Bad News Bears
For the second straight game the Chicago Bears have found themselves in the loss column, falling to the Carolina Panthers 31-24 after leading the game 21-7.
This was a game that Chicago should have won, especially if you consider the fact that the offense had 347 total yards but only managed to put up 24 points. The offense looked stellar in the first half, but could not sustain that momentum, as the Panther defense seemed to have figured them out. Jay Cutler continues to baffle Bears fans with his play. Some drives he looks unstoppable and others he does things that remind fans of Rex Grossman. His QBR was pretty good with a rating of 95.5 and he completed 78% of his passes, but he still could not find the end zone in the second half, which was ultimately the deciding factor in the game. It hasn’t helped that his go-to target Brandon Marshall has continued to struggle for the third game in a row.
After a poor performance against Green Bay, the Chicago Bears’ defense held their own against the Panther’s offense. The scores they did give up were a result of bad starting field position. The second round pick, rookie Ego Ferguson, has quietly had a good start to his career and last week he stuck out with multiple pass deflections at the line of scrimmage. One even resulted in an interception by teammate Lance Briggs.
Raising Hell in ATL
The Bears will travel to the Georgia Dome to face the Atlanta Falcons (2-3) for their Week 6 matchup. This game premiers two of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL with the Falcons’ Roddy White and Julio Jones to go along with the Bears’ Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
Facing his former team, the Falcons’ Devin Hester will play with a chip on his shoulder. He already has one return touchdown on the year and would love to score another one against the team he played on for nearly a decade. The Bears special teams unit has been not so “special” in both the return game and in coverage. Going up against the former Windy City Flyer will be the biggest challenge for the unit this season. Although he never panned out as a wide receiver in Chicago, Hester has clicked with Matt Ryan and has 14 catches for 212 yards and one score on the season. This has been somewhat of a surprise considering Marc Trestman did not see him as an NFL receiver and relieved him of those duties last season.
Julio Jones vs. Bears Secondary
Julio Jones is an amazingly talented receiver and could possibly be trouble for the Bears’ secondary that still is dealing with injuries. If the pass rush fails to find Matt Ryan, Jones could have a field day picking apart the secondary that also has to account for fellow receiver Roddy White. Look for Jones to stretch the defense most of the game.
Jay Cutler vs. Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler’s biggest enemy so far this season has been himself. He needs to find a way to have a complete game. He has to stay away from forcing unnecessary passes at inopportune times. His decisions have cost the Bears two games (Buffalo, Carolina). He has been paid like an elite quarterback and the Bears need him to perform as such. Look for Cutler to challenge a secondary that has been average against the pass, but also watch to see if he can manage the game and steer away from the crucial interceptions that Bears fans know all too well.
Bears 34 Falcons 31
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