When the Falcons meet the Chicago Bears in Week 3, they’ll be facing off against a team that will be unrecognizable to anyone on the team from the 2017 season. Gone are Mike Glennon, Jordan Howard, Kendall Wright, much of the offensive line and a significant chunk of the defense, replaced haphazardly by GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy.
This Bears team has talent, but between their weird quarterback situation and their league-high number of tight ends, the roster construction has been iffy enough to think they’ll once again be in the middle of the pack in the NFC North. That means this is one of the easiest matchups—on paper—that the team will get to enjoy all year.
It’s also a rare opportunity for this team to even the all-time series. Atlanta has won four of their last six matchups, including the most recent one, and as a result are just a single game behind Chicago all-time, with the series standing at 14-13 Bears.
The Falcons and Bears have also played just once in the Dan Quinn era. Let’s take a look back at that matchup today as we prepare for the Falcons-Bears matchup yet to come.
2017 (Week 1) - Falcons 23, Bears 17
This was the weird season opener for a Falcons team licking its post-Super Bowl wounds for any number of reasons, but the play on the field was a major reason why.
It was weird because Kyle Shanahan had left for San Francisco, bringing Steve Sarkisian in as the offensive coordinator. It was weird because we thought the Falcons were going to be good in 2017—and they were, albeit not as good as hoped—but they came out of the gate against Chicago weirdly sluggish. The two teams traded scores in the first half, ending things tied 10-10, but a Matt Bryant field goal and Austin Hooper’s 88 yard romp through the Chicago defense put Atlanta up 20-10. The Bears would close the gap on a Mike Glennon to Tarik Cohen touchdown, but Matt Bryant’s field goal effectively won the game.
Falcons and Bears games have tended to be very close in recent years, however, and this one was no exception. The Bears drove all the way to the Atlanta 5 with :21 left before three missed passes (one expertly defended by Robert Alford) brought them to 4th down, when fluffy-haired hero Brooks Reed sacked Glennon for a 9 yard loss and ended the game.
For the sake of our hearts, let’s hope this game isn’t that close. On paper, at least, I think the Falcons should win this handily.