By Neil Greenberg | Washington Post
A potential game-winning field goal by Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey hit the left upright and bounced off the crossbar before hitting the turf, sending the Philadelphia Eagles, a No. 6 seed, through to the next round. A day earlier another NFC East member, the Dallas Cowboys, fended off the Seattle Seahawks to secure their berth in the divisional round. That, too, could be viewed as an upset despite the Cowboys enjoying home-field advantage over the Seahawks. According to Football Outsiders, Seattle was the 12th best team in 2018 per Defense-adjusted Value Over Average; Dallas was 21st.
The big takeaway? The New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams were big winners on wild-card weekend without even taking the field.
[Cody Parkey’s missed field goal (or was it tipped?) led to a torrent of reactions]
The Eagles will travel to New Orleans to face the Saints, the top seed in the NFC, which also features one of this year’s top quarterbacks in Drew Brees. Brees led the league in completion rate (74 percent) and threw for 3,992 yards, 32 touchdowns and five interceptions, making him the second-most valuable passer this season per the game charters at Pro Football Focus. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, by comparison, ended the regular season ranked 30th out of 32 qualified passers. That’s quite a difference for an Eagles pass coverage unit who has seen opponents score almost three points more per game than expected based on the down, distance and field position of each throw against them, per data from TruMedia. ...
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