The Atlanta Falcons took over possession with 4:21 remaining, holding a three-point lead over the Bears on Sunday.
What happened next, and I don’t think this is hyperbole, was one of the worst drives in NFL history.
Want to know why the Falcons Falconed up a game for the second straight week? This is breathtaking:
-Matt Ryan throws incomplete to Brian Hill (Akiem Hicks pressured Ryan, who threw what otherwise would’ve been a high-percentage check down)
-Ryan throw incomplete to Ito Smith (quick throw, Khalil Mack might’ve altered Ryan’s angle, but it came from an empty backfield)
-False start on Calvin Ridley, leading to third and 15
-Ryan throws incomplete to Olamide Zaccheaus (had a step, but Ryan couldn’t step into throw due to Bears’ pressure).
Three incomplete passes. A whole 11 seconds taken off the clock.
“We said on the sideline, we’re gonna stop the run – run, run, pass,” safety Tashaun Gipson said. “For them to come out there and do that, obviously I’m not on their sideline, I can’t judge their coaching, I’m just happy we got the win.
“But it was a big shock, as a defensive player, the method in which they came out to do that. … For them to come out, their play choice was a bit confusing on my end.”
Make no mistake, the Bears won this game more than the Falcons lost it. You don’t just overcome a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit because the other team has an aversion to making plays with a lead. Foles was stellar, Allen Robinson couldn’t be tackled, Jimmy Graham couldn’t be guarded and Miller came down with his second game-winning touchdown in three weeks.
In the process, the Bears made NFL history:
And they did it with two different quarterbacks. Amazing.
While you might hear some Guatemalan Insanity Pepper-level spicy takes this week about the Bears being the worst 3-0 team in NFL history, or that they’re lucky to not be 0-3, at some point we need to acknowledge how important these kind of wins can be. The Bears can genuinely believe they’re not out of any game in 2020, no matter how high their opponents’ win percentage rises (Atlanta’s peak? 99.6 percent).
And that counts for something.
“When you’re able to do things like this, to block out all the noise and to block out all the BS and come off with lessons off of wins, that’s when you know you’re building something special,” Graham said. “And that’s when you know that you guys as a group can do some special things moving forward.”
So, sure, the Falcons did what the Falcons so famously do on Sunday. The Falcons Falconed. But the Bears did what the Bears, apparently, can do in 2020, in wiping out a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.
Of course, the Bears would hope they don’t have to do this every week to win. But they’re 3-0 because of two incredible – and now historic – comebacks.
“I’m getting a little older so I gotta watch out,” the 33-year-old Graham said. “I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”