Bears veteran quarterback Nick Foles came off the bench to replace Mitchell Trubisky and guided Chicago (3-0) to a dramatic come-from-behind 30-26 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Bears coach Matt Nagy benched Trubisky in favor of Foles with Chicago trailing by 16 points in the third quarter. Foles responded by throwing three second-half touchdown passes, including the game-winning 28-yard strike to Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller just after the two-minute warning.
Foles also had touchdown passes to Allen Robinson and Jimmy Graham. He finished the game 16-for-29 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Foles had two additional touchdown passes overturned by the officials.
"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."
Trubisky went 13-for-22 for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception (71.8 passer rating). The Bears were an ineffective 1-of-8 on third down, with several of Trubisky's downfield passes being off the mark. Trubisky overthrew a wide-open Miller on what would have been a touchdown completion before halftime.
On his first drive, Foles, 31, promptly moved the Bears downfield, but the drive ended when Falcons cornerback Darqueze Dennard wrestled a ball away from Robinson in the end zone. The official initially ruled the play a touchdown for the Bears but reversed the call to an interception for Atlanta and a touchback.
Nagy announced on Sept. 6 that Trubisky won the starting job over Foles in training camp. After Sunday's game, he would not name Foles the starter heading into Week 4.
"I think that's what we'll do is we'll go back and just kind of enjoy this one right now, and we'll talk through where we're at and what we think is the best decision moving forward," Nagy said. "Honestly, we're not there right now.
"But I think that there's something here that we've just got to discuss and just go through and talk through the situation and understand there's these feelings that these kids are going through right now, and I think we just want to enjoy the win right now."
Trubisky, whom Chicago selected second overall in the 2017 NFL draft, ahead of Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, led Chicago to a 2-0 start in 2020. He rallied the Bears against the Lions in Week 1 when he fired three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to complete a 27-23 comeback win. Trubisky, 26, was largely ineffective for the first three quarters at Ford Field before the late heroics.
"The situation sucked, but it was just the flow of the game and how it happened and Coach made the decision that he felt was best for the team," Trubisky said of getting benched. "I'm really happy for this team. They battled back and it was awesome to get a W, but it sucks to get news like that."
Last Sunday, Trubisky completed 18 of 28 pass attempts for 190 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as Chicago hung on to beat the New York Giants 17-13.
In 2018, Nagy's first season as head coach, the Bears went 12-4 as Trubisky passed for 3,223 yards and 24 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and rushed for 421 yards and three scores. Trubisky, while playing much of last season with a shoulder injury that required surgery in January, ranked 28th in the NFL in Total QBR (39.4) and tied for 27th in touchdown passes (17), 21st in passing yards (3,138), 32nd in yards gained per pass attempt (6.1) and 28th in traditional quarterback rating (83.0) as the Bears finished 8-8.
Chicago traded for Foles -- the MVP of Super Bowl LII while with the Philadelphia Eagles -- at the onset of the new league year. The Bears later declined Trubisky's fifth-year option and announced an open quarterback competition in training camp.