Full Chicago meltdown after heartbreaking loss in Wild Card game

Wanda Wiedman
Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman //@WandaW63

Eagles 16 – Bears 15

Heartbreaking does not describe the feeling of every Chicago Bears fan after the devastating loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field. A one point differential. One point. That has been the staple all season, getting close and squeaking out a win.

This was the wild card game against a team the Bears helped get in to the playoffs by beating the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17. But it was a game the Bears should have won and it should not have rested on the leg of a kicker who had been inconsistent all season.

I could sit here and go over the details of what happened that led to a last-second field goal. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky struggled in the first half. He did not give up the ball but his throws were not there. Workhorse running back Jordan Howard was shamefully unused as he had only 10 touches for 35 yards. RB Tarik Cohen was less, at zero rushes. ZERO!

Coach Matt Nagy had the opportunity to use his core group and they could have outplayed the Eagles had he stuck with what worked against the Vikings. Run the ball, take the extra point, and save the 2 point conversions when necessary.

It all seems like a blur, but there was a lot to be proud of. Wide receiver Allen Robinson had 143 receiving yards and one touchdown. Rookie linebacker Roquan Smith had 8 tackles and an interception.

But the Bears defense, after stuffing three attempts for a rushing touchdown at the goal line, was unable to stop a short pass to WR Golden Tate III, giving the Eagles the lead. Despite the loss that will hurt fans and players for weeks to come, it was encouraging to watch the maturity of Trubisky in the 4th quarter. He did everything he needed to do to get his team in scoring position. He stood tall in the pocket and threw the rock with conviction.

This season was more than I expected, more than most fans expected. So when they won the division with a 12-4 record, beat the Vikings and Lions twice and kept the Packers out of the wild-card race, and gave hope to a football city that had a chance to end a long drought, it was more than they could handle.

Men and women wept over this loss, but with that heartbreak came anger that went beyond fandom. It spilled over to rage and threats to kicker Cody Parkey and his family. All over a missed kick that he should have made but didn’t.

Yes, the ball was tipped, but had the ball been kicked a little higher or to the right more, things may have been different. But the Bears defense allowed two penalties to put QB Nick Foles in a position to score. Had safety Adrian Amos not lead with his helmet incurring a 15-yard penalty, the play would have been dead. There were a lot of factors in this game, but it will forever be remembered and fall on the leg of a kicker who broke the hearts of Chicagoans.

When I asked Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary if he knew in 1984 that the Bears would go to the Super Bowl the following year his exact words were, “Yes I did. I knew it in preseason.” They won the NFC North with a 10-5 record. The Bears may have been stood up in this dance, but ClubDub will be alive and well next season and they will be stomping the yard stronger and better.

#BearDown #NFCNorthKings #OTFB #DaBears


Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter @WandaW63

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