NFC Wild-Card Preview: Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears


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The reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles will travel to Chicago on Sunday to face the Bears in an NFC wild-card game at Soldier Field. The Bears lead the series, 29-14-1, but the Eagles have won nine of the last 13 meetings.

Chicago (12-4) captured the NFC North title and would travel to Los Angeles on Jan. 12 to battle the LA Rams with a victory over the Eagles. Philadelphia (9-7) will collide with the Saints on Jan. 13 in New Orleans with a road win against the Bears.

Nick Foles is back under center for the Eagles and posted a 4-1 record as a starter, including three consecutive wins to finish the regular season. The Texas native has thrown seven touchdown passes and four interceptions while compiling a 96.0 quarterback rating. Josh Adams (120-511-3), Wendell Smallwood (87-364-3), and Darren Sproles (29-120-1) have run for a combined 995 yards and seven scores. Tight end Zach Ertz enjoyed a record-setting season and finished second with 116 receptions. The Stanford product also tallied 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns. Wideouts Alshon Jeffrey and Nelson Agholor have caught 65 and 64 passes, respectively, for a combined 1,579 yards and 10 scores.

Philadelphia has the league's 23rd-ranked defense and is allowing opposing teams a whopping 269.3 passing yards a game. Safety Malcolm Jenkins and linebacker Nigel Bradham pace the team with 97 tackles apiece, while linebacker Jordan Hicks has registered 91 tackles and three sacks. Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox has posted a team-high 10.5 sacks, while {{playerID-1234|Michael Bennett}} (9), Chris Long (6.5), and Brandon Graham (4) have tallied a combined 19.5 sacks. Cornerbacks Rasul Douglas and Avonte Maddux have intercepted three and two passes, respectively.

Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky made great strides during the regular season with 24 touchdown passes and 12 picks with a respectable 95.4 quarterback rating. Running backs Jordan Howard (250-935-9) and speedy Tarik Cohen (99-444-3) have run for a combined 1,379 yards and 12 scores, while Trubisky has rushed for 421 yards on 68 carries. Cohen has hauled in a team-high 71 receptions for 725 and five touchdowns, while Taylor Gabriel (67-688-2), Allen Robinson (55-754-4), and Trey Burton (54-569-6) have tallied 176 catches and 12 scores.

The Bears feature the NFL's third-ranked defense and has limited opposing teams to only 80 rushing yards a game. Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith has enjoyed a banner campaign with 122 tackles, five sacks, and one interception, while linebacker Danny Trevathan has recorded 102 tackles with a pair of sacks and two picks. Linebacker Khalil Mack has a team-high 12.5 sacks and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks has posted 7.5 sacks. Defensive backs {{playerID-2642|Kyle Fuller}} and Eddie Jackson both rank amongst the league leaders with seven and six picks.

Chicago 24, Philadelphia 13

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