Nick Foles engineers Bears' come-from-behind victory versus Falcons


by - Senior Writer -
Nick Foles orchestrated a second-half comeback after replacing Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. (Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)
Nick Foles orchestrated a second-half comeback after replacing Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback. (Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

ATLANTA — Earning their third straight heart-pounding win, the Chicago Bears (3-0) pulled off yet another thrilling victory on Sunday. For the second time on the season, the Bears shut out their opponent in the fourth quarter as they mounted an epic comeback. This time around, Nick Foles replacing Mitchell Trubisky under center early in the third quarter sparked the come-from-behind win. Chicago trailed 26-10 heading into the fourth quarter but found a way to win.

With Trubisky struggling, Foles was inserted into the game, and he did not disappoint, helping Chicago outscore the Atlanta Falcons (0-3) 20-0 in the fourth quarter at Mercedez-Benz Stadium and come away with a thrilling 30-26 win. As for the Falcons, the Week 3 collapse marked their second monumental meltdown in a row. Playing with heavy hearts following the passing of legendary Bears running back Gale Sayers earlier in the week, the Bears came alive when it mattered most and remained undefeated to start the season.


Play-by-Play Summary:


First Half:


Bears, missed field goal: The Bears started the game off by quickly marching into Falcons territory. Jimmy Graham caught an 11-yard pass, and Tarik Cohen broke free for a 17-yard burst, his longest gain of the season. The drive stalled out, though, and Cairo Santos missed a 46-yard field goal wide left.

Drive: 9 plays, 47 yards, 4:08

Score: Bears 0, Falcons 0


Falcons, touchdown: On their first play from scrimmage, the Falcons gained 63 yards, with Calvin Ridley breaking free in the secondary and catching a perfectly placed pass from Matt Ryan. Ridley was pushed out of bounds at the Bears' 1-yard line, and, two plays later, Ryan hooked up with Hayden Hurst in the back of the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown pass. Younghoe Koo missed the ensuing extra point.

Drive: 3 plays, 64 yards, 1:09

Score: Bears 0, Falcons 6


Bears, field goal: Trubisky again led Chicago on a quick procession onto Atlanta's side of the field. Allen Robinson converted a short pass over the middle into a 19-yard gain. The Bears used a couple of end-arounds on the possession, including an 11-yard gain by Cordarrelle Patterson that was nullified by a holding call. On first-and-20, Anthony Miller tallied a 13-yard reception, but the Bears wound up settling for another field goal. This time, Santos knocked it through the uprights, with the 35-yarder putting the Bears on the scoreboard.

Drive: 12 plays, 58 yards, 7:00

Score: Bears 3, Falcons 6


Falcons, punt: Ridley continued to show out on the opening snap of Falcons drives, making a leaping 16-yard grab on the first play of Atlanta's second possession. Chicago forced a punt shortly after that, though, with the Bears taking over at their own 19.

Drive: 4 plays, 21 yards, 1:54

Score: Bears 3, Falcons 6


Bears, punt: The Bears went three-and-out. Ted Ginn Jr. caught a deep pass out of bounds, and, following a short David Montgomery run, Trubisky overthrew Cohen downfield.

Drive: 3 plays, 3 yards, 0:59

Score: Bears 3, Falcons 6


Falcons, field goal: Ryan and Russell Gage connected for gains of 14 and 12, with the 12-yarder coming on a third-down play that saw Gage absorb plenty of contact but hang onto the ball. On third-and-goal, Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks teamed up for a sack of Ryan. Koo then made a 29-yard field goal.

Drive: 12 plays, 53 yards, 6:18

Score: Bears 3, Falcons 9


Bears, punt: Montgomery was stuffed for a seven-yard loss on the first play of the drive. The Bears punted on fourth-and-16.

Drive: 3 plays, -6 yards, 2:37

Score: Bears 3, Falcons 9


Falcons, touchdown: A pair of costly Chicago penalties heavily impacted Atlanta's second touchdown drive. On third-and-short, Mack strip sacked Ryan, with the Bears recovering in Falcons territory. However, Mario Edwards Jr. unnecessarily drilled Ryan on the play, leading to a roughing the passer call that negated the fumble and moved the chains for the Falcons. Then, a third-down incompletion was nullified by Mack being offside, which set up Brian Hill to break free for a 35-yard touchdown carry on third-and-5.

