Chicago Bears Early Look Week 6: Atlanta Falcons


Oct 5, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) dives for pass but cannot hold on during the second half against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. New York Giants defeat the Atlanta Falcons 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Overview:  Coming off rough back to back road losses to the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants, the Atlanta Falcons have an identical record to the Chicago Bears at 2-3.  Both clubs have a lot to prove this week, as neither team has lived up to lofty expectations so far this season.  Chicago will see some familiar faces in this game with former Bears first round pick Gabe Carimi slated to start at right tackle and former Bears great Devin Hester figuring to be heavily involved on both offense and special teams.  With Atlanta’s defense notably struggling so far this year, this seems to be an excellent opportunity for the Bears to finally get the ball rolling offensively.  The Falcons, however, have no trouble putting up points of their own.  This one has all the makings of a barn-burner.

Injuries:  Keep an eye on offensive guard Justin Blalock and wide receiver Harry Douglas this week.  Both missed last week’s game against the Giants, but could be back this week.  Blalock missing this game would be huge for the Bears, as that would mean that the Falcons would be without three of their original five starting offensive linemen.  Both starting center Joe Hawley and starting right tackle Lamar Holmes are on injured reserve.  Douglas missing another game would likely mean extended offensive snaps for Devin Hester, which I’m not entirely sure is a good thing for Chicago.

Key Matchups:  Julio Jones is going to cause me to lose some sleep this week.  I just don’t think the Bears have anyone capable of matching up with the prolific wide receiver.  As good as Kyle Fuller has been this season, he’s still a rookie and that matchup seems less than ideal.  But who else do they have?  Tim Jennings?  You can literally just look at pictures of these two players and see that this isn’t a good matchup for Chicago.  You don’t have to be a math wizard to figure out that the advantage clearly goes to the 6′ 6″ Jones over the diminutive 5′ 8″ frame of Tim Jennings.  The Bears will need to keep multiple people on Julio all game, or he’s almost guaranteed to have a big one.  On a brighter note, the offensive line issues that the Falcons are experiencing can only mean good things for an underachieving Bears defensive line.  Perhaps this is the week that Jared Allen finally gets his first sack in a Bears uniform.

The Way I See It:  This one is way too close to call.  I expect a lot of points, but who comes out on top is more difficult to predict.  The Bears’ defense is coming along nicely, but I don’t think they are good enough to shoot down the high-octane offensive attack of the Falcons.  I still have hope that the Bears will be able to find some offensive consistency this year, and now would be a great time to start.  Chicago can’t let this hole they’re in get too much deeper if they want to maintain any hope of making the playoffs this season.  On a side note, I’ll be extremely disappointed if Devin Hester has a big game this week.  I’m happy for the success he’s found late in his career with the Falcons, but I hope he doesn’t go off against the Bears.  I know he’ll be fired up in this one and I don’t need to tell you guys how bad the Bears’ special teams have been this year.

Any thoughts?  Is Devin Hester going to show that the Bears made a mistake letting him get away?  Let me know in the comments section.