(670 The Score) With the Bears struggling and heading toward their first loss, coach Matt Nagy made the change Sunday.
Mitchell Trubisky was benched as the Bears' quarterback early in the third quarter and Nick Foles entered, leading his team back from a 16-point deficit and to a 30-26 victory over the Falcons in Atlanta. It marked the Bears' second fourth-quarter comeback in their first three games and signaled potentially lasting change for the franchise.
Foles was 16-of-29 for 188 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Those three scores came in a stretch of 4:27 in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning 28-yard touchdown pass to receiver Anthony Miller with 1:53 left.
"He kind of has a history in these big moments of making things happen," Nagy said of Foles.
Trubisky and the Bears had sputtered during the first half, missing on opportunities while the Falcons took a 16-10 halftime lead. Trubisky missed a deep ball to Miller late in the first half. Then came one of his worst plays in a Bears uniform early in the third quarter -- a interception on third-and-8 that was short of the first-down marker, thrown poorly and without recognition of an emerging defender.
Nagy had seen enough with the Bears trailing 26-10. Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor approached Trubisky on the sidelines and informed him: Foles was up.
"I just accepted the news," Trubisky said. "I had Nick’s back like he’s had mine. The situation sucked, but it was just the flow of the game and how it happened. Coach made the decision that he felt was best for the team. 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."
Trubisky was 13-of-22 for 128 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He beat Foles in a preseason competition to enter the season as the starter. Upon learning the news Trubisky would be the Bears' starter to open the season, Foles immediately called Trubisky to congratulate him. After the change was made Sunday, Foles said he felt Trubisky's backing.
"I've been where he's been at it's not easy," said Foles, who was benched by the Jaguars last season. "But he was supporting me 100%.
"This is just one day. I know throughout my life, anytime I've had trials, it's equipped me to be a better person and a better player."
In the aftermath of the win Sunday, Nagy didn't immediately commit to which quarterback would start moving forward. A decision would presumably be made early this week as the Bears begin preparing to host the Colts next Sunday.
After leading the Bears to victory, Foles has the inside track to becoming the starter.
"If Nick is the starter going forward, it is what it is," Trubisky said. "I got to have his back like he had mine."
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.