CHICAGO – In a stunning, so-crazy-you-could-live-a-thousand-years-and-never-experience-anything-like-it-again ending, the Eagles came from behind late in the fourth quarter, scoring on a fourth-and-goal pass from Nick Foles to Golden Tate and defeated the Chicago Bears 16-15 on Sunday when Bears placekicker Cody Parkey’s 43-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds was tipped by Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester and then it the left upright and then the crossbar and bounced away, falling to the ground as the Eagles players exploded off the sideline onto the grass field at Soldier Field.
Amazing. The Double-Doink win keeps the Eagles alive. They play on Sunday at New Orleans in the NFC Divisional Playoff round.
“I was talking a lot of trash to Cody Parkey, just hoping he would miss it or something,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “Hester did a great job getting his hand on the ball. Honestly, I knew we were going to win that game somehow. Even though it took a bunch of tries on the goal line, I knew our offense would get a touchdown and then we’d be on the field as a defense to win the game. Even when we gave up a big play, I knew something was going to happen in our favor to help us win that game. You’ve just got to keep believing.
“This is a game of inches and, literally, that came down to every inch that we had.”
OK, take a breath. Let’s back up. The Eagles trailed 15-10 at Soldier Field with 4:48 remaining in the game when Foles and the offense came on the field with possession at the Philadelphia 40-yard line after a short punt by Pat O'Donnell. A completion to Alshon Jeffery gained 15 yards. Another throw to Dallas Goedert picked up 10 yards to the Chicago 35. Nelson Agholor gained 8 yards and Zach Ertz picked up 13 and the Eagles had the football at Chicago’s 14-yard line. With 1:55 remaining, Foles connected with Jeffery over the middle for a huge 11-yard gain on a third-and-9 play that gave the Eagles a first-and-goal situation at the 2-yard line.
“I wanted to score there,” said Jeffery after playing for the first time in Chicago, where he started his NFL career and played for five seasons. “It was a good throw from Nick. He put it right there to me. I got the first down, and that’s all that matters.”
Two runs and an incomplete pass to Jeffery later, the Eagles faced a fourth-and-goal play from the 2-yard line. Head coach Doug Pederson called a timeout. The play call: Foles rolled right and looked for Tate, who created separation as he ran away from nickel cornerback Sherrick McManis. Foles sidearmed the throw and Tate made the catch just inside the end zone and the Eagles had the lead at 16-15.
“I came off the ball and kind of lured the nickel (McManis) to sleep and then broke with speed to the goal line,” Tate said. “Fortunately, we had great protection, Nick made a great throw, and I made the play, I guess.”
On the next play, running back Wendell Smallwood took a direct snap as the Eagles went for two points and then leaped over the pile, reaching out with the football toward the end zone. Smallwood was ruled down before breaking the plane of the end zone, and the Eagles led 16-15.
Chicago was not yet finished.
Tarik Cohen returned the ensuing kickoff 35 yards to the 42-yard line and then quarterback Mitchell Trubisky found wide receiver Allen Robinson for a 25-yard gain to the Philadelphia 33-yard line and went right back to Robinson for 8 more yards to the 25. Finally, on fourth-and-2, the Bears sent out Parkey, the former Eagles Pro Bowl kicker who had hit five uprights in an uneven season.
Parkey drilled his first kick, but the Eagles had called timeout just prior to his attempt. And with Jenkins jawing at him, Parkey’s kick was tipped by Martin and, well, the Double-Doink is a thing now. A winning thing.
“I was stressing a little bit,” Tate said. “We kind of iced the kicker with the timeout and I prayed some more and he hit the upright and then the crossbar and the ball came bouncing back at us. I’ve been on the other side of that. It’s good to be on the receiving end of that one. That was a great feeling.”
It was the game we all expected – dominated by the defenses. Two Foles interceptions hurt the Eagles in the first half, but the Eagles were not deterred. They didn’t have a running game – 42 yards on 23 carries so the Eagles relied on Foles, who completed 25 of 40 passes for 266 yards. Foles was sacked only one time and he rebounded from his interceptions to throw touchdown passes to Goedert and then, with the game on the line, to Tate.
“Nick was calm and cool the entire time, like he always is,” said Jeffery, who caught six passes for 82 yards. “We had a lot of confidence going in there at the end.”
The Eagles on Sunday weren’t perfect, but they showed once again that they have the heart of a champion. They aren’t going down easily, and in the hostile environment of Soldier Field, they put together a game-winning 60-yard drive against the No. 1-rated defense in the NFL and they stuck the football in the end zone.
“We are going to keep fighting you. That much I know,” said linebacker Nigel Bradham, who had seven total tackles, two for losses, and had two passes defensed. “That’s what this team is all about. We’re in it together. We are going to keep battling. Don’t count us out. Don’t ever count us out.”
And in the end, the Double Doink from Parkey saved the game, kept the season going, and sent the Eagles into a wild celebration that carried over into the rowdy locker room.
“This is fun, man,” said left tackle Jason Peters, who had not been in a playoff game since the 2013 season, having missed last year with his knee injury. “We got a nice break there on the kick from Parkey, and we’ll take it. Every little bit helps. Now it’s on to New Orleans. We’re still alive. It feels good.”
Check out the best photos from the Eagles' game against the Bears in the Wild Card Round.