Oct 5, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws a pass against the New York Giants during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
When the Falcons Have the Ball
Da Windy City
This is where things get hairy for the Bears. The Falcons are ranked 3rd in total offense, averaging 434.6 YPG and scoring 30.2 points per game. The last time they were in the Georgia Dome, they dropped 56 on a Lovie Smith defense that still has its fingerprints on Mel Tucker’s unit. The Bears Defense is allowing 362.4 yards per game and giving up an average of 26.2 points per game.
Falcons Rushing Offense (17th) vs Bears Rush Defense (16th)
The Falcons aren’t exactly known as a rushing team, but they can certainly move the ball on the ground when they need to. They’re spreading it around between four different backs. Tried and true Steven Jackson is averaging about 47 yards per game and isn’t too much of a threat to break one off. If you’re looking for a home run hitter among the Falcons running backs, it’s Antone Smith who’s averaging about 16 yards per touch.
Falcons Passing Offense (2nd) vs Bears Pass Defense (17th)
Sep 28, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Julio Jones (11) during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Ryan has all of the weapons on the perimeter that a QB could ask for. Roddy White and Julio Jones are in the conversation (along with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery) for the top wide receiver duo in the league. To add to the depth, the Falcons also have Harry Douglas and a rejuvenated Devin Hester.
If the Bears 17th ranked pass defense wants to get to slow down the Falcons passing attack, they need to pressure Matt Ryan. The Falcons offensive line has suffered some serious injuries, pressing Bears castoff Gabe Carimi into action.