Move over, The Bachelor. I don’t know how the Bears do it, but every game this season is more dramatic than the last. Who needs reality TV or soap operas when football exists? Maybe I will write a thesis paper that answers that very question.
The Atlanta Falcons hosted the Chicago Bears over the weekend for the Bears’ second road game of the season. And even though the Falcons hadn’t yet won a game, the majority of the featured local and national NFL analysts picked the Falcons to win this one. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan is a seasoned veteran at racking up lots of points in a small amount of time, and the Bears have been inconsistent at covering the passing game thus far this year. And that was true on Sunday, too, especially in the end zone.
A ho-hum first half
The Bears had a very hard time capitalizing on scoring opportunities in the first thirty minutes of gametime, largely because of penalties and muffed passes. The half was basically summed up in the Bears’ first drive of the game, a promising couple of downs that converted into a missed field goal. It wasn’t all Bad News Bears, though. Bears place kicker Cairo Santos eventually did find the uprights at the end of the first quarter, and Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky was able to find tight end Jimmy Graham just under two minutes before halftime. The Falcons struggled defensively, but they found the endzone twice in the first half and headed into the locker room up 16-10 at halftime.
Trubisky takes a seat + other troubles
If you thought the first half was bad, the second half had Bears fans feeling every emotion that has ever been defined by the human race. The home team found the end zone in the first three minutes and followed up with a field goal a couple minutes later, stretching their halftime lead to 26-10. Meanwhile, Chicago was a dumpster fire. And by dumpster fire, I mean that the most impressive player of the third quarter was Bears punter Pat O’Donnell. But let’s get to the big news.
Despite Trubisky’s best effort in mediocre circumstances, head coach Matt Nagy made the controversial decision to bench him in the middle of the third quarter and substituted in backup QB Nick Foles, the former Philadelphia Eagle, for the first time. I don’t want to speak for all Bears fans, but the decision was confusing — it is still very early in the season, and I think anyone who watched Sunday’s game would be hesitant to point the finger at Trubisky. Former Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett let his thoughts about the choice be known on Twitter.
“There is no way you can tell me a QB that’s 2-0 would be benched the third game if you did not already have disbelief in him from the beginning.” -Earl Bennett via Twitter.
Unluckily for Trubisky, Foles did exactly what he needed to do to secure the starting spot for the next couple of weeks. Foles threw three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, connecting with Graham, Robinson and Anthony Miller. An interception by Bears safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. sealed the deal and sent the Bears into victory formation. The final score was 30-26 Bears. Don’t call it a comeback, but call it a comeback.
Cohen collision causes ACL tear
Although the overwhelming feelings after the Falcons matchup were relief and a bit of awe, the positives were tinged with melancholy. Third quarter was already bad enough for Chicago before running back Tarik Cohen was hit on a fair catch and suffered a torn ACL, which will likely sideline him for the rest of the season. Cohen just signed a three-year contract extension with Chicago last week. Now we won’t see him until 2021. I couldn’t help but compare this situation to the Johnny Knox injury in 2012, but luckily, a torn ACL is not an injured vertebrae.
This season, Cohen acquired a total of 53 scrimmage yards before Sunday’s injury. It will be interesting to see who steps up to the plate as the new punt returner for Chicago.
Maddie’s Monster of the Game
This week’s Monster is Tarik Cohen, who won’t be able to earn the title for the remainder of the season. Here’s to a speedy recovery, as always.
As of right now, we’re on top!
1st place: Bears
2nd place: Packers
3rd place: Lions (Won against the Arizona Cardinals)
4th place: Vikings (Lost to the Tennessee Titans)
Well, here’s the deal. We’re 3-0, which is absolutely bogus after the three games this fandom has had to endure. Next week will prove to be an interesting teaser for the rest of the season. The Bears host the Indianapolis Colts at home, who are also 3-0. You can find that game, dear reader, on CBS at noon next Sunday. Until then, mask up and Beardown.