The Chicago Bears traded for Nick Foles knowing they would likely need him to take over as the starting QB at some point this season. After his heroic second half come from behind victory in week 3 at Atlanta in place of the struggling Mitchell Trubisky, Foles looks a lot like the QB who won Super Bowl MVP for the Eagles. Foles entered the game in the third quarter with Chicago trailing 26-10 and completed 16-29 passes for 188 yards and 3 TDs and completed the comeback for a Bears team that finds themselves at 3-0 after three straight last minute victories.
Week three’s matchup saw the Falcons blow a double digit 4th quarter lead for the second straight week, and they have to be wondering if any lead of theirs is safe this season. Matt Ryan was without number one target Julio Jones, who was out with a hamstring injury, and completed 19-38 for 238 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Atlanta. Todd Gurley had a strong day on the ground, racking up 80 yards and a touchdown. Calvin Ridley led all Falcons pass catchers with 5 receptions for 110 yards. He was outdone, however, by the Bears Allen Robinson who caught 10 balls for 123 yards and a score.
For most of this game, everything was going Atlanta’s way, they had a comfortable lead and the defense was confusing Trubisky enough that Head Coach Matt Nagy pulled him early into the second half after an interception. In hindsight the only question about the move is why it didn’t come sooner. Foles looked in command of the offense and extremely comfortable for someone who has played so little the last two years. He took several shots downfield where in the past with Trubisky, Chicago was settling for a lot of checkdowns. The difference was noticeable almost from the first play. It looked like a completely different offense from the one we have seen the first 2+ weeks of the season. If it weren’t for a couple of costly drops by his receivers, Foles could have conceivably thrown 5 second half touchdowns for the Bears.
Nick Foles was the spark the Bears needed to pull of the comeback win. Photo Credit: Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
For the Falcons and their leagues worst defense, unfortunately it was more of the same. Last week they gave up a huge lead to the Cowboys in a loss and today was no different. They gave up three consecutive touchdown drives of 62, 55, and 44 yards. In their defense, the offense has to stay on the field and give them a chance to rest some, and going 3 and out on three straight possessions at the end of a game is no way to help your defense keep a lead.
Nick Foles made several big throws, including one to tight end Jimmy Graham and a 37 yard strike to Allen Robinson. None were bigger however, than the 28 yard toss and catch to Anthony Miller with 1:53 to play that gave Chicago the lead. Obviously with nearly 2 minutes left on the clock, Matt Ryan had time to try and put together one last drive to win it, but he was intercepted by Tashaun Gipson and the Bears were able to run out the clock
Tahsuan Gipson Intercepts Matt Ryan in the 4th quarter to seal the victory for Chicago. Photo Credit: Curtis Compton
The loss drops Atlanta to 0-3, a dismal start for a team struggling to find its identity on defense, meanwhile the win for Chicago keeps them perfect at 3-0 and atop the division. A few more comebacks and last second victories and this team is surely to give its coach a heart attack. Next up for Chicago is a home game against the Colts, while Atlanta will continue to look for their first win on the road in Green Bay.
Going forward it will be interesting to see what Nagy’s decision is at the Quarterback position, but with his play today, Nick Foles may have made that question a lot easier to answer.
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