Chances are if you have watched any sort of action movie, you’ve probably heard a main character, usually about to end the life of their arch-rival or vice versa, smugly and melodramatically deliver some variation of the line,
“You should have killed me when you had the chance!”
This clip from Magneto in X-men is the quintessential example of the line.
If you’d like to see more examples, there is a compilation video on YouTube that has over 4 minutes of these lines being delivered by Chuck Norris, Kirstie Alley, Sylvester Stallone, and Morgan Freeman. Just know before clicking on it that there is profanity and some graphic violence in it. You can find it here.
So how does all this relate to the Eagles and Bears game? Last week, the Bears had the choice. They could rest their starters, let the Vikings beat them, and then in turn beat the Vikings in the playoffs. The alternative was to risk the health of their players, beat the Vikings, and play the defending Super Bowl champs in the wild card round. They got to choose who they thought would be the easier team to beat in the playoffs.
The Bears risked health and common sense by beating the Vikings, and now their prize is to play the hottest team in the league (outside of maybe the Bears themselves), the Philadelphia Eagles. They chose to play the Eagles. They think that the Eagles are the easier opponent. We’ll see on Sunday afternoon how it plays out for them.
Things to Watch
- Khalil Mack: When the Raiders traded Mack to the Bears for two first round draft picks, it sent the message to the rest of the league that the Bears think their time to win is now. He is either the best or second best defensive player in the league along with Aaron Donald. Watch where he is lined up pre-snap when the Eagles have the ball. Last year on Christmas when the Raiders primarily used him on the left side of the line, Lane Johnson was able to neutralize him fairly well. The Bears use him all over the defensive front, so it would be wise to look for him before each play.
- Weather at Soldier Field: The Eagles have already played a memorable playoff game at Soldier Field because of the weather. The Fog Bowl. Randall and Reggie led the way and, unfortunately, the Eagles took the loss. Because it’s situated right on Lake Michigan, Soldier Field has a habit of fierce winds and unpredictable weather. The Bears have even censored footage of their kicker practicing to keep teams from getting a competitive advantage. Seriously, that’s true, read about it here. Look to see how the passing and kicking game is affected on both sides of the ball.
- Nick Foles: Do you think he even gets nervous anymore? I honestly don’t think he does. I mean he was losing to Tom, Bill, and the Patriots in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl and won, right? Who could be nervous after that? Watch for Nick to not get rattled no matter the circumstance.
Keys to Victory
- Contain Khalil Mack: Without Mack, the Bears defense is average at best. If the Eagles don’t stop Mack, it’s over. The offensive line must account for him at all times.
- Run the Ball: I think I say this every week, but that’s because it’s important every week. The play action passes, screens, and RPO’s only work when you have effectively run the ball. Since Nick has been starting, Doug has been calling a much more balanced attack and it has been fun to watch.
- Stingy Defense: Our defense finally has turned a corner it seems. Fletcher and the gang are going to need to hold the Bears under 24 points for the Eagles to win. The Eagles offense certainly has been looking much better, but I have a hard time believing that they’re going to put up 30 against the Bears D.
It will be a relatively low scoring game, particularly in the first half while the Eagles figure out what works against the Bears defense and Mitchell Trubisky gets over his first playoff start nerves. Eagles will be winning 7-6 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the two teams will trade touchdowns.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears will kick a field goal to go up by two, only to have Nick Foles scream at Khalil Mack, “You should have killed us when you had the chance!” as he tosses the game winning touchdown to Alshon Jeffrey with 0:00 left on the clock.
Eagles 21 – Bears 16