Falcons at Bears: Highlights, score and recap

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 12: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons passes against the Chicago Bears at the Georgia Dome on October 12, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 12: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons passes against the Chicago Bears at the Georgia Dome on October 12, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears played host to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and they certainly turned some heads with their effort.

In a game that was supposed to be a laugher, the Chicago Bears actually played the Atlanta Falcons pretty tough on Sunday. The Falcons came into the game as the reigning NFC champs, but the Bears had a nice defensive gameplan for them early on. By the time the two teams headed to the locker room at halftime, the game was tied at 10, which was not what anybody expected for this matchup.

Throughout the game, you continued to expect the Falcons to pull away from the Bears, but the team kept coming back. Their defense played very well, and Tarik Cohen proved to be the spark this offense is going to need with Cameron Meredith done for the season. Cohen played a big role in the rushing, and passing game, and his third quarter touchdown actually pulled the Bears within three at 20-17.

In the fourth quarter, the Bears had the Falcons on the ropes, but a defensive holding call on a huge third down extended the Falcons drive. The Bears defense held tight on a third down later in the drive, forcing a field goal, which Matt Bryant hit to put the Falcons up six with under three and half minutes left in the game. Chicago would mount one last drive, but Atlanta held strong, forcing an incomplete pass to seal the victory with under a minute left.

Overall, the Bears have to be happy with their effort on Sunday, as many people gave them no chance to compete with the Falcons. Atlanta was able to hold tough when they needed to, but they appeared to have a big of a Super Bowl hangover in this one. They will get it right in the next few weeks, but for Bears fans, they have to be happy with what they saw against the Falcons in Week 1.


Three Stars

1. Matt Ryan

The Falcons quarterback overcame a rough game by his running backs, leading Atlanta to a close victory in Chicago. The 2016 NFL MVP threw for over 320 yards against a very tough Bears defense, with his only touchdown pass coming on an 88-yard connection with tight end Austin Hooper. Chicago had a nice game plan for the Falcons, who had the most prolific offense in the NFL last season.

2. Tarik Cohen

Coming into the game, many expected Jordan Howard to be the focal point of the Bears offense, as he finished second in the NFL in rushing during his rookie season in 2016. However, it was his backup, Tarik Cohen who stole the show, nearly leading Chicago to the upset victory. He ran well, caught some big passes, and proved to be a difference maker for an offense that is looking for supplemental pieces around Howard this season.

3. Brooks Reed

The linebacker for the Falcons came up big on Sunday, racking up five tackles in the game. Of those tackles, three were for a loss, including two sacks. The Falcons defense was tested by the Bears offense, and they certainly came to play. Reed’s two sacks matched his entire total from the 2016 NFL season.

Betting Odds

The line was six points, and so we have a push! Always head over to SportsBook Review for the latest odds prior to kickoff.

Next: FanSided 2017 NFL Season Preview

Next Week

The Falcons will be on primetime television in Week 2, as they play host to the Green Bay Packers in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game from last season on Sunday Night Football. Chicago will hit the road for the first time in 2017, heading to Tampa Bay to play the Buccaneers in the Bucs season opener.