ATLANTA – The Bears will look to end a three-game losing streak Sunday when they take on the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Quarterback Justin Fields will try to keep the positive mojo going for his offense, which has scored at least 29 points in three consecutive games. Bears head coach Matt Eberflus will try to get his defense performing at a higher level to match his high-powered offense. The defense will be tasked with stopping QB Marcus Mariota and the Falcons.
Follow @bears_insider for live updates all game long. Shaw Local Bears beat reporter Sean Hammond is covering the game live from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Follow him on Twitter at @sean_hammond and on Instagram at @bears_reporter.
Catch up on all the latest Bears news below, and stay here all game long for live updates from Atlanta.
Justin Fields picked off in crunch time; Falcons win
The Bears took over with 1:47 remaining in the game, needing at least three points. Justin Fields took a hard hit and appeared to be dealing with some pain in his left shoulder.
A couple plays later, Fields threw an interception on a tipped pass. The ball was intended for David Montgomery, went off Montgomery’s fingertips and fell into the arms of Atlanta’s Jaylinn Hawkins.
The Falcons ran out the clock for a victory, 27-24.
Falcons take a late lead
Jaylon Johnson played great coverage on third down to force an incompletion from the Falcons. Falcons kicker Younghoe Koo made a 53-yard field goal to take the lead, 27-24, with 1:47 remaining in the game.
David Montgomery scores to tie up the game
Justin Fields and the Bears’ offense drove 75 yards on 13 plays early in the fourth quarter to tie up the game. Running back David Montogmery punched in a 2-yard touchdown run. The score came just after the Bears drew a defensive holding penalty against the Falcons.
The Bears pulled even with the Falcons, 24-24.
Mariota’s touchdown gives Falcons a lead
Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota ran in a 10-yard touchdown to give his team a lead, 24-17, late in the third quarter.
The Falcons drove 61 yards on six plays, with the help of 15 penalty yards against the Bears.
Bears starting cornerback Kyler Gordon left the game with an apparent injury shortly after Mariota’s touchdown. Gordon walked back to the team locker room with the trainers.
Falcons add field goal; game tied at halftime
With the Bears driving, Justin Fields threw a pass off the back of right guard Michael Schofield’s helmet on third down. Kicker Cairo Santos then missed a 56-yard field goal attempt. The kick just barely grazed the goal post.
The long missed kick gave the Falcons the ball at their own 46-yard line. They picked up 32 yards on seven plays and ended the half with a 40-yard field goal from kicker Younghoe Koo to tie up the game.
At halftime, the Bears and Falcons were tied, 17-17.
Cordarrelle Patterson sets NFL kick return record with another touchdown
Former Bears player Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter. It marked Patterson’s nine career kickoff return touchdown – a new NFL record. It pulled Atlanta closer, 17-14.
Patterson’s touchdown came not long after he had coughed up a fumble on offense. The Bears were well award of Patterson’s kick return prowess. He returned a kick for a touchdown as a member of the Bears a few years ago. The Bears elected to kick to Patterson on Sunday. The touchdown came on his third return of the game.
Justin Fields punches in rushing touchdown
Justin Fields ran in a 4-yard touchdown, following blocks from receiver Equanimeous St. Brown and tight end Cole Kmet. The score gave the Bears a 10-point advantage, 17-7, with 4:31 remaining in the second quarter.
Jaylon Johnson’s fumble recovery moments earlier gave the Bears great field position. They capitalized with a seven-play, 28-yard touchdown drive.
Jaylon Johnson recovers Cordarrelle Patterson’s fumble
Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson wouldn’t go down. He broke several tackles on a first-down run – then he lost the football. Patterson fumbled after a 19-yard gain. Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson picked up the loose ball and returned it 18 yards to the Falcons’ 28-yard line.
It set up the Bears with great field position. Safety Jaquan Brisker earned credit for the forced fumble.