Drive: 5 plays, 62 yards, 1:17

Score: Bears 3, Falcons 16


Bears, touchdown: A 75-yard touchdown drive was highlighted by one of the longest runs of Trubisky's career. Finding plenty of room to run, the quarterback lumbered 45 yards into the red zone. Prior to that, Robinson reeled off gains of 17 and 16 yards on two short passes. Graham then came up with his second score as a Bear, catching a pass out wide and hustling across the goal line for a two-yard touchdown.

Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 2:47

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 16


Falcons, punt: The Bears' defense forced its only three-and-out of the first half.

Drive: 3 plays, 7 yards, 0:40

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 16


Bears, punt: After Cohen gained eight yards on a reception, Trubisky overthrew Miller on third-and-2.

Drive: 3 plays, 3 yards, 0:24

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 16


Falcons, end of half: Todd Gurley broke off an 11-yard run, as the Falcons converted two first downs before a holding call went against them. Ryan then kneeled to run out the clock and usher in halftime.

Drive: 5 plays, 19 yards, 0:46

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 16


Second Half:


Falcons, touchdown: The Falcons produced a 75-yard touchdown drive out of halftime. Gurley broke off a 16-yard run, and Ridley hauled in a 24-yard pass down the sideline. Gurley then found a seam and rushed 10 yards to the house.

Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 2:26

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 23


Bears, interception: Blidi Wreh-Wilson read an ill-advised Trubisky pass to perfection and picked it off on a third-down play.

Drive: 3 plays, 2 yards, 1:41

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 23


Falcons, field goal: Taking over at the Chicago 19, the Falcons quickly stalled out and settled for three. Koo's 36-yarder increased Atlanta's lead to 16.

Drive: 3 plays, 2 yards, 1:41

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 26


Bears, interception: For the first time on the season, Foles, who was acquired by the Bears in the offseason, replaced Trubisky under center. On his first pass a Bear, Trubisky converted a first down with an 11-yard completion to Graham. He then dumped off a screen pass to Cohen that turned into a 20-yard gain. The drive ended controversially, as a Bears touchdown was overturned and ruled an interception. Robinson caught the 21-yard pass in the air, but Darqueze Dennard wrestled the ball away from him as they fell to the ground in the end zone. Following a review, the referees overturned the touchdown and rewarded Dennard with an interception.

Drive: 7 plays, 39 yards, 3:35

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 26


Falcons, punt: Ryan completed a 13-yard pass to Olamide Zaccheaus, and Hill picked up 22 yards after catching a short pass. Once in Bears territory, though, Atlanta stalled out and punted. Unfortunately, Cohen was injured while making the fair catch, as Hill was pushed and unintentionally rolled into Cohen's right leg, causing his knee to buckle. Cohen was helped off the field and carted to the locker room. The jack-of-all-trades did not return to the game due to the knee injury.

Drive: 5 plays, 40 yards, 2:38

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 26


Bears, punt: The Bears were unable to pick up a first down.

Drive: 3 plays, 2 yards, 1:48

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 26


Falcons, missed field goal: Gurley tallied a 16-yard run to close out the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, Hicks got to Ryan for a sack on third down, and Koo's 48-yard try carried wide left.

Drive: 3 plays, 2 yards, 1:48

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 26


Bears, turnover on downs: A face mask called against the Falcons moved the ball into Atlanta territory. Later, Darnell Mooney had a deep ball knocked out of his hands by Dennard, but a late flag against the Bears nullified the play, anyway. On the very next play, Graham caught a pass that sailed just past the outstretched hands of an Atlanta defender. Graham fumbled on the play, but Miller recovered. Foles had a touchdown pass overturned for the second time, as a fourth-down reception by Miller was called back. The 17-yard catch in the end zone was ruled incomplete after a review determined that Miller dropped the ball as he collided with the turf.

Drive: 9 plays, 45 yards, 2:49

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 26


Falcons, punt: The Bears drew a quick three-and-out to get the ball back.

Drive: 3 plays, 5 yards, 1:36

Score: Bears 10, Falcons 26


Bears, touchdown: Foles completed a 29-yard pass to Ginn to move the ball inside the Atlanta 30. Montgomery accrued a 10-yard carry, and, soon afterward, an unnecessary roughness call went against the Falcons. On third-and-goal, Foles finally threw a touchdown pass that stood, as Graham hauled in a three-yard grab for six. The two-point conversion attempt was no good, as Foles' pass to Cole Kmet went incomplete.

