They did it again.
After blowing a 20-0 lead to the Dallas Cowboys last week, the Atlanta Falcons let a 26-10 fourth-quarter advantage slip away on Sunday. This time, they did it on their home field against a team mired in a quarterback controversy.
Nick Foles replaced a benched Mitchell Trubisky in the third quarter and rallied the Chicago Bears to a stunning 30-26 victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Bears quarterback threw three fourth-quarter touchdowns against an embattled Falcons defense as Chicago outscored Atlanta 20-0 in the fourth quarter.
Nick Foles leads stunning rally
Atlanta appeared to have this game wrapped up against a Chicago offense that struggled to get anything going through three quarters. Bears head coach Matt Nagy had seen enough from Trubisky when he threw a third-quarter interception that the Falcons converted into a field goal to increase their lead to 26-10.
The field goal marked the last points Atlanta would score, as Foles took over from there. Foles completed 16 of 29 passes for 188 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in less than two quarters, as the Bears improved to 3-0.
He almost had another touchdown that was turned over via a controversial replay review. Foles connected with Allen Robinson in the end zone on a 21-yard pass that was initially ruled a touchdown on the field. Officials determined upon review that Falcons cornerback Darqueze Dennard came up with the ball for an interception instead.
The next two possessions didn’t go much better for Chicago, ending in a punt and a turnover on downs in the red zone.
Bears capitalize on sputtering Falcons offense
But then the Bears offense caught fire. Foles led a 2:50 drive on their next possession that ended with a touchdown pass to tight end Jimmy Graham. The Falcons then went three-and-out for a second straight possession, and the Bears responded with a 55-second drive capped by a 37-yard Foles touchdown pass to Robinson to cut their deficit to 26-23
Another Falcons three-and-out set up a 2:06 Bears drive that ended with a 28-yard pass from Foles to Anthony Miller to take an unlikely 30-26 lead.
Atlanta still had a chance to answer, getting the ball back with 1:53 remaining. But Matt Ryan’s interception to Bears safety Tashaun Gipson sealed the Falcons’ fate.
So, who’s Chicago’s starting quarterback?
As for the fate of the Bears’ quarterback situation? Nagy wouldn’t commit to Foles after the game. Trubisky won a tightly contested quarterback battle in training camp and led the Bears to a 2-0 start before getting benched on Sunday.
Nagy doesn’t appear ready to make a decision amid the emotions of Sunday’s come-from-behind victory.
“We just want to enjoy the win tonight,” Nagy told reporters when asked about naming a starter moving forward.
Dan Quinn’s seat getting hot
Atlanta will have a lot of questions to answer after a second straight stunning collapse led to an 0-3 start, most notably concerning head coach Dan Quinn’s job security.
Sunday’s loss has become frustratingly familiar to Falcons fans, especially on the heels of last week’s collapse against the Cowboys. The Falcons led that game 39-24 with 7:57 remaining, only to watch the Cowboys reel off 16 unanswered points for a 40-39 win.
Quinn helmed the 2016 Falcons team that blew a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. The sixth-year head coach is now coming off consecutive seasons missing the playoffs and is on pace for a third with Sunday’s loss to the Bears.
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