The Atlanta Falcons beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday 27-24 in a game that highlighted both what makes this team so fun and yet so frustrating. Atlanta fell behind 17-7 on Sunday after a surprising fumble and familiar struggles on defense.
Cordarrelle Patterson redeemed himself, however, with a record-setting kick return touchdown to bring the Falcons within three to allow them to mount a late drive that would end with Koo tying the game at 17 at the half.
Marcus Mariota scrambled for a touchdown in the second half to give the Falcons a 24-17 lead they would quickly relinquish defensively. Justin Fields sliced through the defense and tied the game before the Bears sputtered offensively giving the Falcons a late drive to take a three-point lead.
Thanks to poor play calling and a terrible throw from a clearly injured Justin Fields the Falcons held on and kept the hopes of their season alive. They trail the division-leading Bucs by only a half-game and have winnable games ahead of them including a showdown against Tom Brady in the final week of the season.
While Atlanta is fun to watch this season and far more interesting than they have been in seasons past Sunday was a clear example of why this team isn’t going to be able to end the playoff drought this season.
Despite an impressive pass rush the Falcons’ defense continued to play passively far too often allowing Fields to drive up and down the field with regularity. Add in Atlanta’s continued struggles at the quarterback position and it is hard to see a reason to believe in this team despite the win.
Two things can be true of this Atlanta team, the first being this is by far the most fun group to watch Atlanta has had over the last five years as well as the fact that this team simply isn’t very good.
Their ability to play together as a unit and undying mentality will continue to grant entertaining games this season. The problem comes in the fact they have a defense they cannot rely on to get a clutch stops against capable offenses and a quarterback in Mariota they cannot trust to accomplish the mundane.
Atlanta has a fun team to watch but don’t let this Sunday’s win fool you this is still a rebuilding team who needs at least another year to find an answer at quarterback and allow a defense to grow up and find playmakers.