Julio Jones vs. Bears’ New Secondary
Unlike the Bears’ offensive line, their secondary looks totally different from last season. Chicago has four new faces on the backend of their starting defense: cornerbacks Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper Sr., and safeties Quintin Demps and rookie Eddie Jackson. In 2016, the Bears were seventh in pass defense, but tied for the second-fewest interceptions (8) in the NFL. Hopefully, the ball-hawking ability of Demps will help against Atlanta’s passing game that was third in the league with 295.3 yards per game in the air, had 38 passing touchdowns (second), and only seven interceptions (tied for seventh-fewest)
Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones will be all over the field, and Chicago’s cornerbacks will have their hands full. At this point, it’s unknown if Amukamara (ankle) will be inactive for this game. But, whether if it’s him or Kyle Fuller lining up alongside Cooper on defense, they will carry most of the burden when it comes to finding a way to stop Jones. Last year, Jones was second in the NFL with 1,409 yards receiving, averaged 17.0 yards per catch, and even had a game where he had 300 receiving yards. If anyone can expose a secondary that is still getting used to playing with each other, Jones can do it.