Friday April 19th, 2024 11:22PM

Falcons playoff hopes take another hit in loss to Bears

By Andrew Seligman AP Sports Writer

CHICAGO — Justin Fields threw for 268 yards with a touchdown pass and a rushing TD in what could be his final home game for Chicago, and Bears dealt Atlanta’s postseason hopes a big blow, beating the Falcons 37-17 on a snowy Sunday.

D.J. Moore finished with nine catches for 159 yards and a touchdown, and Khalil Herbert ran for 124 yards and a score.

With little wiggle room to make the playoffs for the first time since 2017 — and coach Arthur Smith's future in question — the Falcons (7-9) got overwhelmed by Chicago (7-9).

The Bears grabbed a 21-7 halftime lead with Fields and Moore leading the way and rolled to their fourth win in five games.

Fields completed 20 of 32 passes. He also ran for 45 yards with his future as murky as ever. The Bears acquired Carolina’s first-round pick in the trade for Moore last March and could be in position to draft Caleb Williams or Drake Maye if they decide to move on from the former Ohio State star.

Fields threw a neat 7-yard touchdown pass to Moore on Chicago’s first drive and ran for a 9-yard score on the next possession to make it 14-0 early in the second quarter.

Herbert set a season high for the second straight week after rushing for 112 yards last Sunday in a win over Arizona.

Roschon Johnson ran for a TD. Tyrique Stevenson had two of Chicago’s four interceptions.

The Falcons struggled to get going on offense after setting a season high in scoring last week in a 29-10 win over Indianapolis. They finished with 307 yards, a week after gaining 406.

Taylor Heinicke, making his second straight start with Desmond Ridder benched, threw for 163 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. He scrambled 24 yards for a TD early in the fourth quarter to cut it to 27-17, before getting replaced by Ridder near the end of the game. Ridder threw a late pick with the game out of reach.

Atlanta running back Bijan Robinson tied William Andrews’ team rookie record of 1,332 scrimmage yards, set in 1979. He had 75 yards rushing and 11 receiving.

Tyler Allgeier turned a screen pass into a 75-yard touchdown in the second quarter. But the usually reliable Younghoe Koo had a rough time in the windy conditions, missing two early field goals as Atlanta fell to 2-6 on the road.


Falcons: CB Mike Hughes exited with a concussion after he was hurt late in the third quarter defending a pass to a lunging Tyler Scott in the end zone that hit off the receiver’s hands. ... C Drew Dalman (ankle) was injured late in the game. ... DL Zach Harrison (knee) missed some time but returned. He was hurt late in the first quarter when he wound up at the bottom of the pile following a run by Velus Jones Jr.

Bears: CB Jaylon Johnson (shoulder) left after he was hurt making a tackle on Robinson late in the second quarter.


Falcons: Visit New Orleans next weekend.

Bears: Visit Green Bay next weekend.

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