Three-and-Out: Bears’ defense has many missed tackles to regret
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Three quick thoughts and observations from the Bears’ 23-17 loss to the Falcons on Sunday.
1. Tackling issues
Falcons tight end Austin Hooper’s 88-yard touchdown catch — the longest by a tight end in a season opener in NFL history — will be remembered for his strong stiff-arm on safety Quintin Demps.
But Demps isn’t the only Bears player who will shudder during the film review of the team’s 23-17 loss Sunday. Hooper also stiff-armed cornerback Kyle Fuller and ran through rookie safety Eddie Jackson on a 40-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter.
There were more missed tackles, too.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan escaped the pocket and ran for a first down to the Bears’ 5 on a second-and-13 play. Running back Devonta Freeman scored on the ensuing play.
2. A missed opportunity
Cornerback Marcus Cooper held his own against Falcons star Julio Jones (four catches, 66 yards), but he missed his chance to change the game.
And he knows it.
Cooper jumped Jones’ curl route on a first-down play from the Bears’ 25 in the fourth quarter. He broke up the pass, but he thought he should have had an interception — and maybe a pick-six.
‘‘Such a small margin,’’ Cooper said. ‘‘It really comes down to a missed opportunity for me.’’
3. Just kicking it
Kicker Connor Barth had a strong game. He made a 54-yard field goal in the second quarter, and his directional kicking limited Falcons return man Andre Roberts after Roberts’ 63-yard, game-opening return was called back because of a holding penalty.
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