Bears @ Falcons – Staff Picks
This was the injury report that came out for the Falcons on Wednesday:
So not only did they undergo a soul crushing loss against Dallas, one that saw them blow another 20 point lead **cough** Super Bowl **cough**, but they came away from it physically ravaged. Key names on the list include All-Millenia WR Julio Jones, both starting Tackles Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary, and highly touted free agent aquisition DE Dante Fowler Jr.. WOOF. My money is on the majority of these players getting healthy enough to play on Sunday, but at what level? Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn are drooling over the possibility of having 2 banged up or backup tackles playing the entire game.
Frankly, the Bears offense is going to be fine. Not great, but good enough. It appears they are finding their identity with the outside zone running scheme and playing Mitch from under center – a huge shift in philosophy from Matt Nagy. I have a horrible feeling about the Bears defense in this one, though. Playing on that turf against Matt Ryan and, at minimum, a healthy Calvin Ridley and Todd Gurley will expose the D like we haven’t yet seen. Now that the film is out on rookie CB Jaylon Johnson, look for the Falcons to confuse and attack him.
Prediction: Falcons 30, Bears 24
If you asked me my prediction for this game last week, I would have said the Bears were going to get annihilated. Things have changed. Everyone knows, I drink the Kool-aid. I am going to put on my tin-hat for this one… Atlanta has no defense and this is a team that is BEAT up. I still can’t believe they lost to Dallas in the last seconds of that game. Losing a heartbreaker like that tends to stay with a team for a week or two. I think the Bears are starting to build momentum. (Stop laughing, I’m being serious). The strength of this Bears defense is the DBs; Kyle Fuller, Eddie Jackson and Jaylon Johnson are playing really well right now. Julio Jones may be out; that’s big. The Bears offense stays good for 3 quarters instead of 2 and they steal a win in Atlanta.
Prediction: Bears 28, Falcons 24
I heard a comparison the other day that landed. Mitch is like the stock market. Incredibly volatile ups and downs. His great plays last week were certainly fun to watch. There is still no real sense of an upward trend in his overall play. In fact, the Bears have played three solid quarters of football. (They have participated in eight quarters.)I love my Bears! However, they have played two really bad teams. I’m thankful they are 2-0. I am. I don’t think it’s a bold prediction to think they will be exposed at some point. Miraculously, the Bears tend to show up against the Falcons. It won’t be enough this week. Turnovers will decide this one. INTS for sure.
Prediction: Falcons 24, Bears 17
No Kenny Golladay. No Saquon Barkley. No Julio Jones? The Barkley injury was horrible and I hope he’s back to full health next year, but, boy, the Bears have been getting lucky with their opposition’s injuries. It seems that trend could continue if Jones is indeed out on Sunday. Even without Julio and with old man Gurley’s knees, this Falcons offense can score. Plus, there’s something about that Atlanta turf that has me convinced they’ll score 60+ points every time they take the field. With Julio trending down and Mitch trending up (I can’t tell if that is meant to be a joke or not) I trust this Bears defense to take another step on Sunday.
Prediction: Bears 31, Falcons 27
This will undoubtedly be the biggest test of the Bears young 2020 season. Though Atlanta comes into Week 3 at 0-2, they’ve shown they can score at will. After facing a Kenny Golladay-less Lions and a Giants team that lost Saquon Barkley early in Week 2, the Bears secondary will have their hands full with Julio Jones (GTD), Calvin Ridley, Russel Gage and Hayden Hurst. The Bears pass rush and secondary will be the key to slowing down this fast paced offense in order to keep the game close. With the Falcons offense averaging 32 ppg through two weeks, this game will be won or lost on defense for the Bears.
The Bears offense is averaging 22 ppg against two very poor defenses in the Lions and Giants. Mitchell Trubisky has played 3 good quarters over those two weeks doing just enough to help the Bears get to 2-0. In order for the Bears to win this week, the offense will need to put up at least 27 pts. Even with as bad as Atlanta’s defense has been, Trubisky will need to play more than 1 or 2 good quarters in order to keep pace with Atlanta’s offense. Though Nagy has pivoted to a more run focused offensive game plan with Montgomery the last two weeks, they may end up having to throw a lot to catch up later in the game which is not where Trubisky shines.
Prediction: Falcons 23, Bears 20