The Bears take the show on the road, as they look to make it four in a row, and build on the momentum the strong 3-1 start established before last weeks’ bye.
This week’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons are coming off a 45-10 thrashing of the Niners in San Francisco last Sunday. In a primetime matchup, the rejuvenated Birds will have the “Dome” crowd behind them this time, as sophomore sensation Matt Ryan and company will be seeking an opportunity to move into a potential first place tie with the undefeated Saints, who host the undefeated Giants in New Orleans.
Although the Falcons have taken 9 of their last 10 home games of the Mike Smith era, the lone defeat came at the hands of Jay Cutler and his former Bronco mates. This time around, however, the Falcons are a more seasoned bunch, and will likely post 30-plus points, forcing Cutler to the air early and often. Should the Bears defense hope to slow down the Falcons aerial attack, they will have to handle Michael Turner the way this 9th ranked rushing defense has corralled other backs that have challenged them this year.
Should Turner and the Falcons be unable to run the ball effectively throughout the contest, the Bears defense will be able to provide help on the coverage of dangerous Roddy White and ageless Tony Gonzalez. The Bears flaunt the 9th ranked run defense in the NFL to date.
If a road upset is in the cards for Chicago, the Bears ground game will have to perform better than the 27th ranked run offense that they are. The Bears offense will need to control the clock and keep Ryan and the Falcons scoring machine on the bench for as long as possible. A fifth straight victory by the Bears will likely require a Forte effort similar or stronger than the one he delivered against the Lions two weeks ago.
The good news for the rested Bears offense this week, is the fact that they will be facing a Falcons defense that despite an impressive showing in last week’s triumph, still rank a dismal 22nd and 24th in the league in passing and rushing defense respectively.
Unfortunately for the Bears, however, they will likely face an uphill battle all evening, having a difficult time defending the multi-pronged passing attack of Matt Ryan, and being forced into a game of catch-up in a hostile environment. If Cutler and the offense play mistake-free football, the Bears have a chance to hang around in this one, but it will probably not be enough to get the job done.
Falcons 31 Bears 20
About the Author
Written by Adam Becker