Topic: Look how the defending Super Bowl champions

CHICAGO (AP) — The Philadelphia Eagles needed help to get into the playoffs Shareef Miller Jersey , and Chicago provided it. repaid the Bears.Article continues below ...Nick Foles hit Golden Tate with a 2-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 56 seconds remaining against the NFL’s stingiest defense, lifting the Philadelphia Eagles past the Chicago Bears 16-15 on Sunday in the final wild-card game.Former Eagles kicker Cody Parkey hit the left upright and then the crossbar with a field-goal attempt from 43 yards with 10 seconds remaining, silencing the raucous crowd.The key, of course, was how the Eagles, even when they are messing up, never give up. On Parkey’s kick, several Eagles said defensive tackle Treyvon Hester touched it.“I think the big thing is, we saw some adversity tonight in the first half (and) I had a couple of turnovers,” Foles said. “I think the big thing is that no one loses faith, no one stops believing, everyone just keeps talking, keeps believing in one another, and we just rallied. Our defense really kept us in this game.”The defending league champion Eagles (10-7) squeezed into the playoffs by beating Washington and having the Bears (12-5) help them by knocking off Minnesota in the season finale. Philadelphia thanked its benefactor with a 12-play, 60-yard drive on which Foles, the Super Bowl MVP last February, hit six passes.Tate made a reaching grab in the right side of the end zone near the goal line.“We found a way,” Tate said. “That’s playoff football right there for you. That’s why we play this game for times like now once you get to January and February.”Philly plays at New Orleans (13-3) next Sunday. Chicago’s sensational turnaround season from last place to the NFC North title is over.“We wanted to write our story and start it off,” Bears second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. “But it does not always go the way you want it to, and that’s life, that’s football.”No team has repeated as Super Bowl champion since New England in 2004, and the Eagles are a sixth seed. The last sixth seed to win the NFL title was Green Bay in the 2010 season; the Packers won the NFC championship at Soldier Field that season.These Eagles, led by Foles once again replacing an injured Carson Wentz Zach Brown Jersey , and a defense down to backups at several positions, seem to have that magical touch like last season.It was a sizzling ending to a game marked by superior defense and several critical mistakes by the Eagles. They had to survive after Tarik Cohen, an All-Pro punt returner, took back the kickoff following Philly’s go-ahead score 35 yards. Mitchell Trubisky completed two passes to get the Bears close enough for Parkey. But his kick took a double deflection and fell harmlessly into the end zone.He was 11 of 12 in the fourth-quarter on field goals before missing the biggest kick of his career.“Obviously, we’re just hoping for a miss,” Foles said. “This was a hard-fought game. That’s an amazing team we just played against and it came down to the wire.”The Bears are 1-15 all-time in playoffs when trailing after three quarters. They fell behind when Foles connected with rookie Dallas Goedert for a 10-yard touchdown in the third period that was set up by a 33-yard pass interference call on cornerback Prince Amukamara.Although the Eagles outplayed the Bears in the first half, errors left them behind 6-3. A 15-yard personal penalty on Michael Bennett aided Chicago’s drive to a 36-yard field goal by Parkey, and a dropped potential interception in the end zone by Tre Sullivan allowed Parkey to make a 29-yarder as the half concluded.Philadelphia also had an interception by Avonte Maddox deep in Chicago territory overturned by video replay.Philly did score on its opening series of the game, a 50-yard drive to Jake Elliott’s 43-yard field goal. And again on its first possession in the third quarter as Goedert got wide open on a short post pattern behind Adrian Amos, who had an end-zone interception of Foles’ ill-advised throw in the second quarter.Parkey also made 34-yarder early in the manic final quarter.“We had a lot of fun and I love our guys to death,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said.REID’S INFLUENCEBoth head coaches, Nagy in Chicago and Doug Pederson in Philadelphia, are Andy Reid proteges. That usually means lots of passing, and each team didn’t do much on the ground, combining for 107 yards rushing.But Trubisky threw for 303 yards, going 26 of 43. Foles was 25 of 40 for 266 yards.TURNOVERSTeams rarely win when they are minus in turnover differential. The Eagles did, having two giveaways and no takeaways. Chicago led the NFL this season with 36 takeaways.MASCOT REACTIONChicago’s bear mascot had the perfect reaction to Parkey’s miss, falling flat on his back as he was kneeling behind the goalpost where Parkey’s kick failed.UP NEXTEagles: Travel to New Orleans, where they lost 48-7 during the season.“Yeah, it wasn’t very good the first time,” Pederson said. “I think we’re a different football team now than we were then.” FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Jarrett Stidham doesn’t have time to listen to the talk about him being a possible successor for a Hall of Fame-bound quarterback.For the Patriots‘ rookie, every day of the team’s offseason program is simply another opportunity for self-improvement.“Every single day I wake up and I say Devin Bush Jersey , I’ve got to get better at something today,” said Stidham, the Patriots’ fourth-round draft pick, after Wednesday’s mandatory minicamp practice.“And as I go throughout my day, I try to take in everything as it comes and try to retain as much information as possible, and continue to get better.”The former Auburn QB was the 133rd selection in the April draft, and could be the eventual replacement for six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, who will be 42 in August yet is showing no obvious signs of decline.Brady stayed away from voluntary workouts, but is present at the mandatory minicamp at Gillette Stadium, giving Stidham his first opportunity to work with him.“Obviously he’s a great player, a great person, and honestly, it’s just been great just to see him operate,” Stidham said. “He’s been doing it for so long, and obviously he has a lot of knowledge, so I’m just trying to sit back and watch how he works, and soak in as much as possible.”For the second straight day, Stidham took all the snaps with the third-string offensive unit, which may already put him ahead of second-year veteran Danny Etling on the Patriots’ depth chart. But the journey has just started, with another organized team activity period to follow this minicamp, and training camp next in late July.“I’m just trying to get better,” Stidham said. “Every little facet of my game, whether it’s learning the offense Diontae Johnson Jersey , cleaning up mechanics, whatever it is, I’m just trying to improve each day and not take a step back.”Stidham’s football journey began as a youngster growing up in Richmond, Kentucky. One of his teammates from that peewee team is also an incoming rookie with the Patriots this year, running back Damien Harris of Alabama, a third-round draft pick.“Life comes full-circle,” said Stidham, who moved to Stephenville, Texas, as a teenager but maintained his friendship with Harris over the years. “Damien and I were lucky enough to both get drafted by the Patriots and now we’re both here, hanging out on the weekends like old times, like we were 8 years old.”Enjoyable as it may be for Stidham to remember simpler times, his life is now one adjustment after another as he adapts to the demands of joining of one of the NFL’s most successful franchises.“I think you can tell the difference as soon as you get here for rookie minicamp,” Stidham said. “But now that I’ve been here for almost a month now, you really start to see the differences. You’ve got to take it and run with it, and there’s no shortcut to figuring it out. You’ve just got to continue to get after it each day.“Just being in the day-to-day operations of the Patriots and that sort of thing, the culture as a whole, you don’t really know what it’s like until you’re there,” he said. “Obviously, it’s a great organization and a lot of fun to be a part of.”