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Falcons Just Get By Bears In Opener

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Matt Ryan threw an 88-yard touchdown to Austin Hooper and led two fourth-quarter scoring drives, and the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons held on to beat the Chicago Bears 23-17 in the season opener on Sunday.

The butt of jokes following their epic Super Bowl collapse against New England, the Falcons survived as the Bears missed several chances to score a touchdown in the final seconds.

The Bears had a first down at the Atlanta 5 in the closing minute. Glennon's pass to a lunging Josh Bellamy on first down hit off the receiver's hands, and Jordan Howard then dropped a simple catch at the 1.

After another incompletion on third down, Glennon got sacked by Brooks Reed to end the drive.

Atlanta was clinging to a 13-10 lead early in the fourth when a scrambling Ryan fired to a wide-open Hooper near midfield. The second-year tight end from Stanfordraced up the right side and stiff-armed Quintin Demps on the way to the end zone to make it a 10-point game.

The Bears then went 75 yards, with Glennon hitting rookie Tarik Cohen for a 19-yard TD midway through the fourth to cut it to 20-17. Atlanta's Matt Bryant answered with a 37-yard field goal, making it 23-17 with 3:24 left.

Coming off an MVP season, Ryan was 21 of 30 for 321 yards and a touchdown.

Hooper had two catches for 128 yards. Jones added 66 yards receiving and Bryant kicked three field goals.

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