Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Philadelphia Eagles reach National Football League playoffs after Vikings fall to Bears

Philadelphia Eagles reach National Football League playoffs after Vikings fall to Bears

- The NFC North champion Chicago Bears refused to let up, riding Jordan Howard for 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns and that relentless defense for a 24-10 victory over Minnesota on Sunday that kept the rival Vikings out of the playoffs. The clinching, 16-play, 75-yard march utilized players who had made no previous contribution to the offense, combined with the ever-maturing leadership of QB Mitch Trubisky and a bit of good fortune.

If Minnesota loses to the Bears and misses out on the postseason, Vikings fans will have 84 million reasons to be upset. Drawing the defending Super Bowl champions will be a hard task next weekend - though the status of Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who left Philadelphia's win over Washington with a chest injury, will be worth monitoring this week. Quarterback Nick Foles exited in the second half with a chest injury and did not return.

Punter Matt Wile helped keep field position from being a problem for the Vikings early on in the game. He took a sack by Anthony Barr that would've forced a punt from the Minnesota 45, but a holding penalty on Vikings safety Jayron Kearse gave Chicago a fresh set of downs.

Redskins punter Tress Way threw a 7-yard pass to Jehu Chesson on a fake punt on fourth-and-2, but Johnson followed with three straight incomplete passes and Way had to punt. The Vikings managed a meager 164 total yards, with holes closing in the trenches and fissures developing on the sidelines.

In two games with former quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefansky running the offense, the Vikings have rushed for a combined 320 yards.

Just like many things revolving around the Vikings, however, things didn't go exactly as many had planned.

The seventh-round rookie from Georgia came into the game without an National Football League reception. A holding call by White that negated a big gain on a screen pass later supplanted White's reception as his most impactful play of the game. But make no mistake: If White plays a role in next weekend's playoff game, something has gone terribly wrong.

Up next for the Bears are the Eagles at Soldier Field in the wildcard round. Cook was able to get the first down on the next play. They checked the boxes for winning on the road that they needed to check. Instead, the Vikings came out on Sunday totally flat and uninspired - at home - in a do-or-die game with playoff ramifications. They sharpened their edge when so many teams in similar situations have shown up flat. These squads have both wrapped up their regular seasons.

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