Arthur Blank, center, owner of the Atlanta Falcons walks along the sideline before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Dallas Cowboys cornerback C.J. Goodwin (29) follows on Cowboys onside kick as Atlanta Falcons' Olamide Zaccheaus (17) looks on in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. Goodwin recovered the kick. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a pass in the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) is brought down by New York Giants nose tackle Austin Johnson (98) as defensive end B.J. Hill (95) assists during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) throws against the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
ATLANTA (AP) Let's see if the Atlanta Falcons can put another nightmarish loss behind them.
The team that infamously squandered a 28-3 advantage in the 2017 Super Bowl suffered an improbable defeat in Week 2 of this NFL season, blowing a 20-point lead to the Dallas Cowboys and giving up an onside kick that set up a game-winning field goal on the final play.
The 40-39 stunner turned up the heat on coach Dan Quinn, especially when owner Arthur Blank said it looked as though the Falcons (0-2) didn't know the onside kick rules.
Quinn urged his team to turn its attention to Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears (2-0), but he conceded that it wouldn't be easy to get over such a disappointing outcome.
''You have to recognize the emotion,'' Quinn said. ''Yeah, you're (ticked). We have to put it into another space, but it's important to acknowledge why you're so (ticked). That's the life of a competitor. It's hard, but you have to get past mad, you have to get past frustrated if you're going to have the season you want.''
The Bears have a shot at their first 3-0 start since 2013, though they've hardly dazzled in their first two games.
In Week 1, Chicago rallied from 17 points down to beat the Detroit Lions 27-23. Last weekend, the Bears nearly blew a 17-point lead of their own, hanging on for a 17-13 win over the New York Giants.
''You're always happy about the win, but not too happy because we haven't played a full game together,'' Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky said. ''We know what we're capable of if we do play four quarters, so that's gotta be the goal.''
The Falcons would like to second that sentiment.
They appeared to be cruising at Dallas, taking advantage of three early turnovers on the way to a 29-10 halftime lead.
Even after the Cowboys rallied, the Falcons were up 39-24 with 5 minutes to go. But the defense couldn't hold, giving up a pair of touchdowns that gave Dallas hope. Even then, the Cowboys had to pull off an onside kick - a real longshot given rule changes that were designed to improve player safety.
The Falcons backed away from the spinning ball, simply watching until it had carried 10 yards. That allowed the Cowboys to make the recovery and win the game, turning Atlanta into the sort of national laughingstock that brought back memories of the Super Bowl meltdown.
Quinn insisted that his players understood the rules, but were simply befuddled by the strange kick.
''Arthur and I can disagree on how we talk about it, but what we 100 percent agree on is that it shouldn't have happened,'' the coach said. ''We've got to work to make sure it doesn't happen again.''
Some things to watch for when the Falcons try to bounce back against the Bears:
Coach Matt Nagy insisted he has seen enough improvement from Trubisky to keep him in the lineup.
''There's been a lot of growth with him as well in regards to his decision-making,'' Nagy said. ''Let's keep that next-play mentality going, where if something bad happens on one play, let's make a good play the next. He's been doing that. We haven't had that domino effect.''
Trubisky threw three fourth-quarter touchdowns against Detroit and was sharp in the first half against the Giants. But the other five quarters haven't gone as well for him.
Trubisky's completion rate (59.4 percent) ranks 28th in the league. He's also 25th in yards and 17th in rating, with 2018 Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles lurking in the backup role.
Falcons star Julio Jones was clearly bothered by a hamstring injury, which seemed to get worse against the Cowboys. The receiver will be closely monitored throughout the week, in hopes of getting him back on the field Sunday.
''He's a guy who really understands his body,'' Quinn said. ''He'll work through it.''
PLENTY OF TARGETS
If Jones is limited or can't go, the Falcons at least have plenty of other potential targets.
The Falcons are the only team that has four receivers with at least 100 yards through two games. Calvin Ridley leads the league with four touchdown receptions and is tied for most receiving yards at 239. Jones has 181, Russell Gage 160 and tight end Hayden Hurst 110.
The Bears have five sacks and could be poised to significantly improve those numbers.
A big reason is the presence of outside linebacker Robert Quinn. Signed to a $70 million contract in the offseason, he had a strip sack in his Bears debut last week.
Quinn missed the opener because of an ankle injury. His presence on the outside draws attention away from Khalil Mack.
RED ZONE WOES
Atlanta ranks last in the league in red-zone defense, surrendering touchdowns on nine of 10 drives inside the 20. They might have a little easier time of it against the Bears, who have scored on three of six trips into the red zone.
''We're putting a real focus on the red zone,'' Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said. ''We're giving up too may red-zone opportunities and too many points. We kind of fell apart this past week.''
