The Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Week 17, finishing the 2018 campaign with a 12-4 record and the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs.
In the process, the 24-10 victory ended the possibility of the Vikings making the playoffs and allowed the Philadelphia Eagles to take their spot and be the Bears opponent next week in the wildcard.
Despite the fact that the Los Angeles Rams locked up the second seed in the NFC with a 48-32 rout of the San Francisco 49ers, it was still a nice win for the Bears as they were able to end their division foe’s season in their own house.
While there was speculation to whether Matt Nagy would rest starters once the Rams went up big over the 49ers, he decided to keep his foot on the gas and had starters in until the game was out of reach.
It appears that Nagy doesn’t care who the Bears played in the wildcard, and personally, why should he?
The Bears are the hottest team in the NFC right now with their last loss with Mitch Trubisky at quarterback being on October 21 against the New England Patriots. That’s important to mention as Trubisky had another efficient, mistake-free performance for the third-straight week.
While his 644 yards and three touchdowns over that three-game span isn’t eye-opening, it’ll be enough to back this defense in the playoffs; especially if Jordan Howard continues to produce the way he has been. Howard has four touchdowns and 323 yards since his 101-yard performance against the Rams on Sunday night football and it appears Nagy has realized just how to use him in his offense.
Combine this with Trubisky’s new-found consistency and Tarik Cohen’s constant electricity and that’s an offense that can do enough damage to win behind this defense.
This is all with respect to the Eagles, as they have earned it with their miraculous run in the back half of the season. Nick Foles became a Philadelphia legend last winter when he led the Eagles to a Super Bowl after Carson Wentz went down with a season-ending injury, and he has people believing he could do the same thing this year.
The Eagles surely won’t be an easy team to beat and should have the respect of every Bears fan, but overall, we should feel comfortable heading into wild-card weekend. Home field advantage is undeniably true with this team, as the Bears are 7-1 at home and you already know Soldier Field is about to be the rowdiest it’s been in years on Sunday afternoon.
The Eagles are 4-4 on the road this year, but still, expect them to give a strong performance and give the Bears everything they can handle.
Regardless of how next weekend goes, nobody expected the Bears to end up 12-4 hosting a playoff game, even with the addition of Khalil Mack. Enjoy this week and the game(s) left for this team, as this new era is just getting started.
Hopefully the same can be said about their run in the playoffs.