ATLANTA, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Jay Feely missed a 45-yard field goal attempt with 55 seconds left Sunday, allowing the Chicago Bears to escape with yet another narrow victory --- 14-13 over the Atlanta Falcons.
Chicago went 8-0 last season in games decided by seven points or less, the best such record in NFL history, and opened this year with a four-point victory over Minnesota.
"We just have a knack for winning close games," Bears coach Dick Jauron said. "It is a great quailty to have. We'll take a win any way we could get it."
The Bears' streak of close-call wins appeared ready to come to an end when the Falcons drove from their own 28 to the Bears' 27. Atlanta had a second-and-one situation, but failed to gain anything on its next two runs.
Feely, who kicked two field goals Sunday and who booted a 52-yarder last week to send Atlanta's season-opener with Green Bay into overtime, was called on for an attempt at the game-winner.
But his kick went wide left and the Bears were able to run out the clock.
"I'll have to look at the tape to see exactly what I did wrong," Feely said. "I probably tried to hit it too hard and just pulled it a little bit. It felt good off my foot and it just drifted left."
"Jay is going to make a lot more of those than he misses," Falcons coach Dan Reeves said. "Unfortunately, he missed that one. But we just have to put it behind us and move on."
After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons opened the scoring 3 1/2 minutes into the second on a 10-yard pass from Mike Vick to running back Warrick Dunn.
The Bears, who did not get their first first down until midway through the second period, tied it with 1:10 left in the first half when Anthony Thomas split the middle from three yards out to cap an 86-yard drive.
Atlanta countered with a 61-yard drive in the closing minute of the half and took a 10-7 lead at intermission on a 35-yard field goal by Feely.
The Bears dominated the third quarter. They scored on a 10-yard pass from Jim Miller to David Terrell between missing a field goal attempt and later losing a fumble at the Falcons' 17.
But the quarter ended with Chicago ahead only 14-13 after Feely kicked a 27-yard field goal midway through the period.
Fumbles led to the Falcons' downfall in the third quarter. Atlanta fumbled the ball over on two straight possessions and then fumbled away a punt at its own 12. Three plays after that mistake, Miller's pass to Terrell gave the Bears a four-point lead with 9:27 left in the quarter.
The Falcons had a 41-yard pass called back midway the final period when a review of the call determined that the ball hit the ground before being caught by Willie Jackson.
In the closing futile drive, Vick completed two passes for 26 yards and turned in a 17-yard run.
Vick completed 12 of 24 passes for 166 yards. He added 56 yards on 10 carries.
"It's definitely a tough one to lose like that, but we just have to keep our heads up," Vick said. "We'll try to go out next week and get a win against Cincinnati, and try to put this one behind us."