Trubisky had a disappointing first half, completing 13 of 23 passes for 105 yards while throwing three passes that should’ve been intercepted. Perhaps the most disappointing part of the first half: The Bears took over possession at the Eagles’ 48-yard line in the first quarter and went three and out, with Trubisky having a pass toward Taylor Gabriel broken up by linebacker Nigel Bradham on third and four.
The Bears managed only six points in the first 30 minutes, failing to capitalize on opportunities like that short field as well as two trips inside the red zone. And again, Trubisky was lucky to avoid a number of disasters that could’ve swung the game to the Eagles long before Cody Parkey’s missed field goal.
But credit Trubisky for a good second half, especially in the final 15 minutes. He got the Bears into the end zone with three impressive strikes, starting with a 19-yarder to Gabriel on third and 11, then a 34-yard heave to Josh Bellamy, then an excellent 22-yard throw to Allen Robinson for a go-ahead touchdown. And faced with the biggest drive of his career, Trubisky completed 33 yards of throws to Robinson to get the Bears in position to hit the game-winning field goal.
So then, the final gameday grade for Trubisky is the in-between of two extremes. He threw for over 300 yards in a playoff game, but took too long to get into a rhythm, leading the Bears to score only 15 points.
RUNNING BACKS: D
Tarik Cohen’s lack of usage — only four touches — can be traced to not only a surprising reticence from Matt Nagy to get him the ball, but also the Eagles’ success in taking him out of the Bears’ gameplan. He had the same number of carries as Benny Cunningham and Taquan Mizzell (one) and caught three of five targets for 27 yards (19 of which came on an impressive grab in the first half). Jordan Howard regressed to his pre-December production levels, too, with only 35 yards on 10 carries, while Mizzell dropped a pass to begin that three-and-out drive that started in Eagles’ territory in the first half.
WIDE RECEIVERS: A
Robinson set a Bears playoff record with 10 catches for 143 yards, and thoroughly won his battles with Eagles cornerback Avonte Maddox. This was the kind of the game the Bears needed from Robinson with Trey Burton sidelined. Gabriel made some tough, important catches, as did Anthony Miller and Bellamy.
TIGHT ENDS: D
The loss of Burton significantly hurt this unit, with Adam Shaheen and Ben Braunecker combining for only 28 yards on five catches. Some of Howard’s lack of production can be tied to some run blocking issues for Shaheen and this group, too.
OFFENSIVE LINE: D+
This group missed an alarming number of blocks against an excellent Eagles’ defensive line, leading to some critical negative runs and pressures of Trubisky, especially late in the game when the Bears needed to put together an extended drive with about seven minutes left. Instead, the sequence went: A loss of two on a run to Howard, a Trubisky sack and then a short completion on third-and-long on which Trubisky was pressured with the Eagles only rushing three.
DEFENSIVE LINE: B+
Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman had another standout game against the run, limiting Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood to just 41 yards on 21 carries. But this group wasn’t able to get to Nick Foles, with Hicks having the only two pressures from this unit. One of those Hicks pressures, though, forced a lofted throw from Foles that was picked off in the end zone by Adrian Amos.
OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS: B
Khalil Mack (five pressures) and Leonard Floyd (one sack, three pressures) were disruptive, but Floyd’s sack was the only one by the Bears on Sunday. Mack was a monster against the run but credit the Eagles for effectively limiting his impact through a well-designed scheme. Floyd played well in coverage when asked, though, it should be noted.
INSIDE LINEBACKERS: A
Roquan Smith’s incredible interception — on which he wrestled the ball away from Smallwood — was a phenomenal effort, and he chipped in with a pressure on a well-designed and executed blitz. Danny Trevathan played one of his better games, too, sniffing out a screen in the first quarter that could’ve gone for a big gain had he not made the tackle. He also had four pressures, standing as one of his most disruptive games of the year.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: B-
Foles had a passer rating of 103.1 when throwing Fuller’s direction, per Pro Football Focus, while Alshon Jeffery picked apart this unit for 80 yards on six catches — almost all of which felt like gut-punches, especially a first-down conversion on third and nine in the red zone in the fourth quarter. Sherrick McManis was beat by Golden Tate for the game-winning touchdown, too. Still: Foles had a 77.7 passer rating, and this unit did enough to keep the Bears in a position to win, even if it missed Eddie Jackson’s rangy ball skills on a number of throws.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F
It all comes down to Parkey’s double-doink miss of a game-winning 43-yard attempt. That Parkey hit his first three kicks counts for something, but not enough. That Cohen ripped off a 35-yard kick return — set up by some excellent blocking ahead of him, too — doesn’t counter-act the final grade. Pat O’Donnell had a good day punting until he shanked one at the worst time, allowing the Eagles to begin their go-ahead touchdown drive in the fourth quarter at the Bears’ 40-yard line. If Parkey hits the kick with five seconds left, this unit probably gets an A. But it’s pass/fail when a kicker has a chance to win a game. And the Bears failed to win.
Did he tip it yes, but there wasn’t any penetration so that’s still on you as a kicker https://t.co/Rh6iXUBO77— Jay Feely (@jayfeely) January 7, 2019
Rarely has it felt like Nagy has been out-coached this year, but his friend and former colleague Doug Pederson did just that on Sunday. The Eagles’ defensive scheme wasn’t complex, but it was effective, with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz managing to get pressure by rushing four and strategically sending only five blitzes, which were largely effective.
On the other side of the ball, the Eagles were able to take advantage of Jackson’s absence with some throws and calls they might not have been able to make with the All-Pro safety on the field. Not having 11 men on the field for Goedert’s touchdown was entirely on the coaching staff, and likely a communication breakdown somewhere.
And while Nagy deserves credit for his late-game playcalling that set up the game-winning try, it ultimately was too little, too late.