Outside of Mooney, both Cole Kmet and Lucas Patrick were limited in this week's practice, although there is optimism that both will play on Sunday. Still, reserve players at both positions, specifically Robert Tonyan and Dan Feeney, may be called upon sporadically to preserve the starters' health. Nonetheless, it will be essential for reserve players to step up, especially this deep into the year, where health becomes more and more of a question mark.
The Chicago Bears Defense Needs to Take Away Talented Playmakers
In recent years, the Falcons have built their offense around high-end playmakers including Bijan Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts, all of whom were top-10 picks over the last three drafts. With solid offensive line play, it is puzzling how an offense as talented as Atlanta's is ranked 24th in scoring offense.
A lot of the Falcon's inconsistency on offense results from a general inconsistency in their quarterback play, which is something that the Bears should be able to take advantage of on Sunday. With Taylor Heinicke slated to make his second consecutive start in Chicago and his fifth on the year, it will be imperative that the Bears' defense eliminates the Falcons' skill position players to the best of their ability, and force Heinicke to beat them by consistently making game-changing plays throughout the game.
The first step of this gameplan would be to stifle Atlanta's rushing attack early and often, something that the Bears have excelled at, especially at home. The Bears' defense is the best in the league in terms of rush yards allowed per game with 80, and that number decreases even more at Soldier Field. If the rush defense can do its job, the Bears can unleash one of the league's most productive secondaries against Heinicke, while also cutting loose their improved pass rush, led by Montez Sweat.