[size=13.3333px]By the time Falcons tight end Austin Hooper pointed skyward and crossed the goal line, so much had gone wrong for the Bears defense. And they had only themselves to blame.
[size=13.3333px]It was a real shame, too. All the fine work they did for three quarters of Sunday's season opener was undermined by one collective breakdown lasting 25 maddening seconds. It resulted in the decisive touchdown in the Bears' 23-17 loss and an example of how razor-thin their margin for error is as they continue to rebuild.
[size=13.3333px]"One play," inside linebacker Danny Trevathan said, "can lose the game."
[size=13.3333px]The stat book reads Hooper caught an 88-yard touchdown from quarterback Matt Ryan on third-and-3 with the Falcons protecting a 13-10 fourth-quarter lead.
[size=13.3333px]That doesn't detail the calamity.
[size=13.3333px]It started before the snap,womens Al Woods Jersey, the Bears were disorganized, as the Falcons broke the huddle. As they got set at the line of scrimmage,womens Jon Bostic Jersey, still breaking their huddle trying to get into position. [size=13.3333px]With the play clock under five seconds,womens Rigoberto Sanchez Jersey, rookie safety Eddie Jackson gesticulated to his teammates. Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman yelled something to Trevathan, and he yelled back.
[size=13.3333px]Did coach John Fox consider calling timeout in that moment?
[size=13.3333px]"We didn't really think we were in disarray,Authentic Jeremy Vujnovich Jersey," he said. "We didn't realize we were in disarray until he caught the ball."
[size=13.3333px]The outside receiver, ran a shallow cross, running back Tevin Coleman, and Jackson came down to cover him. Freeman covered him too.
[size=13.3333px]"We had a miscommunication on the call," Fox said. "The particular call we played was not the call that we had called. But I'm not going to throw people under the bus, obviously."
[size=13.3333px]but he finally saw Hooper uncovered near midfield and delivered the throw.,The defensive line almost covered up the bust. Ryan was pressured and tried to extend the play inside the pocket. He brought the ball partway downwomens Jeremy Vujnovich Jersey, [size=13.3333px]and I felt like it was like autopilot.,"I swear to God,Authentic Al Woods Jersey," Hooper said. "I'm not even kidding — I think I blacked out for like a part of it. And then I caught it,Authentic Jon Bostic Jersey, I felt like I lived a lifetime in my head when the ball was in the air [size=13.3333px]"I was present in the moment,Authentic Rigoberto Sanchez Jerseythis is pretty cool.'",Authentic Antonio Morrison Jersey, but, honestly,womens Matthias Farley Jersey, and I was like,womens Antonio Morrison Jersey,I just remember going in the end zone after I stiff-armed somebody and seeing all of my teammates in the end zone. I saw it on a replay, and it sunk in, 'Oh
[size=13.3333px]retreated in full emergency mode after Ryan threw the pass.,Yes, who had rolled coverage toward Falcons receiver Julio Jones on the other side of the field, the stiff arm. Safety Quintin Demps
[size=13.3333px]He caught up to Hooper at the Bears' 32-yard line with a chance to stop the damage. But Hooper shoved his left arm into Demps' chest and put the veteran safety on his back.
[size=13.3333px]" Demps said. "It was piss-poor football on my part.","I've definitely got to make the tacklewomens Deyshawn Bond Jersey, [size=13.3333px]The multifaceted breakdown gave the Falcons a 10-point lead they never relinquished. And it left the Bears with a bitter end to a defensive performance that, might have been worthy of victory., without itwomens Rashaan Melvin Jersey,
[size=13.3333px]" defensive end Akiem Hicks said. "It always hurts. You've got to take the hurt and look forward to the day when you're on top.","It hurts