The Falcons head back home after a brief one-game road trip to face the Chicago Bears in Week 3 — the first game they are favored in, according to Vegas; albeit, only by a point. The Bears massively underachieved last season but still possess a ton of talent on defense with a new quarterback under center (probably) in Nick Foles.
Chase Irle’s Prediction
The Bears didn’t trade for Nick Foles and take on his contract for him to be a backup. After last season, and rightfully so, they are moving on from Mitch Trubisky unless he makes dramatic improvements this offseason, which is going to be especially tough because of the coronavirus. Come 2021, I expect Trubisky in a different uniform, as Chicago declined his fifth-year option. With that being said, Foles and their defense might be enough to carry them back to the playoffs this season.
It wasn’t long ago that Chicago’s defense was one of the most feared in the league. They won 12 games on the way to becoming NFC North champions just two years ago and were still fourth in total defense last year. There is no such thing as a free win in the NFL, but for fans expecting this to be a cakewalk at home, think again. Chicago has a front seven that can shut down Atlanta’s running game, making life difficult for Matt Ryan. The offensive line will have to be up for the challenge, or the Falcons could find themselves in a hole early in the season, something they cannot afford. However, I have a little faith in Atlanta’s defense slowing down Chicago’s offense as well.
Nick Foles is an upgrade over Mitch Trubisky, but not by much. The Bears didn’t have much of a running game last year, and I don’t see that changing this season. Week 3 won’t be as high-scoring as the first two games of the year, but I like the Falcons to figure out a way to win at home.
Falcons 23, Bears 16
Jake Gordon’s Prediction
Like Dallas, Chicago is a team that matches up very strangely with Atlanta. To quote Big Cat, “The Bears offense kills the Bears defense.” Chicago has so much talent on defense — Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller, Roquan Smith, and Eddie Jackson, to name a few. That should be a problem for the Falcons. However, when Mitch Trubisky (or Nick Foles) and the offense goes three and out every time — it doesn’t matter. Foles was terrible for Jacksonville last season. Mitch Trubisky is a bottom three starter in the NFL. I had David Montgomery on my fantasy team last year, but Matt Nagy didn’t utilize him properly. Tarik Cohen is good in space, but it doesn’t matter when the offense doesn’t create any. Kyle Long has also retired, which puts a massive dent in their offensive line. I see this one being a bit of a struggle in the first half… but the Falcons will pull away on an anemic Chicago offense to put them at 3-0. Bold prediction for this game — Hayden Hurst goes for over 100 yards and 2 TDs, but he won’t recreate Austin Hooper’s nasty stiff arm.
Falcons – 31 Bears – 13