The Bears continue to live in mediocracy with Mitchell Trubisky under center. Chicago is 2-0 but has the most “2-0 and miss the playoffs” vibes among those still undefeated. Mitch threw two quick touchdowns against a bad Giants defense, then inevitably stalled out in the second half, including a pair of interceptions.
Fortunately for Chicago’s offense, the defense is still one of the best in football and secured the win with a game-ending stand in the red-zone. The Falcons can win their next six of seven games, but it starts this week against the Bears in Atlanta. It will be strength-on-strength and weakness-on-weakness, and the Falcons’ offense vs. the Bears’ defense should be fantastic to watch as both groups carry their respective teams.
The offensive line must continue to keep Matt Ryan clean. After allowing only three sacks through two weeks, this group faces their toughest task to date. Both tackles will be challenged against Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn — a lethal tandem coming off the edge — while Akiem Hicks will test the interior line.
James Carpenter is the likely target to take advantage of in one-on-one situations for Hicks. Alex Mack will have to help him to avoid Hicks wrecking both facets of the offense. Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith are athletic, sideline-to-sideline linebackers who will chase down everything if unblocked. Both are prone to blitzing and should be accounted for at all times by Matt Ryan and company. If the offensive line can give Ryan time, he will continue to fill up the stat sheet.
Defensive Front Seven
Chicago’s two-headed backfield of David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen is how their offense gets into a rhythm. Mitchell Trubisky is incapable of scoring points without opposing defenses accounting for the rushing attack. The Falcons’ defense must make Trubisky beat them, and that starts with the front seven. If Atlanta can stop Montgomery and limit Cohen’s big-plays, Chicago will be forced into obvious passing downs, which favors the Falcons.
It is simple: Dan Quinn must devise a strategy for the entirety of the game. He has to prepare for falling behind early, taking an early lead, a competitive game, and everything in between. If he does these three things, he will set his team up to earn their first win of 2020.
Quinn must emphasize the concerted effort of the defense to stop the run. He needs to reiterate to Dirk Koetter to scheme his offensive line into favorable positions against a star-studded front seven. Finally, Quinn must preach focus in all four quarters, not just the first half. It sounds easy, but he hasn’t been so good at doing the simple things required to win games in the NFL, which is why the Falcons are 0-2.