Atlanta faces off against Chicago today. The 2-0 Bears and not as good as their record would indicate and the 0-2 Falcons not as bad as theirs would indicate—though their defense may be that bad—so this one figures to be close.
As always, our team scribbled down some score predictions for the week ahead. We’re a fairly dour bunch this week, as you’d expect, so hopefully the Falcons give us something positive to talk about.
Falcons 28 - Bears 30
For the first time in the Matt Ryan era the Falcons will start off 0-3. The Dallas collapse was a sign that there are major issues throughout the organization. From the roster construction, to the coaching, to the alignment of players to scheme, it all feels directionless and is eerily similar to the waning days of the Mike Smith era.
To top it all off, the Bears come in with a tremendous amount of confidence and a mostly healthy roster. Atlanta, on the other hand, has so many injured defensive players that we may legitimately see 3 or 4 rookies get their first snaps on Sunday. Even with all of this, Ryan and Ridley and Julio will work like hell to keep it close, and I think they will. Were it not for Mitch Trubisky, though, I may be predicting a double-digit humiliation at this point. - David Walker
Falcons 44 - Bears 45
Mitch Trubisky will toss, at least, 5 touchdowns, but the bigger question I have is how will the Falcons find a new and infuriating way to lose this game. Maybe Dan Quinn calls a timeout when he is out of timeouts at the end of the game and the refs are forced to run off the rest of the time remaining? Falcons recover a fumble but run it into the wrong end zone? Dirk Koetter gets some greasy food in the booth and keeps dropping his play sheet? Man, the possibilities are endless.
I hate this team so much right now. - Matt Chambers
Falcons 34 - Bears 31
The Falcons have a good shot of winning this one, but they’re in such a shaky place right now it’d probably be foolish to expect them to do so with any grace and ease.
They’re going to need to shut down a slightly improved Mitch Trubisky and a solid group of weapons despite potentially missing several key pieces of the defense, and likely will need to put up 30+ points against arguably the most talented defense they’ve faced thus far. Doing so will require them to reverse bad habits and maybe even just get a little bit lucky, but they’re going to need to do so if they want to put this season back on the rails. I’m hoping and predicting it because it’s hard to find compelling reasons to think these Bears can beat them but will, as I’ve said a few times this week, truly believe it only when I see it. - Dave Choate
Falcons 26 - Bears 34
Last week proved so much for me. It proved that this team is still absent of the ability to close out a game. Which has been the case for the past six seasons under Dan Quinn. Last week also proved that weird occurrences on the football field tend to gravitate towards this team. It proved as well that faith in the coaching staff can understandably be thin at this point.
Sure, there are 14 games remaining this season. But how often have you seen a loss such as that from any team? It never has happen because the Falcons were the first team to lose a game despite scoring 39 points, having no turnovers on offense, and forcing three turnovers on defense? So how are we supposed to know that this team will bounce back and beat a gritty Bears team? - Eric Robinson