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Game Comments: Bears at Falcons 10/12/14
The Bears have had a lot of trouble with zone defenses, especially the cover two. But to my great surprise the Falcons came out in man defense. They were only playing zone on third down. Personally I thought it was idiotic but it didn’t burn them through the first quarter. Eventually it did as Brandon Marshall caught one deep midway through the second quarter to set up a touchdown. The Falcons eventually ran more zone later but failed to completely stop the Bears from throwing deep as previous opponents have done.
It’s interesting that at a time when most offenses are picking up the pace, the Bears have been consistently running the play clock down to the last 5 seconds.
Atlanta was well prepared for that end around to Alshon Jeffery that the Bears like to run.
Having said that I thought the Bears ran the ball better today than they have in some time. Probably an effect of the presence of both Roberto Garza and Matt Slaughson along with a weaker than usual Atlanta defense.
I also liked the way that the Bears attacked the edges of the Atlanta defense. They took the underneath stuff as they have been doing and hoped to execute better than they have been.
Jordan Mills had a miserable day committing penalties and missing blocks.
Good to see Josh Morgan get involved in the offense with a touchdown.
Was I the only one remembering the Bears last time threatening to score at the end of a half with no timeouts left? Good teams need to turn that into a touchdown but at least they came away with the three points this time.
I thought that Jay Cutler showed good mobility today. It’s a shame he had to show it so often. The pass protection left something to be desired as the Falcons generated plenty of pressure.
The Bears have got to work on the screen plays. Atlanta had them read all the way all day.
The Falcons came out obviously thinking they could run the ball down the Bears injured linebacking corp’s throats. They didn’t have a great deal of success early but it did set up the play action pass.
The Bears obviously decided that pressuring the Atlanta offensive line was the thing to do. They brought an extra man frequently relative to previous games. It worked as the Bears got plenty of pressure.
Once again the Bears had a tough time when the opponent went no huddle as the Falcons started picking up yardage in huge chunks in the second quarter. Fortunately they weren’t finishing at the time.
Having said that I do think the defense played reasonably fast. There was obvious high effort out there.
Like Carolina last week, I thought the Falcons had a miserable time on third down, constantly shooting themselves in the foot throughout the first half. They had an egregious number of dropped balls. Like last week the Bears defense broke down in the third quarter letting the Falcons convert on third down almost at will.
Perfect call on the third quarter Atlanta touchdown as the Falcons caught the Bears in a blitz with a great screen play.
The pass rush really showed up once the Bears got 14 points ahead as they could tee off and simply go after Matt Ryan.
Stephen Paea had a big game. Chris Conte just can’t stay healthy.
Justin Kutcher was fine. So was David Diehl who performed much like last week. Diehl missed the fact that Paul Worrilow was called for a personal foul for hitting Jay Cutler helmet-to-helmet and failed to recognize that Kutcher had the right of it but I won’t beat him up over that. Diehl is OK, just nothing special. He hit all of the major points and did a solid job.
The coverage teams limited Devin Hester but I bet I’m not the only one wishing that the kick return team would just take a knee in the end zone and take the ball at the twenty. The missed extra point was uncharacteristic but any more of these kicking failures will become disturbing.
The Falcons dropped so many balls they should be ashamed of themselves. The Bears had some balls you could argue could have been caught but generally they would have been tough. Martellus Bennett had a bad drop to stop a drive in the first quarter.
Far, far too many penalties in this game and the Bears continued to try to shoot themselves in the foot over and over. There was a false start Mills on very first play. That wasn’t a good sign for him or the team.
I was happy to see Jay Cutler throwing the ball away more. He took better care of the ball today. Turnovers were limited on both sides until Demontre Hurst’s interception in the fourth quarter.
I had to smile as the Bears defense cranked up the Bears fans in Atlanta to make more noise. Hopefully Lamarr Houston will remember the experience before he takes to Twitter again.
I’m happy with what I saw in terms of improvement from the Bears compared to last week in this win. Not as much as I’d like but definite progress. Although they are still killing themselves with penalties they did a better job of overcoming the deficits that they caused today with big third down plays. And, most important, they took better care of the ball.