After a brutal loss last Sunday, the Falcons have to find a way to clear their heads and win a critical home matchup versus the 2-0 Bears. As things stand, Atlanta is far from out of it despite the black cloud that hovers over teams that start the season 0-2. However, an 0-3 start with Green Bay on the docket away from home next week could be the final straw for Dan Quinn, who is under immense pressure after his team blew a 20-point lead to the Cowboys last week.
Chase Irle’s Prediction
I’ve stuck with my Falcons in back-to-back weeks, and I’m not changing this week against the Bears. Chicago presents a totally different challenge than the Seahawks and the Cowboys. The Bears’ defense is among the best in the business. However, I believe Atlanta’s offense — particularly their offensive line that has only surrendered three sacks over the first two weeks — will be up to the challenge. The Falcons won’t have to score as many points this week, either.
Despite how miserable Atlanta’s defense has looked over the first two weeks, they have a golden opportunity to turn things around against Mitch Trubisky and company. I think this game is closer than people think, but the Falcons should win at home and hand Chicago their first loss of the season.
Falcons – 24, Bears – 20
Jake Gordon’s Prediction
Part of me wants the Falcons to lose this game and just put me out of my misery. Part of me is still delusional. With New Orleans, Tampa, and Carolina not looking impressive at all — by the grace of God — Atlanta is STILL in this division race. The Bears have an excellent defense, but Atlanta’s offensive line has been fantastic so far. Matt Gono will be tested in his first start replacing Kaleb McGary.
Chicago was getting whooped by a pitiful Lions team before mounting a 4th quarter comeback led by Mitch Trubisky. David Montgomery is questionable in this game, so keeping him and Tarik Cohen contained will be key. Falcons get in the win column in Week 3.
Falcons – 38, Bears – 28
Alex Lord’s Prediction
The scores in my first two predictions were off, but I had the Falcons losing both games against Seattle and Dallas. This week, I believe the Falcons will get their first win of the season for a few reasons. Instead of focusing on individual matchups, I will expand the scope to offense vs. defense. The injury report is concerning, but there is still time for the seven starters listed on the Falcons’ report to heal up. If Atlanta is short-handed at all, I would expect them to lose a close game. Assuming those vital pieces are healthy enough to play is what my prediction is based on.
Beginning with the Falcon’s offense against the Bear’s defense, both teams’ strengths will face off, and I will give a slight edge to the offense. The front-seven of Chicago is the backbone of this defense and excels in defending the run and rushing the passer. The nonexistent rushing attack of Atlanta has not hindered their ability to light defenses up through the air. Therefore, it will come down to pass protection. The Atlanta offensive line consists of better pass protectors than run blockers and has only given up three sacks in two weeks. If Atlanta can keep Matt Ryan clean, this offense will continue putting up points.
The Falcons defense has been disappointing at times but has shown flashes this season. The early turnovers in Dallas proved the capabilities of this group. Chicago’s offense is predicated on establishing the run first, followed by the passing game via designed rollouts and play action. I actually think that Chicago will be able to run at will against Atlanta, but Trubisky will not capitalize on scoring opportunities.
The Bear’s rushing attack will keep the game within a couple of scores, but Matt Ryan and company will prove to be too much for an inferior secondary.
Falcons – 31, Bears – 21