Oct 12, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) and cornerback Tim Jennings (26) celebrate their win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Bears won 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Bears had not lived up to their fullest potential coming into the matchup against the Atlanta Falcons. Not only was the offense not living up to expectations the last two games, but the play of the defense was mediocre at best.
That being said, the Bears needed a complete performance against a Falcons team that was averaging 30 points per contest through the first five weeks of the season.
And that is exactly what happened.
Thanks to a solid aerial attack, combined with a decent rushing attack, the Bears left the Georgia dome with an impressive 27-13 victory. Here is a quick look at how the Bears graded out in their much-needed win over the Falcons.
Passing Offense: A
Oct 12, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) celebrates with an assistant coach after their win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. The Bears won 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
After taking a lot of heat for his performances in Chicago’s losses to the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers, Cutler played like an elite quarterback for one of the few times this season. He completed 26 of 38 passes for a whopping 381 yards—the second highest total of his career and the most in a Bears uniform. Cutler also had one touchdown and no interceptions.
Brandon Marshall, who had subpar outings over the past three weeks, caught six passes for 113 yards while Alshon Jeffery chipped in nicely with five receptions totaling a team-high 136 yards. Matt Forte was also a key cog in the passing game with 10 catches for 77 yards.
Simply put, when the Bears passing game is thriving, they are a tough team to beat and that was certainly the case against the Falcons.
Rushing Offense: B
Oct 12, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte (22) runs against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant (21) during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Bears defeated the Falcons 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
With so many huge plays through the air, there was not much emphasis placed on the ground game. Forte carried the ball just 17 times, but he did accumulate 80 yards, good enough for a 4.7 yards-per-carry average. Rookie Ka’Deem Carey chipped in with 19 yards on four carries while Cutler and Jeffery combined for just 11 yards on seven carries, bringing the team’s total to 110 total yards on 28 attempts (3.9 y.p.c).
The rushing attack was not great, but it was effective to the extent that it kept the Falcons’ defense honest.