The 2020 Chicago Bears may be lucky, but they’re also undefeated, and 3-0 looks the same whether you get there by a lot of points or by a few points.
Are there some issues this team has to work out? Of course, but the decision to pull Mitchel Trubisky for Nick Foles after Mitch’s third quarter interception could lead to more overall consistency from the offense.
At least that’s the hope.
During Trubisky’s half and a series, the Bears racked up 207 total yards on offense, and During Foles’ time under center Chicago picked up 230, but more importantly the Bears scored 20 second half points to rally and beat the Atlanta Falcons 30 to 26.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Bears are the first team in NFL history to win two games in a single season where they were losing by at least 16 points entering the fourth quarter. Trubisky’s three fourth quarter touchdowns helped them come back in week 1 against the Lions, and Foles’ three fourth quarter TDs helped bring them back yesterday.
Foles may not be the athlete that Trubisky is, and his arm may not be as lively, but Foles makes up for any physical limitations by understanding defenses and knowing where to go with the ball. His command of the offense is also at a level we haven’t seen in Chicago for a while now, and the go-ahead touchdown in the 4th showed just that.
“When we were in the huddle, I had explained to Anthony that if I do happen to kill it, I’m going to throw it to the L.” Foles explained in his post game press conference about his third TD of the quarter to Anthony Miller.
Foles knew if he had to kill the first play called due to the defense’s look, that Miller would likely have a good chance to run one on one to the “L” in ATL in the end zone.
“So get to the L and it’ll be a pretty stiff ball,” Foles said he told Miller, “so I knew just in case I didn’t have time to get it off cleanly, he would be there.”
He did get it off cleanly, but just barely.
#Bears-#Falcons— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) September 28, 2020
Nick Foles’ game-winner to Anthony Miller.
Double-post concept on 3rd down — vs. zero-man (pressure).
You want to see the secondary maintain leverage here (take away in-breakers). But Miller does influence the coverage technique at the break. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/jHv4LA1ee5
This Bears team has some decent weapons on offense, but it has lacked consistency for over a year now. Nick Foles’ cerebral approach to the game may provide head coach and play caller Matt Nagy the point guard he’s been looking for to run his offense.
With the fearless way Foles stands in the pocket to deliver the ball the odds are good that we’ll see Trubisky again this year, but in the meantime it looks like the Nick “The Cerebral Assassin” Foles will be running the show.
Overall the Bears outgained the Falcons, 437 yards to 371, and they had the time of possession edge, 34:50 to 25:10.
The Falcons had a slight edge in converting third downs, 4-13 (31%) to 4-15 (27%), but the Bears did go 1 for 2 on fourth downs. The penalties were also slanted towards Atlanta’s favor with them getting hit with 7 flags for 75 yards while the Bears were flagged 10 times for 80 yards.
But now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, and also some individual stats.
Trubisky went 13 of 22, for 128 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, for a passer rating of 71.8, and he had a huge 45 yard scramble. He also had a big tackle after his pick.
Foles was 16 of 29, for 188 yards, with 3 TDs, 1 INT, and a passer rating of 95.2
And for those of you that noticed, Foles removed his visor after his first series, so I had to break those numbers out as well!
#Bears QB Nick Foles without the visor: 14 for 25, 157 yards, 3 TDs, 114.5 passer rating— Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. (@wiltfongjr) September 27, 2020
Nick Foles with the visor on the first drive: 2 for 4, 31 yards, 1 INT, 36.5 rating
Photo from Todd Kirkland/Getty Images pic.twitter.com/fVnkWAKjvH
Allen Robinson had a game high 10 receptions for 123 yards and 1 TD, and Jimmy Graham had 6 catches for 60 yards and 2 TDs.
David Montgomery had 45 yards rushing on 14 carrier (3.2 ypc), and he had 2 catches for 9 yards.
Before he left with an injury, Tarik Cohen was making an impact with 2 runs for 21 yards and 3 catches for 20.
Rookie Darnell Mooney may have only had 2 receptions for 19 yards, but he was targeted 5 times, and he saw his snaps count increase again this week to 51 after having 21 week 1 and 39 week 2.
Interesting to note that the tight end usage continues to be up this season for the Bears. I wonder if that continues with Foles under center or if the Bears go back to more shotgun/spread looks.
Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. also appeared to get in for a snap on offense. If that wasn’t a stat-keeper error, I’ll have to assume he came in on a goal line package.
Akiem Hicks was a dominant force in the game with 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 tackle for loss, and 5 quarterback hits.
Khalil Mack had 5 tackles, .5 a sack, and 2 QB hits, but Robert Quinn was blanked in his 32 snaps.
Eddie Jackson led the team in tackles with 7, and fellow safety Taushaun Gipson had the Bears interception to go along with 6 tackles of his own.
Roquan Smith and Buster Skrine each had 6 tackles as well.
Danny Trevathan (5 tackles) was still coming off the field when the Bears went into sub packages, but not as often as last week. In Detroit, when his struggles first appeared, he played 90% of the reps on D, then week 2 against the Giants the Bears scaled that back to 48%. The numbers from yesterday suggest that Deon Bush was his sub in some passing situations, and I’m good if that’s the plan moving forward.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Sherrick McManis, who left the game with a hamstring injury, has 2 special teams’ tackles.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Deon Bush, and Joel Iyiegbuniwe each had a tackle in the third phase too. Patterson added 91 yards on his three kickoff returns.
Cairo Santos was perfect on his 3 extra point tries, but he was 1 for 2 on field goals.
Patrick O’Donnell had a 53.8 punting average (45.8 net), with one punt [laced inside the 20 yard line.
To check out the full Bears vs Falcons box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.