Three matchups to watch when the Chicago Bears host the Falcons in Week 17

Kyler Gordon has been a problem for opposing offenses. Will he keep it up against the Falcons?
Kyler Gordon has been a problem for opposing offenses. Will he keep it up against the Falcons? / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
3 of 3

3) Justin Fields (solo) vs. the Falcons defense

If ever there was a game for Justin Fields to state his case to be the Bears' starting quarterback going forward, this is that game. The Falcons' pass defense has been solid all season, and they currently rank seventh in the NFL in pass yards allowed.

The Bears' offense is banged up. Cole Kmet left the Cardinals game with a knee injury, and his status is in doubt this week. D.J. Moore injured his ankle before returning later in the game, but he wasn't his usual explosive self, and he finished with only three catches and 18 yards, a season-low. He's back at practice, but it remains to be seen if he's close to 100%. Darnell Mooney also entered the concussion protocol after reporting symptoms on Monday.

It will be up to Fields to make things happen, and with his pass-catchers on the mend, his legs could be the key. He was electric against Arizona, running for 97 yards on nine carries, and his running ability has been more noticeable since returning from injury five games ago.

Before missing time, Fields averaged just under eight carries and under 40 yards per game. In the past five games, those numbers have risen to nearly 12 carries and almost 70 yards per game. The Bears will need that trend to continue on a day when passing figures to be difficult.


The playoffs are a long shot, but with the biggest offseason in recent franchise history looming, the Bears still have plenty to play for. Sunday's game is likely the penultimate opportunity for players and coaches to make a statement. Let's see who steps up.