The Eagles will visit the Bears on Saturday (4:40 p.m., NBC) for an NFL Wild Card matchup. Here are three keys to the game:
Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson fared well against Khalil Mack and the Raiders last season, but the Bears have more playmakers than that Oakland team. The Bears will line up Mack against left tackle Jason Peters, who turns 37 later this month, as often as they can. That doesn’t bode well for Foles’ bruised ribs.
Nick Foles was Super Bowl LII MVP against the Patriots and has a decided edge over Mitch Trubisky — who will be making his first playoff start, matching wits with Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Trubisky might need to use his legs to avoid turnovers and escape Fletcher Cox. The question is how much will Foles be affected by his bruised ribs — not to mention Fangio’s Monsters of the Midway (league-leading 36 takeaways)? The Bears own the top rushing defense, so it’s all on Foles, against a pass defense that registered a league-best 27 interceptions. Foles loves targeting ex-Bear Alshon Jeffery.
Doug Pederson versus Matt Nagy: both defenses better expect the unexpected. A Philly Philly perhaps with Foles. Or maybe a Chicago Chicago with ex-Eagle Trey Burton throwing to Trubisky in the end zone. Nagy has a play he calls “Lollipop” that he has borrowed by Andy Reid. The Giants might remember Tarik Cohen’s 1-yard TD toss to Anthony Miller that forced overtime on a play called “Oompa Loompa.”