teams. The Ravens never crossed midfield in the first two quarters and were forced to punt the ball four times in addition to Jackson’s interception and a fumble by Kenneth Dixon. Dixon’s turnover set up the first of a franchise-record five field goals by Michael Badgley, who converted from 21, 53, 40, 34 and 47 yards. The first four came in the first two quarters and ensured the Chargers would take a 12-0 lead into the locker room.
At halftime, Jackson was 2 for 8 for 17 yards and an interception for a 0.0 quarterback rating.
The AFC North champion Ravens were making their first playoff appearance since 2014 after Jackson led the team on a 6-1 season-ending run following an injury to long-time starter Joe Flacco.
In the days leading up to the game, Jackson — the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner — was lauded for the job he did to get Baltimore into the postseason. With the former Louisville star leading the way, the Ravens went on a tear by combining a time-consuming ground game with the league’s top-ranked defense. But on Sunday, Baltimore finished with 90 yards rushing after averaging 229.6 with Jackson at the helm.
“We did a good job of staying in the rush lanes and containing him,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “The more times you see that offense, the better you’re going to do against it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.