One of my favorite aspects of the NFL is how Bears games against any given opponent are etched into my mind like chapters in an unending saga. This is particularly true of non-division games, played every two, three, or even four years. The jerseys are the same, the fans are the same, the stadiums are (usually) the same, while the personnel changes.
I thought of this today while reading Sam Householder’s Bears-Falcons preview. My mind flashed back to past Bears-Falcons games. Which were my favorite? Which did I despise?
Let’s break it down in a new feature I’ll be doing all year.
Favorite Bears-Falcons game
2005: Bears 16, Falcons 3
Brian Urlacher went head-to-head with Michael Vick five times — three against Atlanta (2001, 2002, 2005) and twice against Philly (2010, 2011) — and all five were memorable. The 2001 game is a close second place for me, with Lak chasing down the rookie Vick for two sacks and running back a Vick fumble 90 yards for a touchdown.
That game also featured a nifty TD pass from Marty Booker to Marcus Robinson, as the Bears romped 31-3.
But I’ll take the 2005 game, for three reasons:
- Urlacher crushed Vick again, but this time with both players in their prime.
- This was a huge momentum game for the Bears en route to Super Bowl XLI, with Lovie pulling season-long starter Kyle Orton at halftime for recently-no-longer-injured Rex Grossman, who thrilled the Soldier Field crowd with zippy, downfield passes.
- The bone-chilling cold highlighted the essence of “Bears Weather,” with the Bears showing out against the southern, dome-encased Falcons.
Least Favorite Bears-Falcons game
2008: Falcons 22, Bears 20
With 11 seconds remaining in a game at the Georgia Dome, the 3-2 Bears appeared to be headed to 4-2 as Kyle Orton hooked up in the corner of the end zone with Rashied Davis for a 17-yard touchdown. The game, it seemed, was over.
Then came perhaps the worst three-play sequence I’ve ever watched as a Bears fan:
- Robbie Gould kicks off 36 yards, and the kick is returned 10
- Matt Ryan completes a deep sideline pattern to Michael Jenkins for 36 yards with 1 second remaining
- Jason Elam nails a 48-yard field goal with 0:00 on the clock
In a season full of heartbreakingly close losses (and upliftingly close wins), this one was the weirdest.
Bears-Falcons game I wish I saw
1985: Bears 36, Falcons 0
While I was watching the Bears in 1985 and was swept up in the thrill of that season, I was just a bit too young to process specific games and opponents on a week-to-week basis. This one would have been fun.
Favorite Bear who also played for the Falcons
Devin Hester (2006-2013 Bears, 2014-2015 Falcons)
All hail the GOAT!
Here is the full head-to-head Bears-Falcons log. Refresh your memory and tell me:
What were your favorite Bears-Falcons games?