They say sequels are never as good as the originals. They also say lightning doesn’t strike twice. Neither of those things seem to apply to the Eagles and the current run they’re on though. After losing to Dallas in Week 14, the Birds simply continue to defy the odds. They went into LA and pulled off the #HollywoodHeist. They stole that game – and apparently stole back their season while they were at it. #SkiMaskSZN isn’t over yet, and it seems like those underdogs from last season haven’t quite filled up their appetite. Let’s check out how the Birds pulled off the upset win.
The Defense is Back in Form
The Eagles defense stepped up in a big way. Since they were facing a great defense too, it was key for them to keep the game low scoring. They set that tone from the Bears’ very first possession. On two early third downs in the first quarter, the Eagles defensive line was able to pressure Trubisky and force an uncomfortable throw.
In this one, the second burst from Chris Long puts Trubisky in escape mode. He back-pedals for a second before zipping a throw to the sideline. Avonte Maddox follows this up with a good jump on the ball to force the punt.
On this third and four, the pocket collapses leaving Trubisky with limited time. Nigel Bradham was able to tip the pass leading to an incompletion.
Later in the game, they continued to make plays on third down. Cre’Von LeBlanc makes a huge open field tackle here to get the ball back with a four point lead. Getting off the field on third down had been an issue for the defense in their losses this season. As the unit’s chemistry continues to build, it’s showing that their performance has improved with it. Remember, the last time the Eagles played the Saints, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills had only missed one and three weeks respectively. Other members of the defense have emerged since. The aforementioned Cre’Von Leblanc is showing he belongs in the league, and Avonte Maddox flashes playmaker ability at times too. The defense has become a more cohesive unit – and just in time for a playoff run.
J-Matt Reminds Us He’s Still Here
In my opinion, this is one of the biggest plays of the game as it leads to the Dallas Goedert touchdown. Matthews’ second tenure with the Eagles hasn’t been as productive as the first, but he found himself in the right spot at the right time in this game.
We won’t J-Matt…we won’t.
Nick Foles Leads Another Playoff Game Winning Drive
Nick freakin’ Foles, people. He finished with 266 yards, two TDs, and two INTs on 25 completions and 40 attempts. Those numbers aren’t going to jump out at you, but he was as poised and in control as Foles has ever looked. In the gif above we get some creative play calling from Doug. Foles throws two different pass fakes before hitting the tight end Goedert, who pulls off a ridiculous spin move to reach the first down. Goedert’s only receptions were this catch and the TD grab, but I wouldn’t be surprised if his number is called slightly more against the Saints next week.
VINDICATED! I don’t have receipts, but I’d like to go on record as always being in the “the trade was worth it” camp. After infuriatingly running it up the middle with Sproles on first and second down, the Eagles ran a similar play to Alshon. On fourth down here, they targeted Tate instead, and he came down with the score. Nick Foles left the field in a playoff game with the lead once again.
“It’s the whole team!”
The Eagles didn’t get lucky, Cody Parkey didn’t choke, and it wasn’t a fluke. Treyvon Hester made a play for the Birds. The Eagles earned that win, and they’ll have the chance to pull off at least one more heist in New Orleans.