Bears Fall to the Eagles in a Heartbreaking Fashion

In the first playoff game at Soldier Field in nearly a decade, Chicago lost to Philadelphia after a last second field goal attempt.


Nam Y. Huh from the AP

Cody Parkey moments after realizing he missed the game winning field goal versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

Coming into Wildcard Weekend in the National Football League Playoffs, there was a lot of hype surrounding the game. The Philadelphia Eagles were the defending Super Bowl champions and their back up quarterback, Nick Foles, who led them to the big game last year, was starting in place of the injured Carson Wentz, who fractured a vertebrae in his back earlier in the season in game against the Los Angeles Rams.

On the Chicago side, the so-called Monsters of the Midway’s defense had been stellar all season, lead by generational talent Khalil Mack, a powerful defensive line and a secondary that was ranked among one of the best in the NFL came into this game in full stride. The offense was led by second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who had been fairly consistent since suffering a shoulder injury earlier in the season. No matter who people decided to root for, one thing was certain: this was going to be an exciting contest.

The Eagles started off with the ball and struck first thanks to an early field goal that gave them a 3-0 lead. Back and forth action, coupled with what could be described as either stellar defense or lackluster offense lead to the quarter ending with the same score.

As the second quarter progressed, the offensive production by the two teams continued to lack. Foles threw an interception to Bears’ rookie linebacker Roquan Smith. The ensuing Chicago possession then knotted the score up at three apiece, as kicker Cody Parkey capped the drive with a 36-yard field goal. A few drives later, the second half came to an end with Parkey kicking a 29-yard field goal, giving the Bears a 6-3 lead, their first of the night.

The second half was a much more thrilling affair. The Eagles were the first to find the end zone, as Foles found tight end Dallas Goedert, and the extra point made the score 10-6. A punt by each team followed on the next two drives and the Bears yet again came back to Parkey for a field goal, kicking a 34-yard shot, putting the Bears down by a single point. Another strong defensive stand by the Bears allowed the offense to finally find the end zone, as Trubisky hit wide receiver Allen Robinson for a 22-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed, as the Bears now held a 15-10 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in this action-packed outing.

The next two possessions came and went, both with punts, and the clock ticked ever closer to 0:00 as the Eagles took the ball. With just under a minute to go, Foles found wide receiver Golden Tate in the end zone, and a failed two-point conversion gave the Eagles the 16-15 lead.

The season for both these teams came down to the last 56 seconds. An impressive kick return by Bears running back Tarik Cohen giving Chicago strong field position. A few plays later, the Bears found themselves well within Parkey’s range. After an incomplete pass attempt by Trubisky, a fourth down brought Parkey to the field. With 10 seconds left, Parkey gave the signal, long snapper Patrick Scales snapped the ball, punter and holder Patrick O’Donnell placed the ball, and Parkey nailed it through the uprights. However, Eagles head coach Doug Peterson used his last remaining timeout before the snap, so everyone set up to do it again.

Much like the first time, Scales snapped, O’Donnell placed and Parkey kicked. The 43-yard field goal attempt went airborne. It sliced through the cold Chicago air towards its destiny of the uprights. It came closer and closer to the big yellow poles, then bounced off the left upright, before hitting the crossbar and bouncing back into the field of play. Parkey had missed. With a quick kneel down, the Bears went from traveling to Los Angeles to staying in Chicago to start their offseason. The Eagles went from suffering a heartbreaking loss, to moving on to play the Saints in New Orleans. Chicago’s season was over and backlash against Parkey ensued almost immediately

“[Parkey] needs to be more consistent,” sophomore Aiden Trusky said. “You can’t make it in the [NFL] being that inconsistent.”

During the 2018-2019 NFL season, Parkey had missed a total of ten kicks. He missed seven field goals and three extra point attempts. Coming into this game, he had hit the uprights a total of five times, four versus the Detroit Lions in one game and one versus the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17. This game’s losing miss made number six.

“I think he shouldn’t be playing in the NFL at this time,” senior Alexis Yaris said. “He needs more experience kicking because he has failed many times this season.”

Now, the Bears have an interesting offseason ahead of them. The majority of their strong core looks to return for next season, but the Bears could be without their brilliant defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who is rumored to be looking for a head coaching job with another team. However, thanks to a defense that is as powerful as the 2018-2019 Bears were, the defense isn’t going to be a concern.

“The defense is the backbone of the Bears,” senior Robert Misiek said.

With an apparent kicking problem, it looks as if special teams is the primary area of concern for the Bears heading into the offseason. Much is to be decided on the future of Cody Parkey, but to many, it looks as if this may have been his last time donning the navy and orange.

With a game like this, it is easy to see the parallels between this game and the Antioch Sequoits-Lakes Eagles playoff game back in November. Down by one, charging down the field late, just to be iced on a last-second field goal and see it go left of the target. However, unlike the high school playoff game, it is the Eagles that move on this time. In the divisional round of the playoffs next weekend, Indianapolis will travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs, Dallas will go to Los Angeles and play the Rams, the Chargers of Los Angeles head to Foxborough, Massachusetts to play the Patriots and the Eagles will head down to New Orleans to play the Saints.

For Bears fans, they can look forward to the Pro-Bowl, where five players will participate. After that, however, the long offseason looms. It is certain though, that the Bears will not soon forget the events that occurred at Soldier Field on January 6, 2019, and they will use that gut-wrenching defeat as motivation coming into the 2019-2020 season.