After a slow start in Sunday's 23-17 season-opening loss to the Falcons at Soldier Field, quarterback Mike Glennon and the Bears passing game heated up.
Held to 22 net yards passing through the first three quarters, Glennon engineered an impressive 75-yard touchdown drive and then marched the offense down the field again before ultimately coming up five yards short of the go-ahead touchdown.
Glennon finished the game completing 26 of 40 passes for 213 yards with one touchdown, no turnovers and an 86.8 passer rating while being sacked four times.
"I thought the guys responded pretty well to him," said coach John Fox. "It wasn't always smooth. Like all opening games, they aren't oiled up really well., You have a lot of new people. In our case, we had our quarterback's first time in the offense. I think he operated the team very well.
View photos from the game as the Bears take on the Falcons at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Starting a season opener for the first time in his five-year NFL career, Glennon connected on just 8 of 13 passes for 50 yards while being sacked three times for 28 yards in losses through the first three periods.
After the Falcons increased their lead to 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, Glennon completed 7 of 9 passes for 70 yards on the Bears' subsequent drive, including a 19-yard touchdown to rookie running back Tarik Cohen.
'He showed a lot of resiliency," Cohen said. People were going to count him out; the crowd was booing a little bit. He just fought that adversity and showed up. He's a playmaker; he's a baller. That's what we expected him to do, and he led his team."
So close: After reaching the 5-yard line with :21 left in Sunday's game, Glennon threw three straight incompletions. The first one went off the hands of a diving Bellamy, who had a defender draped on his back in the end zone.
"It was close," Glennon said. "I think I led him a little too much. He ran a good route."
On second down, running back Jordan Howard failed to haul in a pass that was slightly behind him along the sideline at the 1-yard line.
After failing to connect with tight end Zach Miller on third down, Glennon was sacked from behind by defensive end Brooks reed on fourth down.
"They played man coverage," Glennon said. "I was hoping to make a play on it, try to step up, create something to extend the play. We'll look at it to see what I could have done differently. I just tried to extend the play and see if we could find a way to get in there."
Impact player: One day after signing a four-year contract extension through 2021, defensive end Akiem Hicks recorded he Bears' only two sacks Sunday, tying his career high. Hicks had two sacks twice last year against the Vikings Oct. 31 and 49ers Dec. 4.
The six-year NFL veteran also drew a costly roughing-the-passer penalty. With the game tied 10-10 in the third quarter, the Bears had seemingly forced the Falcons to punt following a third-down incompletion. But Hicks was flagged for a late hit on quarterback Matt Ryan, resulting in an automatic first down.
The Falcons capped the possession with Matt Bryant's go-ahead 28-yard field goal.
News and notes: Receiver Kevin White (shoulder) and running back Benny Cunningham (ankle) exited Sunday's game with injuries. … Tom Compton started against his former team at left guard in place of the injured Kyle Long (ankle), with Cody Whitehair opening at center. … Receiver Markus Wheaton (finger) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (ankle) also did not play. Other inactives were quarterback Mark Sanchez, receiver Tre McBride, running back Taquan Mizzell and defensive tackle John Jenkins.