It’s been a long offseason of 28-3 reminders, and the whole “Super Bowl hangover” deal was brought up on several occasions.
Who’s up and who’s down in the victory?
Atlanta’s prized free agent signing two years ago came to play. Reed sealed the game with a fourth-down sack, and he added another sack earlier in the game that helped stall a Bears drive. Not bad for a guy some wanted cut before the regular season began.
The tight end is slated to break out in his second season, but who predicted this in Week 1? Hooper finished with just two catches, but they both were huge. He was left unaccounted for on an 88-yard score — the longest touchdown ever by any tight end in a season opener — and he delivered a vicious stiff arm to safety Quintin Demps in the process. His second catch went for 40 yards. Two receptions, 128 yards and a touchdown? Not a bad start.
Is it the LASIK surgery? Campbell showed off his pass rushing chops at times, putting together what was easily one of the best games by the Falcons defenders. He also had a fantastic pass breakup on a deep ball intended for running back Tarik Cohen. Had Campbell not put his hand up the right moment, it would’ve been a score for the Bears.
It wasn’t a good debut for the Falcons’ sixth round pick from a year ago. The new right guard taking over for the now-retired Chris Chester struggled mightily, getting manhandled on several occasions by Akiem Hicks. It was Schweitzer’s first start, so there’s hope he improves from here.
Trufant suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in Week 9 last year, and it was clear he was rusty. Coverage aside, the cornerback looked tentative on a four-yard touchdown run by Jordan Howard that saw quarterback Mike Glennon lined out wide acting as a blocker. Trufant also was bowled over by Cohen on 19-yard touchdown reception.
Have to hope this gets corrected. The Falcons seemingly missed tackles at will. Cohen ripped off a 46-yard run — the longest of the game — that should’ve resulted in a loss if Reed, who had a good game otherwise, would’ve successfully wrapped up the rookie running back. Ricardo Allen, Deion Jones, and Duke Riley also joined in on the missing tackles fun.