Wild Card Weekend will end with a bang Sunday when the Chicago Bears host the Philadelphia Eagles in a fascinating NFC playoff matchup at Soldier Field.
The Bears have been excellent all season, riding a suffocating defense to a 12-4 record and an NFC North title, while the Eagles got hot down the stretch to secure a wild-card berth.
Nick Foles again has been stellar in place of injured Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Can he lead Philadelphia to a second straight Super Bowl title? If so, he’ll need to spearhead an upset Sunday in Chicago.
NESN.com’s Mike Cole, Ricky Doyle and Andre Khatchaturian made their against-the-spread picks for each of this weekend’s NFL playoff games after an impressive regular season. Here are their Eagles vs. Bears picks, along with the betting line courtesy of OddsShark.com.
Philadelphia Eagles at (-6) Chicago Bears, Sunday, 4:40 p.m. ET
Mike: Bears. Nick Foles has a 113.2 career playoff passer rating, which would be by far the best of all time if he qualified. That’s impressive, but here’s the thing: He’s never started a playoff game on the road. Now, he’ll have to figure out a way to solve the vaunted Chicago defense at Soldier Field, where the Bears went 7-1 SU, with six of those wins by a touchdown or more. I still don’t love Mitchell Trubisky, but if he just gets out of the way and lets the defense do its thing, Chicago should be OK.
Ricky: Bears. Not to take anything away from the magic act Foles continues to perform in the City of Brotherly Love, but let’s face facts: The Bears’ defense is downright scary, and this Eagles team, while talented and hot at the right time, simply isn’t as good as last season’s championship squad. Foles will have zero margin for error Sunday, a reality further complicated by the sore ribs he’s been battling this week. The Bears, who were an NFL-best 12-4 ATS this season, will tee off on the banged-up quarterback, likely leading to a few turnovers. Offensively, Chicago should heavily rely on its creative rushing attack to combat Philadelphia’s stout defensive front.
Andre: Bears. The Bears allowed just 6.3 yards per pass attempt this season (best in NFL) and 3.8 rushing yards per attempt. I don’t know how the Eagles will be able to move the chains against this crazy good Chicago defense on the road. The Bears also have the third-best turnover differential and the Eagles are 25th in the category. The Eagles were 30th in yards per carry. We might see a ton of pass attempts by Foles, which could lead to a few turnovers.