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Rapid Recap: Bears cruise to win over Falcons


Justin Fields generated 313 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns and the defense intercepted four passes to propel the Bears to a 37-17 win over the Falcons on a snowy Sunday at Soldier Field.

Fields completed 20 of 32 passes for 268 yards with one TD, no turnovers and a 99.5 passer rating and rushed for 45 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries.

DJ Moore caught nine passes for 159 yards and one TD, and Khalil Herbert rushed for 124 yards and one touchdown.

Tyrique Stevenson intercepted two passes for the Bears, while T.J. Edwards and Kyler Gordon each registered one pick.

"Excited that we played really good complementary football," said coach Matt Eberflus. "We obviously have adversities during a football game, and the way you handle those is by just keep executing and doing a good job hanging together. I thought the guys did a nice job of that for the most part."

With their fifth straight home victory, the Bears improved to 7-9 on the season. They've now won five of their last seven games and four of their last five.

"Whenever you play a game and don't turn the ball over, it's always going to help the team," Fields said. "Defense did a good job and helped us on offense. It was a team win and everybody did their job on the three phases."

Fields displayed his dynamic playmaking ability throughout Sunday's game. He completed six passes of 23 yards or more, including gains of 32, 32, 28 and 23 yards to Moore. Fields also routinely extended plays with his legs. On third-and-8 from the Bears' 35 in the third quarter, he somehow avoided a sack by twisting out of the grasp of two defenders and scrambled 13 yards for a first down.

"He's special," Herbert said. "You never know what he's going to do in that pocket, being able to make plays and get out of sacks. He's special. I shake my head on the sideline watching because I don't know how he does it."

After winning the coin toss and electing to receive, the Falcons gained 22 and 21 yards on the game's first two plays on a Taylor Heinicke pass to receiver Drake London and a run by running back Bijan Robinson. But Atlanta's drive stalled and Younghoe Koo missed a 50-yard field goal attempt well short.

The Bears followed by taking a 7-0 lead on Fields' 7-yard touchdown pass to Moore in the left corner of the end zone on third-and-goal. Fields completed 4 of 5 passes for 62 yards on the drive, including a 32-yard strike to Moore on the first play.

"Your opening series, you want to feed your best player," Eberflus said. "I think that's important to do. You want to let the other team know he's here and you've got to cover him. So it's really good by Luke [Getsy] and obviously Justin connecting with DJ."

The Falcons reached the Bears' 24, but Koo missed his second straight field-goal try, hitting the left upright from 42 yards.

The Bears then increased their lead to 14-0 on Fields' 9-yard touchdown scramble around left end early in the second quarter, capping an eight-play, 68-yard drive.

The Falcons answered on their next play from scrimmage as running back Tyler Allgeier turned a screen pass from Heinicke into a 75-yard touchdown, sprinting up the right sideline to draw Atlanta to within 14-7.

The Bears scored their third touchdown of the first half on Roschon Johnson's 2-yard run up the middle, widening the margin to 21-7 with 4:07 to play in the second quarter. Johnson followed blocks by center Lucas Patrick and left guard Teven Jenkins.

The TD came one play after Fields gained one yard on a "tush-push" play on fourth-and-1 from the 3.

"The offense came out and did a really nice job in the first half," Eberflus said. "Really loved the way we were feeding DJ in the first half. That was really good. And had some explosives, not only in the first half but the entire day. We were aggressive, had an aggressive mindset during the course of this game. We knew we were playing a good football team. We certainly needed to be in that mode."

The Bears had a chance to extend their lead when Edwards made a diving interception and returned it two yards to the Falcons' 37 with 1:02 left in the half.

But the offense failed to advance and Cairo Santos' 55-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the half was short. The kick was caught nine yards deep in the end zone by cornerback Dee Alford, who returned it 96 yards to the Chicago 13, where Robert Tonyan made a touchdown-saving tackle.

Santos' 22-yard field goal on the opening possession of the second half gave the Bears a 24-7 lead. The kick was set up by Fields' 28-yard pass to Moore and Herbert's 35-yard run.

The Falcons answered as Koo's 38-yard field goal cut the deficit to 24-10 midway through the third quarter.

The Bears generated their second takeaway as Stevenson intercepted a Heinicke pass and returned it seven yards to the Atlanta 46.

The Bears converted the turnover into Santos' 42-yard field goal, extending their lead to 27-10 late in the third quarter. The kick was set up by Fields' 23-yard pass to Moore.

Heinicke followed by scrambling for a 24-yard touchdown, drawing the Falcons to within 27-17 with 12:22 remaining in the fourth quarter.

But the Bears closed the game emphatically, scoring the final 10 points on Santos' 42-yard field goal with 4:59 to play and Herbert's 1-yard TD run with 3:39 left. The TD was set up by Gordon's interception, and Stevenson followed by picking off his second pass of the day with 2:07 remaining.

"To close those games out, that's what we talk about in the fourth quarter," Eberflus said. "The first thing in the fourth quarter is the ball. We've got to protect it on offense, and great job on defense taking it away."

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