The Bears were looking to get back into the win column against the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday. Things appeared positive early for Chicago but fell apart from there for another close loss.
Marcus Mariota led his team down the field in their opening drive, completing a 2-yard touchdown pass to Drake London. Justin Fields responded right back throwing to Darnell Mooney for a game-tying 16-yard score.
The Bears Cairo Santos kicked field goal to move ahead by three points and then they recovered an Atlanta fumble in Falcons territory. Fields ran a designed quarterback sweep into the end zone to give Chicago a 17-7 advantage.
On the ensuing kickoff, former Bear Cordarrelle Patterson got loose on the return and ran it back 103 yards for a touchdown. After Chicago missed a kick, Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo made a game-tying FG as the first half expired.
Atlanta kept the momentum going in the third quarter and Mariota ran in a 10-yard touchdown for a 24-17 lead. The Bears finally got a drive going in the fourth quarter with the help of a roughing the passer penalty. David Montgomery punched in a touchdown to knot things up at 24.
The Falcons took over from there with a methodical drive that ate 6:29 of clock and got them into position for a game-winning 53-yard field goal by Koo. Justin Fields, who had taken a beating all day, tried a comeback but dealing with pain in his non-throwing shoulder was intercepted to end the game. (Box score)
Why the Bears Lost
Once again, the offensive line failed to protect the Bears young quarterback. Also a special teams breakdown ended up costing them dearly.
Patterson’s record-setting 9th career kickoff return touchdown completely flipped momentum in the game. The Falcons had the edge in play the rest of the day.
Stats That Matter
- Fields threw for 153 yards with one touchdown and ran for 85 more with another touchdown. He was sacked four times and took many vicious hits, it’s something the Bears can’t allow to happen on a regular basis.
- Velus Jones Jr. had a 55-yard kick return to the set up the Bears first touchdown.
Sunday’s game is just another reminder of how little talent Chicago has placed around Justin Fields. It may even have gotten him injured in this game, which would be borderline negligent of Ryan Poles and management. Whatever happens the rest of 2022, they absolutely can’t leave him out to dry for 2023.
The Bears head back to New Jersey, this time for a battle with the Jets. The game is Sunday, November 27 at 12:00pm CT on FOX.