Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears
Michael Arkin: The Falcons come back into the 2017 season after the worst possible ending to the 2016 season. They head up to Chicago for the first time since opening there in 2011, where Brian Urlacher and his Bears pummeled Atlanta 30-12. Unfortunately for the Bears, the Falcons have a much better team coming up to Soldier Field this time around. Chicago was 3-13 last season, and have a very young and rebuilding team. Besides Chicago’s defense line, I expect Atlanta to dominate them in all facets of this game.
Matt Ryan should be able to eat this defense alive, as long as his offensive line can give him time. Pernell McPhee, Willie Young, and Leonard Floyd are all active pass-rushers who can wreak havoc at times, but offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian should have a gameplan in order to limit those three players. Look for the offense to set the tone early and shut the doubters up.
The defense on the other hand is something that I truly am looking forward to watching against a low-fired offensive team in Chicago. Mike Glennon was signed and is most likely going to start Week 1, and look for Atlanta’s defense to dominate the ball and winning the turnover margin by two or three. Jordan Howard is a young and very solid running back, and as long as Atlanta can contain him, the defense should be able to get to Glennon and force turnovers.
The Falcons pummel the Bears 34-13 to start off the 2017 season.
Falcons Record: 1-0
Chase Irle: It is still baffling to me the Falcons did not get a Super Bowl rematch in the opening game of the season. The NFL chose to go with the Chiefs, rather than force the Falcons to relive their Super Bowl nightmare to begin the season. That might be a good thing for Atlanta, but I tend to believe every player and coach in that locker room is salivating at the opportunity to face off against the Patriots again.
So let’s get to the actual week one matchup. The Falcons get their first road test against Chicago. Despite being on the road and coming off the most disastrous Super Bowl collapse in history, do not expect any Super Bowl hangover here.
The offense is going to do it’s thing, but like Michael said, this thing is going to get out of hand early because of the Falcon’s defense. That side of the ball should be much improved for Atlanta, and the Bears are looking like a bottom five offense in the NFL coming into the season.
All Falcons to begin the season, 42-20.
Falcons record: 1-0