Week Three — at Atlanta Falcons
Chicago Bears (2-0) vs. Atlanta Falcons (0-2)
Date: September 27th, 2020 — 12:00pm, FOX
Location: Atlanta, GA — Mercedes-Benz Stadium
In some ways, this matchup is scary. The Atlanta Falcons will be rolling into Week Three after successive games against two of the most talented teams in the NFL (the Seahawks and Cowboys). The pressure of coming home with an 0-2 record creates a heightened sense of urgency, and that’s something to think about.
On the surface, the Falcons look like a team potentially on the rise. They enter this season rolling, running off four consecutive wins to close out the 2019-20 campaign, and focused heavily on shoring up their 23rd ranked defense in the Draft. A potential backfield duo of Todd Gurley II and Brian Hill figures to be one of the most exciting to watch in all of pro football.
When Chicago Bears’ reporters were tasked with picking this game, a hefty amount of them saw this as the team’s first defeat. It makes sense, but how sure are we that the Falcons’ offensive line is ready for a resurgent year in 2020? They invested a ton of money into it in 2019, only to watch Matt Ryan get pummeled for a career-high 48 sacks.
There’s a lot to like about the Bears secondary, as it relates to covering Julio Jones and Hayden Hurst, among others. In what figures to be the toughest game of the season to this point, it’ll be a toss-up, but my gut feeling is that the Bears shore up enough pressure to keep Ryan on edge and pull out a character win to get to 3-0.
Score Prediction: Bears, 23; Falcons, 20
Week Four — vs. Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts (3-0) vs. Chicago Bears (3-0)
Date: October 4th, 2020 — 12:00pm, CBS
Location: Chicago, IL — Soldier Field
The wounds of Super Bowl XLI have yet to completely fade, but some 13 years later, it’s reasonable to expect that both of these teams head into their interconference matchup with some confidence. Reasonably, Philip Rivers steps up to the plate, knocking off the Jaguars at home, and at the same time taking care of business in Week 2 and Week 3 against the Vikings and Jets at home.
There’s a lot to like about what the Colts have done this offseason. With their first pick in the 2020 Draft, they traded for DeForest Buckner, and got T.Y. Hilton his best — potential-wise — No. 2 receiver in quite some time, with Michael Pittman Jr., and Jonathan Taylor to boot.
The last three meetings with Rivers and the Bears have looked quite similar: he’s either given them the game through his turnovers, or still had those turnovers, and the Bears couldn’t execute. This game has the makings of a big day for the likes of Eddie Jackson, Jaylon Johnson, or Kyle Fuller.
The Bears’ schedule after this game gets tough. For that reason, they should be able to buckle up, force some turnovers, and get the job done to get their first 4-0 start since 2006.
Score Prediction: Bears, 18; Colts, 15