The Chicago Bears lost another close game on the road in a 27-24 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons. The two teams went back and fourth, but the Falcons ultimately outlasted the Bears. Younghoe Koo kicked the game winning field goal with 1:47 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Despite a fantastic first half on the ground from quarterback Justin Fields, rushing 73 yards, he was held to just 12 yards in the second half. And, unfortunately, he also suffered a left shoulder injury at the end of the game.
The Bears went from a 17-point first half to finishing the game with 24 total points. Their offensive struggles against a bad Falcons defense was the difference maker on Sunday.
Here is everything we know about Chicago’s Week 11 loss:
Final Score: Falcons 27, Bears 24
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Keys to the Game
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Justin Fields’ Rushing Hot Streak: Fields went into Sunday’s game hot on the ground. He had a rushing touchdown in each of the last four games, and he scored again in a loss against the Falcons. In addition, he was looking to become the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for 100-plus yards in three straight games. He fell 15 yards shy in an underwhelming second half, that saw the second year quarterback struggle to find rushing lanes and eventually saw him injure his left shoulder. It wasn’t a good finish to the day for Fields.
Defensive Struggles: The surprise of the 2022 season for the Bears has to be their struggling defense. Although, it makes sense given they’ve traded away their two best players in Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. But it’s been especially brutal in the last month. In their last four games, they’ve given up 142 points. That’s an average of 35.5 points per game. Still, with all of those points given up, only two of their eight losses have been by more than eight points.
Cairo Santos’ Range: Despite all of the success Cairo Santos has found as the Bears’ kicker, he has had one flaw – the lack of range. Inside of 50-yards, he is automatic. Once you get past 50-yards, there’s an issue. Santos is yet to hit a kick past 55 yards in his NFL career. He missed a kick on Sunday from 56 yards, which changed the entire game. If the Bears would have punted that ball, chances are Atlanta doesn’t get a field goal before the half and Chicago leads 17-14 at half. Things could have been different.
It was over when...
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It was over when Younghoe Koo kicked a 53-yard game winning kick with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter. This gave the Falcons a 27-24 lead, but they needed a stop, giving the ball back to Chicago.
The Bears got the ball back with three timeouts left. Justin Fields had two rushing plays before throwing a game-losing interception to Jaylinn Hawkins.
Chicago is now 3-8 with six games left this season.
3 Stars of the Game
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*Justin Fields: Outside of the interception, Fields played well on Sunday. He completed 14-of-21 passes for 153 yards for one passing touchdown and rushed for 85 yards on 18 attempts with one rushing touchdown. Fields has tied Kyler Murray for the most games in a row with both a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown with five.
**David Montgomery: Montgomery was a force on the ground against the Falcons. He rushed for 67 yards and one rushing touchdown on 17 carries, along with leading the team in receiving yards with 54 on three catches. It was good to see Montgomery back in the end zone for the first time since Oct. 24.
***Darnell Mooney: Mooney continues to impress with his connection with Fields. The two connected with a beautiful touchdown in the first half, and they almost had a second but Fields overthrew him. Mooney had four catches for 29 yards and one receiving touchdown in Sunday’s loss. He led the team in targets with five.
Justin Fields injury update
Fields suffered a left shoulder injury in Sunday’s loss to the Falcons. It happened on the team’s final series, when Fields was tackled going out of bounds and landed on his left shoulder. While he finished the game — before his game-sealing interception two plays later — his status remains in doubt.
After the game, Fields told the media that he was hurting “pretty bad.” Team doctors are still evaluating the testing Fields went through after the game. Bears coach Matt Eberflus said an injury update will come Wednesday.
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Next week, the Bears will travel to East Rutherford to play the New York Jets at Noon CT. Chicago is 0-1 there this season, losing 20-12 against the New York Giants in Week 4. They’ll look to even out their record — and break their four-game losing streak — with a win against the Jets.