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Falcons Takeoff: Facts, stats, quotes from Week 17 snowy road loss to Bears

Your one-stop shop for an overall statistical and factual look at the Falcons-Bears game in Week 17.

For the 2023 NFL season, digital team reporter Terrin Waack will provide select stellar stats, obscure facts and notable quotes from the most recent game to show how the Atlanta Falcons are taking flight into the new week.

CHICAGO — The Atlanta Falcons lost 37-17 to the Chicago Bears last Sunday for their Week 17 contest at Soldier Field in front of 61,752 ticketed fans.



-- Wide receiver D.J. Moore must have a vendetta against the Falcons, because he sure has a history of carving up their defense. Prior to joining the Bears this past offseason, Moore was with Carolina for five seasons. As a Panther, he had 41 receptions for 718 yards and three touchdown against the Falcons, which is good for an average of 17.5 yards per reception. Moore had nine receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown for the Bears last Sunday. That's 17.7 yards per reception.

-- Falcons quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed a short pass to running back Tyler Allgeier as Atlanta's first play of the second quarter. Allgeier turned it into a 75-yard touchdown reception, hauling it down the sideline and into the end zone. It set new career highs for both Allgeier and Heinicke. Allgeier's longest reception was 46 yards before that. Heinicke's longest previous pass was 73 yards. The 75-yarder also marked the longest play from the Falcons since wide receiver Damiere Byrd's 75-yard touchdown in the Week 7 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

-- The Bears defense hasn't allowed a first-quarter point since Week 10. That streak continued into Week 17 since the Falcons had a zero on the scoreboard entering the second quarter.

-- The Bears compiled 21 points in the first half alone. That's the most points the Falcons have allowed in a first half this season. It's also more points than they've given up in eight complete games this season. The most first-half points previously was 17, twice -- in the Week 4 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Week 6 loss to the Washington Commanders. The most points an opponent had previously totaled was 31 by the Minnesota Vikings in the Falcons' Week 9 loss.


-- With the loss, the Falcons are guaranteed their sixth losing season in a row. They are now 7-9. If Atlanta doesn't add another win in Week 18, then it'll be the fifth out of those six seasons with seven wins in total.

-- Temperature at kickoff was recorded as 32 degrees in Illinois. That's the coldest the Falcons have played in this season by 14 degrees. It was 46 degrees when their Week 15 loss to the Carolina Panthers in North Carolina began. The hottest game the Falcons have played in this season, meanwhile, was their Week 7 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Florida, at 79 degrees. That's 47 degrees hotter, so if taking the two coldest games and adding their temperatures together, they still wouldn't hit the hottest.

-- Falcons cornerback Dee Alford came 13 yards short of turning a Chicago field goal attempt into an Atlanta touchdown. Bears kicker Cairo Santos' 55-yard field-goal attempt fell short enough where Alford was able to catch the ball. Alford made it 96 yards before getting tackled. That's the longest field-goal return in NFL history that did not result in a touchdown.

-- The Bears started this season 0-3 at home and then won five straight at Solider Field.


On his message to the team with one game left and shot at playoffs…

"We've got life. As bad as this one feels, I don't know that you would tell them anything different. We've got to go win this game (against New Orleans)."


Safety Jessie Bates III

On how this loss feels…

"I don't think the score really shows how competitive the game actually was at one point."


Bears quarterback Justin Fields

On the environment at Soldier Field despite the snow…

"I don't like snow as a quarterback, but looking back on it, it was great. Just the atmosphere, the fans, the game. Playing the hometown team where I'm from, beating them, it was good day."


Top 3 rushers

  1. Bears: Khalil Herbert, 18 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown
  2. Falcons: Bijan Robinson, 15 carries for 75 yards
  3. Falcons: Taylor Heinicke, four carries for 46 yards and a touchdown

Top 3 receivers

  1. Bears: D.J. Moore, nine receptions for 159 yards and a touchdown
  2. Falcons: Tyler Allgeier, one reception for 75 yards and a touchdown
  3. Falcons: Drake London, four receptions for 56 yards

Top 3 passers

  1. Bears: Justin Fields, 20-32-0 for 268 yards and a touchdown (sacked three times)
  2. Falcons: Taylor Heinicke, 10-29-3 for 163 yards and a touchdown (sacked twice)
  3. Falcons: Desmond Ridder, 3-4-1 for 17 yards

Top 3 defenders

  1. Falcons: Jessie Bates III, 11 total tackles, nine solo
  2. Falcons: Kaden Elliss, nine total tackles, six solo (a sack)
  3. Falcons: DeMarcco Hellams, six total tackles, six solo


The Falcons (7-9) remain on the road Sunday for their regular-season finale in Week 18 against the New Orleans Saints (8-8) at Caesars Superdome. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET. CBS will carry live coverage.

The Saints are coming off a 23-13 road victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for their own Week 17 matchup.

Get an inside look at the matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field during Week 17.

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