Cairo Santos puts the Bears in front
A 41-yard field goal from kicker Cairo Santos gave the Bears their first lead of the afternoon, 10-7, with 7:42 remaining in the second quarter. The field goal capped off a seven-play, 47-yard drive for the Bears’ offense.
Tight end Cole Kmet made a ridiculous one-handed catch earlier on the possession. It went for a 24-yard gain to get the Bears into field goal range.
Trevis Gipson suffers apparent leg injury
Bears defensive end Trevis Gipson was rushing toward Atlanta quarterback Marcus Mariota when teammate Mike Pennel fell into Gipson’s legs. Gipson appeared to suffer an injury on the play early in the second quarter.
Gipson remained down on the turf for several minutes before gingerly walking off with the trainers.
Update: Gipson did later return to the game after having his ankle taped up.
Justin Fields connects with Darnell Mooney for a touchdown
Quarterback Justin Fields connected with receiver Darnell Mooney for a 16-yard touchdown pass to get the Bears on the board. They pulled even with Atlanta, 7-7, midway through the first quarter.
The touchdown came on a third-and-8 play. Receiver Equanimeous St. Brown disrupted things for the defensive back who was supposed to be guarding Mooney. It led to a wide-open touchdown.
The Bears drove 44 yards on seven plays following a 55-yard kick return from Velus Jones Jr.
Falcons score first
Marcus Mariota scrambled out to his left on first-and-goal from the 2-yard line. He found rookie receiver Drake London in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown. The Falcons took an early lead, 7-0.
Atlanta drove 75 yards on 10 plays on the opening possession of the game. A neutral zone infraction against Bears defensive tackle Justin Jones kept the possession alive on a third-and-1 earlier in the drive.
Injury updates and inactives
Update: Right guard Teven Jenkins and rookie receiver Velus Jones Jr. are both active and will play Sunday.
Inactive for the Bears is receiver N’Keal Harry, cornerback Lamar Jackson, cornerback Justin Layne, safety Dane Cruikshank, guard Ja’Tyre Carter and tackle Alex Leatherwood.
The biggest question mark was the status of right guard Teven Jenkins, who said on Friday that he has been dealing with a hip injury for several weeks. Jenkins missed last week’s game against the Detroit Lions and sat out several days of practice ahead of this week’s game.
Receiver N’Keal Harry (illness) and safety/special teamer Dane Cruikshank (hamstring) were ruled out Friday. Defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad (knee) and cornerback Kindle Vildor (ankle) were both listed as questionable but will play.
Tight end Cole Kmet, cornerback Kyler Gordon and running back David Montgomery, who all missed practice at times this week, hold no injury designations and are expected to play.
The Bears placed running back Khalil Herbert on injured reserve earlier this week. Herbert will miss at least four games. They called up running back Darrynton Evans from the practice squad on Saturday.
Can Justin Fields keep it going?
Fields took some extra time to rest this week, easing up in practice a little bit after a historic stretch running the football.
If he’s going to keep this pace up, Atlanta would be a great defense to do it against. The Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the league, particularly against the pass.
Fields has rushed for 555 yards over the past five games. He set the single-game QB regular season record with 178 yards against Miami two weeks ago, then followed it up with 147 yards against the Lions last week.
He will be playing in his hometown against a Falcons team he grew up rooting for.
What to expect from Atlanta?
The Falcons, like the Bears, boast one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL. They entered Week 11 ranked fourth among 32 NFL teams in rushing. This should be a tough test for a Bears defense that hasn’t faired well against the run.
Former Bear Cordarrelle Patterson will be a familiar face on the other side. Patterson has found success as a running back in Atlanta and is still a major threat on kickoff. Here’s five things to watch in Sunday’s game.
How is the Shaw Local staff feeling about this matchup for the Bears? Check out our staff picks here.
For your pregame listening, check out the Shaw Local Bears Insider podcast.
What else did I miss this week?
Here’s what else was in the news at Halas Hall this week.