The Chicago Bears used another crazy fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Atlanta Falcons and remain undefeated.
The Cardiac Bears, aka Chicago Bears, once again nearly give their fans a heart attack. They struggled through another three quarters before turning it on with a furious fourth-quarter comeback. This time the victims were the Atlanta Falcons.
This time, the Bears needed to use a change at quarterback to get the job done. Starter Mitchell Trubisky had a difficult first half of football. When it continued into the first drive of the second half, head coach Matt Nagy decided to pull Trubisky and sent in backup Nick Foles.
Trubisky and Foles were locked in a battle for the starting job throughout training camp. It was a close battle so with neither player making a grab for the job, Trubisky ended up keeping it.
On Sunday, however, he lost it.
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Foles is likely the starter next week, though Nagy wouldn’t commit to anyone after the game. The question now is whether Foles keeps the job for the rest of the season.
The Chicago Bears coaching staff and players spoke so highly of Trubisky, saying he was a different player. He had confidence and he made better throws and decisions. What we’ve seen in the two games plus a half, he hasn’t changed. Against the Falcons, he looked confused and made some horrible throws. He badly overthrew some receivers, didn’t see wide-open receivers and kept throwing into high traffic. If a receiver or two is double-covered, doesn’t that mean that someone else is open? He just didn’t go through his progressions again. Remember, Trubisky went against a defense that gave up 78 points in two games and had four starters who didn’t play. This was a gift for Trubisky but he couldn’t do anything.
On the first drive of the third quarter, Trubisky threw an ugly pass that was intercepted. Nagy saw enough and the Foles era began.
Foles comes in and slings the ball
Foles came into the game and immediately threw the ball downfield. He thought he had a 21-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson, but for the second straight game, a defender stole the ball from his hands. The officials originally ruled it a touchdown but they reversed the call after replay review.
Foles kept throwing the ball, putting pressure on the Falcons defense. The Bears’ next two drives resulted in a punt and a turnover on downs (another pass that was first ruled a touchdown but then overturned by replay).
Suddenly, with 6:24 remaining in the game, Foles connected with Jimmy Graham for a touchdown. They failed on a two-point conversion and the score was 26-16. Still a difficult chore to score twice and win.
Foles again struck gold, this time with Robinson. Robinson made a catch and broke a tackle to get into the end zone. Robinson had a terrific game with 10 catches for 123 yards and the touchdown.
Suddenly, the Bears were down by only three points with less than five minutes remaining in the game. This comeback was now doable.
For some reason, the Falcons decided to keep throwing the ball. They had a three-and-out, gaining no yards. The Bears now had a chance at tying the game or taking the lead.
Foles drove the offense 44 yards in 2:06 and ended the drive with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Miller.
Now it was the defense’s turn to seal the victory. That’s exactly what happened when Tashaun Gipson intercepted a Matt Ryan pass and the Bears somehow remained undefeated. The Falcons are now in total disarray after blowing two fourth-quarter leads of 15 points or more in two straight games.
The defense struggled with discipline but came up big in the end
The Chicago Bears pass rush did a pretty good job. They recorded just two sacks but kept hitting Ryan all game long. The problem was that sometimes they hit him the wrong way. There was a play in which Khalil Mack, who already had half a sack, got to Ryan for another sack and forced a fumble. The Bears recovered the ball and were in business. However, Mario Edwards hit Ryan in the head. The roughing the passer penalty cost the Bears a turnover.
The Bears lacked the discipline they usually display in games. They had other penalties that kept them from stopping drives. When they needed it, though, they came through and showed how good they are as a unit.
After struggling with penalties, the defense tightened up in the fourth quarter, helping the offense come back. On the Falcons’ four drives in the fourth quarter, they had 38 yards and used up just 3:45 of time. Of the 38 yards, 31 of them came on the final drive that resulted in the interception.
No one can accuse the Bears of being boring. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Chicago is the first team in NFL history to come back from fourth-quarter deficits of 15 points or more twice in a season. They did it on two of the first three weeks. Let’s see what else they have as the season progresses.
The Bears found creative ways to stay unbeaten. They may win ugly but their place in the standings is beautiful. Now let the quarterback controversy begin!