Mandatory Credit: Jim O
The Bears head down to Atlanta to square off with the Atlanta Falcons. Both teams have underachieved in dramatic fashion so far this season. The Bears run a defense that is still based on Lovie Smith’s schemes and we saw what Matt Ryan did to Lovie’s new team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a couple of Thursday nights ago. In order to slow down the 3rd ranked passing offense in the league, the Chicago Bears must pressure Matt Ryan.
Ryan has been a little inconsistent so far this season, with his worst games of the season coming in Week 2 against the Bengals and last week against the Giants. What’s the common thread between those games? Pressure. This from CBS Sports:
"Ryan’s two worst performances of the season have come in Week 2 against the Bengals and Week 5 against the Giants, and those one thing in common. Ryan was pressured on 38.9 percent of his 95 dropbacks in those two games per ProFootballFocus.com, compared to just 31.6 percent in his other three games. It is simple and obvious, but Ryan has struggled considerable more this season when pressured."
We’ve seen what elite (Aaron Rodgers) and not-so elite (Cam Newton) quarterbacks have done to Mel Tucker’s unit when they sit back in coverage. They find the gaping holes in the middle of the field between the limping linebackers and the so-called safeties. Newton’s entire comeback against the Bears was just a series of slants run into the middle of the field for 15-20 yards at a crack.