During the first half of the season, the Eagles looked nothing like a defending Super Bowl Champ. With a couple of quality late season wins over the Houston Texans and Los Angeles Rams, the Eagles were able to beat out the Minnesota Vikings for the last NFC playoff spot. When starting QB Carson Wentz went down with an injury in game 11, the experts wrote off any chance the Eagles could make the playoffs. Enter Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles and the Eagles won 4 of its last 5 with him as the starting QB. As was the case with Wentz, TE Zach Ertz plowed his way to All-Pro recognition by catching 116 passes (NFL record for TEs) for 1,163 yards and 8 TDs. While the defense was bending to give up 366.2 YPG, they refused to break only allowing opponents to score 21.8 PPG.
The Bears were a big surprise in the NFL season. They started off the season slow at 3-3 before rattling off 9 wins in 10 games to end the season tied for the second-best record in the NFL. The Bears succeeded by playing the same kind of hard-nosed football the Bears of the 1960s and 1970s would play. The offense was pedestrian (22nd in the league at 355.3 YPG), but the defense was solid as a rock, allowing 17.7 PPG tops in the league and 299.7 YPG total defense to finish 3rd best. There really were no stars on offense, just a bunch of good role players like RB Jordan Howard who did his job and did it well for a supreme team effort.
Prediction: This is a bad matchup for the Eagles. They cannot run the ball and the Bears are tremendous against the pass. While Foles has played very well off the bench, this Bears defense is going to harass him all over the field. The offense has enough firepower to score at least 24 points against a suspect Eagles defense. Watch out for potential blowout. Play Chicago -5.5 (Final score 27 -13)
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