Bears rookie Tarik Cohen stars as Chicago falls just brief vs. Atlanta


9:05 PM ET

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CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears came up just short in their bid to upset the Atlanta Falcons, but Chicago found a new star: rookie running back Tarik Cohen.

Cohen kept the Falcons’ defense off balance from the opening kickoff, using his shiftiness and breakaway speed to lead the Bears in rushing (66) and receiving yards (47).

About rookie
A rookie is a person in his or her first year of a sport, or someone who is new to a profession, training, or activity such as a rookie police officer, rookie pilot, a recruit, or occasionally a freshman.

Bears rookie Tarik Cohen stars as Chicago falls just short vs. Atlanta

About Chicago
Chicago ( or ), officially the City of Chicago, is the third-most populous city in the United States. With over 2.7 million residents, it is also the most populous city in both the state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States. It is the county seat of Cook County. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, has nearly 10 million people and is the third-largest in the U.S. Chicago has also been called a global architecture capital. In terms of wealth and economy, Chicago is considered one of the most important business centers in the world.
Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837, near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed, and grew rapidly in the mid-nineteenth century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which razed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild on the damage. The construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, leading Chicago to become among the five largest cities in the world by 1900. During this period Chicago is noted for its contribution to urban planning and zoning standards, new construction styles (including the Chicago School of architecture), the embracement of the City Beautiful Movement, and the eventual creation of the steel-framed skyscraper.
Positioned along Lake Michigan, the city is an international hub for finance, commerce, industry, technology, telecommunications, and transportation: O’Hare International Airport is the second-busiest airport in the world when measured by aircraft traffic; the region also has the largest number of U.S. highways and rail road freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, and ranked seventh in the world in the 2016 Global Cities Index. Chicago has the third-largest gross metropolitan product in the United States—about $640 billion according to 2015 estimates. The city has one of the world’s largest and most diversified economies with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.
In 2016, Chicago hosted over 54 million domestic and international visitors, a new record making it one of the top visited cities in the nation. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis (Sears) Tower, Museum of Science and Industry, and Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago’s culture includes the visual arts, novels, film, theater, especially improvisational comedy, and music, particularly jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop, gospel, and house music. There are many colleges and universities in the Chicago area; among these, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as “highest research” doctoral universities.
Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues. The city has many nicknames, the best-known being the Windy City and Chi-Town.

Still, it wasn’t enough.

Chicago’s game plan for Sunday was simple — run the ball, get Cohen touches, don’t turn the ball over and play solid defense.

Bears rookie Tarik Cohen stars as Chicago falls just short vs. Atlanta

All of that happened.

But to beat a team of the Falcons’ caliber, the Bears had to play perfect football.

Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29) dives for a touchdown Sunday while being tackled by the Falcons’ Desmond Trufant. AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Chicago had four chances to tie the game from the 5-yard line, but came up short each time, losing a 23-17 heartbreaker at home.

To add insult to injury, Josh Bellamy and Jordan Howard both dropped would-be touchdown passes on the final drive.

For much of the game, Bears quarterback Mike Glennon looked like a game manager — at best. But he finished strong.

Glennon went 26-of-40 for 213 yards and one touchdown.

The calls for rookie QB Mitchell Trubisky to replace Glennon will be put on hold — for now — but the Bears must get better play from their skill-position players in crunch time if they have any hope of navigating their difficult schedule.

What it means: When healthy, the Bears are no pushover. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s unit scratched and clawed until they busted a fourth-quarter coverage that allowed Atlanta to score a long touchdown. And Glennon got better as the game wore on. There is no shame in losing to the defending NFC champion. There’s a lot to build on from Week 1.

What I liked: Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains got creative with Cohen. In the preseason, the Bears made sure to get plenty of tape of Cohen running between the tackles, but his true value is operating in space. Chicago called a variety of plays for Cohen, and even used him in the Wildcat to assist on a touchdown run by Howard.

What I didn’t like: Come on, make a play. The Bears battled all afternoon, but in crunch time, Bellamy and Howard let them down. And the pass protection was just OK. Glennon was hit several times in the pocket. Defensively, the Bears have to clean up their coverage of the tight end. Atlanta’s Austin Hooper had two catches for 128 yards.

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Fantasy fallout: Cohen was a fantasy sleeper in Week 1. Glennon ended the game with decent statistics because the Bears had to pass a lot in the fourth quarter. But receiver Kevin White was a nonfactor before he left the game with a shoulder injury.

Cashing checks: Newly paid defensive lineman Akiem Hicks had a monster game up front. Hicks, who signed a four-year, $48 million extension with $30 million guaranteed on Saturday, was credited with two sacks, plus a tackle for loss on third-and-1. However, Hicks was guilty of roughing the passer in the third quarter. That miscue extended an Atlanta drive that resulted in a field goal.

Da Coach: Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, the legendary former Bears coach, received a huge ovation on Sunday when he served as one of the honorary captains at the coin toss. Ditka — dressed in an all-black suit and sunglasses — also addressed the crowd during an in-house interview on the giant video screen, telling the Soldier Field faithful that they “have every reason to be optimistic about this year’s Bears team.” For much of the afternoon, Ditka looked like a prophet.