CHICAGO — Nigel Bradham called it. Golden Tate prayed. Jason Kelce had some possible parting words with an old friend.
As Cody Parkey lined up to attempt a game-winning 43-yard field goal, the Eagles’ sideline watched on. If the former Eagles kicker made the kick, the Eagles' season would come to an abrupt and heart-breaking end.
By now, you know what happened.
Parkey’s field goal clanked off the left upright, dropped down and hit the crossbar before finally and mercifully dropping into the grass of the west end zone at Soldier Field. The Eagles won, 16-15 (see Roob's observations). They’ll head to New Orleans next weekend as their hopes to defend their title are still alive.
“I still can’t believe we won that one,” a wide-smiling Alshon Jeffery said on Sunday night.
You’re not alone, Alshon. You’re not alone.
Doug Pederson called a timeout to freeze Parkey, who actually made his first attempt (barely), before missing his second. And rotational defensive tackle Treyvon Hester got his fingertips on the ball to change the direction ever so slightly.
“Trey got a little hand on it,” Bradham said. “Maybe that was enough to make it do what it did.”
From there, the football Gods did their work. Everyone on the Eagles’ sideline handled the situation a little different.
I went over to Nick Foles,” Jason Kelce said. “I made sure I wanted to tell him if this is the last time we get to be on the field together, ‘I’m going to miss you bud.’ We have a really close-knit team. All you can really do at that point is give it to the football Gods. Luckily, they gave us a chance to keep going here.
It wasn’t just anyone who missed the possible game-winning field goal. It was former Eagle Cody Parkey, who is still the most accurate kicker in Eagles history. But he’s had a tough season that has been full of missed attempts hitting off the uprights.
“Was that Cody Parkey?” Kelce said in the locker room. “I did not know that. Sorry, Cody.”
Cody Parkey: “You can’t make this up. I feel terrible. I let the team down.” pic.twitter.com/0423uzPspg— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) January 7, 2019
Tim Jernigan called that ending “the craziest thing” he’s ever been a part of in the NFL and he played in Super Bowl LII 11 months ago. Jernigan was on the sideline and swore Bradham called the miss.
“Nigel called it,” Jernigan said. “Nigel said that, bruh.”
“That’s definitely true,” Bradham said with a smile.
Bradham watched that first kick barely go through the uprights and had a feeling about the second one. All the Eagles were pretty thankful Pederson used a timeout to freeze the kicker.
Golden Tate was on the sideline praying, and he definitely wasn’t the only one. There were probably a lot of prayers circling around Soldier Field on Sunday night.
“Well, it hit the upright twice,” Lane Johnson said. “When it hit it, I thought it was gonna bounce in. Hey, call it what it is, it was luck. That’s what it was. We got lucky.”
The Eagles will play next week because a four-inch yellow piece of aluminum helped them out … twice. But they’ll take it. Their season is still alive.
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