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Doug Pederson 'Just Overwhelmed' After Heart-Stopping Win

Facing a fourth-and-goal at the Bears' 2-yard line trailing 15-10 with the season on the line, head coach Doug Pederson was unphased. He's been there before and has pushed the right buttons on the biggest stages.

This time was no different.

Pederson gathered with quarterback Nick Foles and decided on a sprint-out pass, one that was available to be called on an audible for two run plays that set up the fourth down with a minute to go. Foles rolled right and found wide receiver Golden Tate in the front corner of the end zone for the go-ahead score.

The Bears got down the field quickly to set up what could have been a game-winning field goal with the score, 16-15. Pederson didn't hesitate and called his final timeout to ice kicker Cody Parkey, like he had done unsuccessfully earlier in the game, and focused on what the Eagles could do if they got the ball back.

He didn't have to worry. The kick went off the left upright, then off the crossbar, and fell into the end zone. Complete pandemonium.

"Just overwhelmed," Pederson told reporters after the game as he wiped away what he swore was just something in his eye. "That's a good football team. (Bears head coach) Matt Nagy did a great job this season and my hat's off to him and that Chicago Bear team. It's a tremendous football team.

"And quite frankly, for us to come in here and just hang together for 60 minutes, we knew it was going to be that type of football game. And we hung in there, it wasn't pretty at times, but we made the plays when we needed to and my hat's off to our guys and my coaches."

It was a rocky 60 minutes that saw the Eagles lose the turnover differential to the top-ranked Bears' defense with two Foles interceptions and give up a fourth-quarter lead with minutes left.

The Eagles' offense took the ball with less than five minutes to play and put together a methodical drive that included a conversion on third-and-long and the score to Tate on fourth down at the goal line. Foles was his clutch self when the lights were the brightest and led the way to pulling out another heart-stopping win.

It took some great play calls, great throws, and great catches to close out what was a team effort.

"He had some help. Golden, obviously making the play at the end. Alshon (Jeffery) had a nice catch. Dallas (Goedert) made some huge catches. Zach (Ertz), I mean, just go around the room there," Pederson said. "Nick is Nick. He's going to stay calm, he's going to stay collected. Very efficient. It wasn't pretty at times. There were a couple turnovers early in the first half that could've led to points, but he hung in there and did some great things."

Foles finished the day 25-of-40 passing for 266 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 77.7. His numbers can be taken as misleading. Although they don't look great, what matters was Foles' ability to make that final drive count.

"It's playing quarterback in the National Football League," Pederson said. "It's not always going to be pretty. But you have confidence in your offense, you have confidence in your quarterback, and quite frankly, put it in his hands to win. And he just does a great job at just staying in the moment, staying calm, no panic on offense or on the sideline. … We just said offensively, we're going to put a drive together and score. We set out mind to it and we did it."

Pederson credited the Eagles' offensive line for creating time for Foles to throw in the pocket and protecting him all game. Foles was sacked just once, on the Eagles' first drive in which they still hit a field goal, and All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack was held without one.

In the heat of a playoff game, the ability to stay calm and execute a play can separate a winning team from a losing one. The Eagles had much more experience in these types of games, including playoff games that came right down to the wire, than the Bears did.

"I think there's a lot of confidence in the room," Pederson said. "Guys understand that everything matters, every play matters. These postseason games are going to be full 60-minute games and it's just a matter of staying in the moment. Don't let things get too big for us, rely on your playmakers to make plays. I do think that being in this situation last year has prepared us for this time."

The Eagles will move on to take on the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome next Sunday in the NFC Divisional Round. The Eagles' worst defeat of the year, a 48-7 drubbing that perhaps unified and changed the trajectory of the team, came in that very building to the Saints in Week 11 of this season.

Pederson said the Eagles will obviously evaluate that film this week along with the tape from Chicago. But he knows that the Eagles and Saints are two very different teams from the last time they met. He kept the message simple when addressing the team after the win and is prepared to learn from what they've done this season in order to extend it.

"Message basically was team effort. Great team effort," Pederson said. "Just to go 1-0 each week, that gives ourselves another opportunity next week. Guys are excited, guys are thrilled, but we know that we have to clean some things up and get ready for next week."

Check out the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Bears in the Wild Card Round.

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