Last Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons was an eventful one for the Chicago Bears, to say the least. The Bears notched their second comeback of 16+ points in the last three games, and they also did something they have yet to do in the Matt Nagy era: they benched Mitchell Trubisky in favor of veteran Nick Foles.
Foles’ impact was immediate, and his presence was clearly felt by his teammates. The former Super Bowl MVP finished the game going 16-29 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The interception was a controversial call in which officials initially ruled a touchdown on a jump ball Allen Robinson and Falcons corner Darqueze Dennard both had their hands on. Dennard wrestled it away, though, and the call was reversed, giving the Falcons a touchback.
Still, Foles kept throwing bombs downfield, and he did it cold, coming off the bench. When meeting with the media after the game, Coach Nagy revealed the exact moment he knew it was time to make the switch from Trubisky to Foles.
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Nagy on QB Switch: ‘There is a Gut Feeling’
“I think really when I knew it (was time to pull Trubisky) was the interception there on third down,” Nagy said after the game. “We were struggling on third down a lot. We weren’t producing points in the red zone and I just think that sometimes there is a gut feeling as to when to do it. That seemed like the right time.”
Trubisky had just thrown an ill-advised interception to Blidi Wreh-Wilson, but there were several other missed opportunities earlier in the game — and in previous games — and Nagy had seen enough.
“That seemed like the right time. It’s never fun. You guys understand these relationships we build with these guys, these players. They’re strong relationships. It’s not easy,” Nagy said.
Foles Will Be the Guy in Chicago Moving Forward
For his part, Foles has always thrived in a backup role, but durability is a primary concern. He has had multiple injuries to his shoulder and clavicle, so his health will be the biggest key to his success in Chicago. We only have one performance against Atlanta to go on, but it was a pretty impressive start.
“It’s not easy coming in cold like that,” Foles said after the win. “But if you can approach it with a mindset of ‘Hey, one play at a time, you can’t get all those points back in one throw,’ that helps a lot.”
The savvy vet will now give the Bears offense the most established veteran they’ve had since … well, ever, as Chicago has never had a Super Bowl MVP under center before. But don’t expect Foles to make a fuss about it.
“I just wasn’t expecting this today,” Foles said after the game. “Obviously we went out there today and got a win as a team. I felt good out there. Not perfect. But I felt good.”
Not perfect, but still good — and still undefeated. Bears fans will take it.