The final game of the NFL Wild Card weekend will feature the Chicago Bears hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. Chicago was one of the most surprising teams in the NFL this season, going from worst to first in the NFC North. Philadelphia looked like a disappointment for much of the season, but a late surge has them back in the playoff field.
Chicago has won nine of their last ten games and finished off the regular season in impressive fashion. The Bears went 12-4 and went 10-2 against teams from the NFC during the regular season. The Eagles needed victories in five of their final six games to grab the final Wild Card spot in the NFC. Philadelphia went just 9-7 this season after winning the Super Bowl a season ago. The Eagles are six-point underdogs against the Bears.
Trubisky Leading Improved Bears Offense
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been much improved in his second season. Trubisky threw for over 3,000 yards this season, but his best weapon might be his ability to run the ball. His improvement coupled with Matt Nagy’s playcalling has the Bears offense as one of the best scoring teams in the league. Chicago averaged over 26 points per game during the regular season, and they have plenty of playmakers. The offense isn’t the main weapon in Chicago, but it’s good enough to hold its own.
Defense has always been a calling card in Chicago, and this year’s Bears team might be the best in a few decades. The Bears forced 36 turnovers during the regular season and were able to score six defensive touchdowns. Linebacker Khalil Mack and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks combined for 20 sacks, and the Bears are the best team against the run in the NFL. The Bears defense is legit, and they will be ready for the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Eagles Defense Can Hold Their Own
The Chicago defense will get all of the headlines leading up to this game, but the Eagles can play some defense too. Philadelphia shut out the Washington Redskins in the season finale, and they actually recorded more sacks than the Bears during the regular season. Veteran Fletcher Cox had 10.5 sacks during the regular season, and you can bet that he will spend some time in the Bears backfield in this game.
Philadelphia is being forced to turn to backup quarterback Nick Foles in this game, and it might just give them a better chance to win. Foles was the Super Bowl MVP just a season ago, and his presence has brought new life into a struggling offense. Foles has completed over 72 percent of his passes this season, and is finding his top targets, Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery, with regularity. The Eagles averaged just under 23 points per game during the regular season, but they look more explosive with Foles under center.
Take The Points On Sunday
The Bears have had the much better season to date, but beating the defending Super Bowl champs won’t be easy. Philadelphia knows how to win in the playoffs, and they will give the Bears all that they can handle. Chicago’s defense should be enough to carry them to a victory on Sunday, but it will be a close game. The smart bet is to take Philadelphia and the 6.0 points in the Wild Card matchup.