- The Bears came out with 3 TEs and you thought that they might try to establish the run in the first half. Indeed, they were running the ball well. But they failed to take advantage as they repeatedly missed shots down field.
- On the same note, it was obvious that, despite missing a starter at both cornerback and safety, the Falcons had no fear that the Bears would burn them deep. On one series in the second quarter the bears had 3rd and 5 and Atlanta had 10 defenders on the line of scrimmage with only a single high safety. The Bears have to be able to take advantage of single coverage on the outside in those situations and stretch the field.
- Allen Robinson had a better game today after a subpar game last week. But he appears to be Mitch Trubisky’s only really reliable target right now with the possible exception of Darnell Mooney.
- Matt Nagy came out feeding the tight ends and, indeed, Jimmy Graham had a better game today with some good catches including two touch down catches.
- The Falcons got good pressure on Trubisky today with the blitz. The run blitz was also effective at stopping the Bears run.
- Having said that I don’t have a lot of problem with how the Bears offensive line performed again. I thought they were fine under the circumstances and at least some of the problem was that the Bears receivers weren’t getting open.
- Robinson had an end zone catch in the third quarter one-on-one with Darqueze Dennard also holding on to the ball. Honestly the call could have gone either way. Eventually the ball was awarded to Dennard. It was that kind of day.
- Nick Foles didn’t look particularly accurate to me and his timing was definitely off today. He was, of course, coming in cold. I thought it got better as the half wore on.
- I really like the way David Montgomery runs. We’re really starting to see some of that contact balance and pass catching ability that we heard about when the Bears drafted him.
- The Falcons ripped off a lot of big plays for huge chunks of yardage against the Bears defense. It was like they never heard of this Calvin Ridley guy. The very first play of the game was a pass to Ridley with Eddie Jackson apparently one-on-one with him for 62 yards to the 2 yard line.
- Matt Ryan really picked the Bears apart whenever they were in zone.
- The Falcons opened up the run with those deep chunk plays and it may defending them very difficult.
- Todd Gurley really looks like he’s lumbering out there. The Falcons are trying to use him as a power back. He had some decent runs but I really think he’s about at the end of his career.
- I thought the pass rush was pretty good today. The blitz was especially effective. Though I didn’t hear Robert Quinn’s name much, Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack both had good games. That was one of the few really good signs.
- Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma and Shannon Spake were your announcers. Albert is a pro. I liked Vilma better today that I did when he did the Lions game, perhaps because he was more comfortable with Albert, his usual partner. I thought he made a lot of good points and I found myself thinking right along with him for much of the game. Though she didn’t get a chance to say much, I’m a Shannon Spake fan.
- Cairo Santos missed a 46 yard field goal at the end of the Bears first drive and it seems he’s going to be unreliable on thee medium to long range kicks. He made a 35 yarder later in the half. Patterson had a nice kick return in the third quarter to about the Bears 43 yard line.
- The Bears had a litany of damaging penalties in this game. Charles Leno had a holding call in the first quarter which admittedly looked like a bad call. But Mario Edwards’ roughing the passer call as Matt Ryan went down eliminated a Khalil Mack sack-fumble. An offside on Mack kept a drive going where the Falcons scored on a 35 yard Brian Hill run on the next play. Akiem Hicks had a roughing the passer call at the start of the half to keep the Falcons first drive going. They eventually scored a touchdown.
- On the other hand, the Falcons had 6 penalties in the fourth quarter which helped the Bears come back. It was ugly.
- Graham dropped a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Anthony Miller dropped one immediately afterwards. I never actually saw a view where I was convinced that the ball hit the ground but evidently it did. The Bears didn’t argue much. Later in the quarter, Robinson dropped one a big play.
- Trubisky was picked off in Bears Bears territory in the third quarter. Vilma pointed out that the coverage was zone disguised as man and that resulted in Trubisky throwing the ball to the wrong spot. It resulted in an Atlanta field goal after a good stand by the Bears defense. Nick Foles took over immediately afterward. Foles also threw an interception but it was the result of a tough call in the end zone as documented above. And then, of course, Tashaun Gipson came up with a huge interception with less than two minute left.
- Tarik Cohen sustained a injury right after signing an contract extension. It looked serious.
- The time management at the end of the first half was again an issue. The Bears scored with less than 2 minutes to play. The defense held the Falcons, who punted it back to the Bears. The Bears offense then ran off a grand total of 16 seconds to lay the defense out to dry again with 54 seconds left. This has to get better.
- I would say that for four quarters the Bears played like a team that knew they were 2-0 against a desperate team that was 0-2. Up until the fourth quarter, the Falcons played well because they had to. The offense was clicking and the defensive backfield, down two starters, played well in single coverage on the outside and simply beat the Bears receivers. The Bears were a sloppy mess. They committed far too many penalties, dropped touchdowns, missed on big plays and made way too many mistakes. That’s the NFL sometimes. The Bears are extremely lucky.
- There was a time in the fourth quarter when FOX cut to Falcons head coach Dan Quinn on the sideline. The Falcons were still up 10 points and he was yelling through his mask, apparently at no one. And right then I thought of former Bears head coach Dave Wanstedt. He used to have that same look and his players would, much later, talk about how they could feel their collars constrict when they looked at him. And it really make you wonder.