The Chicago Bears were down 26-10 against the Atlanta Falcons when head coach Matt Nagy benched starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky for Super Bowl champion, Nick Foles. Foles promptly threw three touchdowns and delivered a 30-26 win over Atlanta inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Bears are 3-0 for the first time since 2013. Atlanta is 0-3 for the first time since 2007.
Trubisky went 13-of-22 for 128 yards, one touchdown, and one interception (71.8 passer rating). Trubisky was pulled because the Bears were 1-of-8 on third down, with several of Trubisky’s downfield passes were inaccurate. Notably, Trubisky overthrew a wide-open Anthony Miller on what would have been a touchdown completion before halftime.
Foles finished the afternoon completing 16/29 passes for 188 yards and the aforementioned three touchdowns. Wide receiver Allen Robinson caught two of those touchdowns. He took a short pass that turned into a 37-yard touchdown when cornerbacks Isaiah Oliver and Blidi Wreh-Wilson both missed tackles.
Bears running back Tarik Cohen left the game in the second half with a knee injury. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Cohen may have torn his ACL. Tests will be performed later to confirm the news.
Matt Ryan finished the afternoon 19/38 for 238 yards. He threw one touchdown and one interception. As the Falcons attempted a late comeback, Ryan led Calvin Ridley into the heart of the double coverage in the Bears’ Cover 2 defense, leading to Tashaun Gipson’s interception. Also, the Atlanta offense stalled out during the fourth quarter. Ryan at one point had six consecutive incompletions.
“You know, I wish it was one thing,” Ryan explained. “That’s kind of the tough part for us. It’s not just one thing. And so when it’s a different thing here or there, week in and week out, I feel like we’ve all got to take a look in the mirror and find ways that we can do our own jobs better. That starts with me, finding a way to make sure that I’m giving our guys a chance to make plays.”
Falcons were without Julio Jones. He was a game-time decision with a hamstring injury. Atlanta was also without offensive tackle Kaleb McGary (knee), defensive end Takk McKinley (groin), safety Ricardo Allen (elbow), linebacker Foye Oluokun (hamstring), and rookie cornerback A.J. Terrell, their top draft pick. The team announced Saturday that Terrell has been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list.
Kendall Sheffield, another cornerback who usually gets extensive playing time, missed his second straight game with a foot injury.
“Well, you always would love to have him out there,” Ryan said when asked about Julio Jones’s absence. “There’s no question. He’s a huge part of our team and our offense, and kind of sets the tone for us. But I thought our guys did a nice job of stepping up. I thought Calvin played well, Russ was playing good until he came out. We had a lot of guys that had to step up and play a lot more snaps than usual. This will be a great learning experience for them to see where they’re at.”
The Falcons head to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers in a Monday night game to finish off Week 4. Quinn was asked of his job status after meeting with Arthur Blank after the game.
“Well, yeah, we visit every week – pregame, postgame, Mondays, through the week – but any time honestly that I take away from that is time that all I can do is be in front of the team,” Quinn said. “I said, I need to be the same guy on our best days and our worst days and stand tall for them and bring the energy and the coaching and the focus that we need to go win. Anything past that does not help the team. So all I can focus on is us playing better and finishing better, and so that’s where my focus will be and remains to be.”