Nick Foles couldn’t look. He didn’t want to look.
So every time the scoreboard operators at FedEx Field on Sunday evening flashed the score of the Chicago Bears-Minnesota Vikings game, the Eagles quarterback did his best to avoid looking and knowing.
“I wasn’t really paying attention to it,” said Foles, who, for the second week in a row broke another one of Donovan McNabb’s team records. “I know it kept popping up, but I looked away. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want it to affect what was going on in our game. I really wanted to stay focused on wining this game.
I didn’t want to let them (the Washington Redskins) back in. I thought the Redskins defense, that’s who I was competing against. They did a good job. They were playing hard, they were showing different looks. That’s a good defense.”
A defense that Foles carved up, completing 25 passes in a row to tie an NFL record and break McNabb's mark of 18 straight set in 2007. Last week, Foles broke McNabb's record for most yards passing in a game with 471.
It was hard to ignore the reaction from yet another Eagles-fan takeover at an opposing team’s home stadium. This was like a home game for the Eagles, with the place awash in a sea of green.
It was more difficult for some to not look at what was happening in Minneapolis, where the Bears delivered a win that eliminated the Vikings and, coupled with the Eagles’ 24-0 win over the Redskins, sent the Birds into the playoffs as the sixth and final seed in the NFC.
“I know the fans (were watching the scoreboard),” said head coach Doug Pederson. “I think the score was up. Quite frankly, I was locked into the game, but I can’t say everybody was.”
Here’s how it went down:
4:40 p.m. Bears go up 7-0 on a 6-yard touchdown run by Jordan Howard. Shortly after that, Foles throws an interception after the Eagles had reached Washington’s 23-yard line.
5:30 p.m. Another touchdown by Howard, this one on a 1-yard plunge that survives a lengthy review by officials, to give Chicago a 13-0 lead. Former Eagles kicker Cody Parkey, though bonks the PAT off an upright. Around this time, the Eagles were on a drive for the ages, one that spanned 11 minutes, 49 seconds that ended in a 2-yard touchdown catch from Alshon Jeffery and a 10-0 lead for the Birds.
The Eagles game is, game-clock wise, lightyears ahead of the one being played in Minnesota. Halftime is well under way in Washington when the Vikings draw to within 13-3 on a 45-yard field goal from Dan Bialey with 53 seconds left in the second quarter.
6:30 p.m. The Eagles were just beaten by a fake punt pass that goes for a first down when the Vikings convert a fourth-and-one at the 4 then punch it in to trim Chicago’s lead to 13-10 with 1:51 to play in the third quarter.
6:55 p.m. Just about all the suspense is removed from the day. As the Eagles are busy salting away a 24-0 win, the Bears Tarik Cohen rolls in from three yards away and the Bears convert a two-point conversion pass for a 21-10 lead with 7:46 to go.
“I think it was kind of inevitable (to do some scoreboard watching during the game),” said tight end Zach Ertz. “When they’re flashing the scores on the big screen, you can’t really help but take a peek. But they did go along time without showing the game so that was nice so we could just focus on playing 60 minutes of good Eagles football. We tried to do the best we could (not to watch).”
The Eagles spent about 10 miinutes after their game ended watching the final minutes of the Bears win.
Later in the night, Pederson called Chicago coach Matt Nagy to thank him for playing his starters to the very end and congratulate him on a great season.
Now, the Eagles will try to end the Bears’ season on Sunday (4:40 p.m.) in the opening round of the playoffs.
“We ain’t sneaking in, we’re kicking the mother (bleeping) door down,” said safety Malcolm Jenkins in his postgame speech to the team. “We’re in this party. Nobody wanted us in, but guess what, they’ve got to deal with us now, man.”