ATLANTA - I'm sorry, but this can't go on. It should have happened last year, but a benevolent owner got fooled by a late surge. He granted his coach a last chance. This is what his coach has done with it:
Lost the opener at home by 13 points. Blown a 20-point lead on the road. And now, blown a 16-point lead at home.
A week after the Cowboys led only as the clock hit 0:00, the Bears didn't nose ahead until one play beyond the two-minute warning. Anthony Miller ran past reserve cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson to snag a touchdown pass that surely Windy City fans could scarcely believe. But whenever you're playing the Falcons, there's always reason to believe. There's always the DQ Factor.
Only a horribly coached team could have let that onside kicked go unfielded. Only a horribly coached team could have allowed this get-well game - final score: Bears 30, Falcons 26 - turn belly-up. The Falcons are 0-3 headed for a Monday nighter at Lambeau Field. It would take a great coach to make something of this season now. Dan Quinn has spent nearly every working moment since it was 28-3 proving he's not even a good one.
It brings no pleasure to write these words. Quinn is a fine fellow. You'd be comfortable with him watching your kids. (Or grandkids. I'm of that age.) But how many times can the same team lose the same game and expect to get a different result with the same coach? Apologies in advance, for I'm about to use a word I absolutely hate, but here it is:
The Falcons of Quinn are the biggest choke team in the history of sports.
As Goldfinger said to 007 - in the book, not the movie - "Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time is enemy action." The Falcons' biggest enemy has ceased being the opponent. The Falcons' biggest enemy is having this head coach on a headset with a double-digit lead to hold.
Speaking of Chicago (funny how life imitates art): The Bears had every reason to give up on Sunday's game. Their starting quarterback had reminded us why not many folks consider Mitchell Trubisky a starting quarterback. Their backup - the ol' Falcons-killer Nick Foles - saw two of his passes ruled touchdowns, only to be overturned and rendered takeaways by replay review. After three possessions under Foles, his team still trailed by 16 points, and now 9:10 remained.
The Bears' next four possessions: Touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, victory formation.
Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller gets past Falcons cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson for what proved to be the winning touchdown during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Chicago won 30-26. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)