Sunday Morning Update: Week 7
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant (knee) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Fant missed the team's last game against the New England Patriots while dealing with a knee injury. Fant will help give the team's offense a much-needed boost in a game where they'll need to put up some points to keep pace with the Chiefs. Through four games this year, Fant has 19 catches for 219 yards and two touchdowns.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson (leg) suffered an injury after a reception late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. He was helped off the field after the play and appeared to have hurt his leg. With the play coming late in the game, it might be unlikely that he'll return to the game. Johnson has had a great game with nine catches for 80 yards and two touchdowns.
San Francisco 49ers running back Jeff Wilson Jr. (calf) is officially active for the team's Week 7 game against the New England Patriots. Wilson has been nursing a calf injury that forced him to miss the team's previous game against the Los Angeles Rams. With Raheem Mostert (ankle) on Injured Reserve, Wilson should see some opportunities in the game, but Jerick McKinnon will lead the backfield and rookie JaMycal Hasty may have passed Wilson on the depth chart as well. Wilson shouldn't be started in any fantasy leagues this week.
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee) had been limited at practice this week while dealing with a knee injury. However, he is officially active for the team's Week 7 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Edelman has struggled lately, with just seven catches over his past three games. He's tough to trust for fantasy purposes right now, but he should remain owned in all leagues as he can be a fantasy stalwart, especially in PPR, if he gets rolling.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Justin Jackson (knee) is officially active for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jackson was limited in practice this past week while dealing with a knee injury. He has a fantastic matchup against a Jaguars Defense that has been torched on the ground this year. He should lead the Chargers backfield in the game with Joshua Kelley in a supporting act. Start Jackson as a low-end RB2 or flex.
Dallas Cowboys QB Andy Dalton (head) went to the locker room after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit during the Week 7 game.
Fantasy Spin: Ben DiNucci will take over the starting job as long as Dalton is sidelined. Dalton likely will be evaluated for a concussion and does not have a timetable for his return. Fantasy players should avoid the Cowboys quarterback situation until Dalton is back on the field.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (head) has been taken out of the game in the third quarter of Sunday's game against the Washington Football Team. Dalton slid forward on a rushing attempt and was hit hard in the head by Jon Bostic. Dalton was helped off the field and Bostic was ejected from the game. Rookie seventh-round pick Ben DiNucci entered the game to take over under center for the Cowboys.
The New England Patriots have declared S Kyle Dugger, TE Devin Asiasi, QB Brian Hoyer, DT Carl Davis, CB Myles Bryant and RB J.J. Taylor inactive for Week 7.
The Kansas City Chiefs have declared DE Taco Charlton, LB Darius Harris, OT Mitchell Schwartz, RB Darwin Thompson, TE Ricky Seals-Jones and WR Sammy Watkins inactive for Week 7.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Russell Gage (knee) left Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions with a knee injury and was deemed questionable to return. Luckily, he has made his return to the game early in the second half. Gage had two catches for seven yards on three targets in the first half. In the midst of a close game against the Lions, Gage should help give Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense a boost the rest of the way.
Tennessee Titans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (knee) is questionable to return to Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He left the game early in the third quarter after suffering a knee injury. The Steelers offense dominated the Titans Defense in the first half of Sunday's game. Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton (knee) also suffered a knee injury and is questionable to return as well, making things even tougher on the Titans defense.
The San Francisco 49ers have declared WR Dante Pettis, SS Jimmie Ward, LB Kwon Alexander, QB C.J. Beathard, CB Parnell Motley and SS Jaquiski Tartt inactive for Week 7.
The Denver Broncos have declared TE Andrew Beck, TE Jake Butt, QB Jeff Driskel, LB Jeremiah Attaochu, DT McTelvin Agim, WR Diontae Spencer and OG Netane Muti inactive for Week 7.
The Los Angeles Chargers have declared S Alohi Gilman, OT Storm Norton, OG Trai Turner, OT Bryan Bulaga, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR K.J. Hill and DL Cortez Broughton inactive for Week 7.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared OG A.J. Cann, QB Jake Luton, FS Jarrod Wilson, DL Daniel Ekuale, CB Luq Barcoo, LB Myles Jack, TE Tyler Eifert and TE Tyler Davis inactive for Week 7.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Le'Veon Bell could play around 30 percent of the offensive snaps for the Chiefs in his debut for the team, according to James Palmer of the NFL Network. That would be a pretty significant amount of play for Bell in his first game with the team, making him an intriguing flex play in a game where the snow and wind should lead to a lot of rushing attempts. It also knocks a few touches off of our projection for Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) is active for Sunday's meeting with the Raiders. But with Ronald Jones II playing so well over the past month, Fournette being available doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, as he projects to see very few touches and isn't a viable fantasy play right now. Maybe when he's fully healthy, the team will find a way to get him more involved.
The Las Vegas Raiders have declared QB Marcus Mariota, DL David Irving, WR Bryan Edwards, CB Keisean Nixon and OG Patrick Omameh inactive for Week 7.
Updating a previous report, Houston Texans CB Bradley Roby (knee) will not return to the Week 7 game because of his knee injury.
Dallas Cowboys DE Aldon Smith (knee) suffered a knee injury during the Week 7 game but is expected to return to the game.