Drive: 9 plays, 62 yards, 2:50

Score: Bears 16, Falcons 26


Falcons, punt: Using up just one minute of the game clock, the Falcons were forced to punt after another three-and-out.

Drive: 3 plays, 1 yard, 1:00

Score: Bears 16, Falcons 26


Bears, touchdown: Poor tackling allowed the Bears to score a touchdown in a hurry, as two different Falcons failed to bring down Robinson after he made a catch. Robinson broke free for a 37-yard score on the third play of the drive.

Drive: 3 plays, 55 yard, 0:59

Score: Bears 23, Falcons 26


Falcons, punt: Instead of milking the clock with under five minutes remaining, the Falcons attempted three passes, all of which were incomplete, and punted on a possession that lasted a measly 22 seconds.

Drive: 3 plays, -5 yards, 0:22

Score: Bears 23, Falcons 26


Bears, touchdown: A 15-yard penalty for a late hit on Miller's punt return allowed the Bears to begin at the Falcons' 44. Dennard was banged up on the play prior to the two-minute warning, and, on the first play after that, Foles connected with Miller while being hit for a 28-yard touchdown. The clutch pass under duress provided the Bears with their first lead of the game, as Miller was able to redeem himself by hanging onto the ball.

Drive: 5 plays, 44 yards, 2:06

Score: Bears 30, Falcons 26


Falcons, interception: After converting a couple of first downs, Ryan was picked off by Tashaun Gipson at the Chicago 24.

Drive: 4 plays, 31 yards, 0:47

Score: Bears 30, Falcons 26


Bears, end of game: The Bears took over with 1:06 remaining and the Falcons sporting two timeouts. Montgomery's 11-yard carry on the first play of the drive sealed the deal, as Foles was able to kneel the rest of the way, giving him a victory in his Bears debut. According to ESPN, the Bears became the first team to win multiple games in a single season in which they trailed by at least 16 points entering the fourth quarter, and they needed just three weeks to do so.

Final Score: Bears 30, Falcons 26


Statistical Breakdown:

Chicago Bears: 1st Downs: 24; Total Plays: 78; Total Yards: 437; Total Drives: 14; Yards per Play: 5.6; Passing Yards: 307; Rushing Yards: 130; Red Zone: 2-4; Penalties: 10-80; Turnovers: 2; Defensive/Special Teams TDs: 0; Time of Possession: 34:50

Atlanta Falcons: 1st Downs: 22; Total Plays: 65; Total Yards: 371; Total Drives: 14; Yards per Play: 5.7; Passing Yards: 227; Rushing Yards: 144; Red Zone: 2-4; Penalties: 7-75; Turnovers: 1; Defensive/Special Teams TDs: 0; Time of Possession: 25:10


"Bear Down" Team MVPs:

Passing: Nick Foles (QB): 16/29, 188 YDS, 6.5 AVG, 3 TD, 1 INT, 0-0 SACK, 95.2 RTG

Rushing: David Montgomery (RB): 14 CAR, 45 YDS, 3.2 AVG, 0 TD, 11 LONG

Receiving: Allen Robinson (WR): 10 REC, 123 YDS, 12.3 AVG, 1 TD, 37 LONG, 13 TGTS

Defense: Tashaun Gipson (SS): 6 TOT, 4 SOLO, 0 SACKS, 0 TFL, 1 PD, 0 QB HITS, 0 TD, 1 INT

Special Teams: Cordarrelle Patterson (KR): 3 NO, 91 YDS, 30.3 AVG, 40 LONG, 0 TD


Up Next: The Bears will look to remain undefeated when they return home to take on the Indianapolis Colts (2-1) for a Week 4 matchup at Soldier Field. Scheduled to kick off at noon CDT on Sunday, Oct. 4, the contest is expected to be played under partly cloudy, somewhat windy conditions on a cool afternoon in Chicago. The matchup will serve as a rematch of Super Bowl XLI, which the Bears lost 29-17. The Colts lead the all-time series against the Bears 24-19 and won 29-23 when the two teams last met in 2016.


Highlights:

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