Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons Game Keys, Betting Preview, Prediction


dan quinn atlanta-falcons

While it’s still a very unimpressive 2-0 for the Chicago Bears, it is still 2-0 and that’s much better than 1-1 or 0-2. Chicago had been anything but awe-inspiring, on both sides of the ball, in 2020 but at least they’re not a punchline like their opponent this Sunday.

The Atlanta Falcons, forever synonymous with blowing a 28-3 lead to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 51, let a 20-0 advantage go to waste as they lost 40-39 to the Dallas Cowboys last weekend. NFL neutrals and fans of the Falcons’ rivals couldn’t stop trolling them over that.

Let’s break this one down, starting with the line. The BetQL NFL Over Under Picks have this game at 47.5, so that’s way below the 79 point explosion we saw with Atlanta’s game last weekend. The Falcons hit the over in their first game as well, losing 38-25 in a 63 point affair with the Seattle Seahawks. It’s rare to see an 0-2 team favored over a 2-0 side, but that’s where we’re at here, as the Falcons are three point favorites according to BetQL’s Public Betting Dashboard.

You could say that a higher scoring game would help the Falcons, but given that both results went against them, maybe not. The NFL consensus picks projection shows a 26-22.5 final score while the NFL expert picks conveys 56% of the money being placed on Atl, versus only 44% for CHI. 

Key Player to Watch: Mitch Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears

The Bears offense got better in converting third downs from week one to week two, but Trubisky still can’t put together two halves of football yet. While he’s still far from developing into a true, stellar franchise QB, something Chicago just cannot ever have for some reason, he is starting to become more solid overall.

If he took off more and ran with the ball, instead of forcing throws into coverage, he’d be much better. He’s underrated when it comes to making plays with his feet.

“He extended the plays, didn’t panic, and stayed with his reads,” said Tony Dungy.

Added Chris Simms: “He’s playing smart, making good decisions, throwing the ball accurate. His legs are getting him out of trouble and he’s not making stupid mistakes.”

tony dungy

“Something is different about him, he’s relaxed, he’s confident and he’s sure of himself,” said Mike Florio.

“He told me back in the early days during the pandemic when there was nothing to do, that’s when the Bears acquired Nick Foles and that’s when he took that time to reflect and decide what he wanted to be as an NFL quarterback and that made him put in the work, put in the effort and do what needed to be done to win that starting job.”

“As for Foles, he was brought there because of knowing that offense. What Trubisky told me is that it’s all of the other offenses that Foles has been a part of and he brought that information and made their offense better.”

mitchell trubisky

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons 27, Chicago Bears 21

Trubisky can only do so much. The Chicago Bears have shown that they are sometimes leaky on defense, and that that side of the ball just isn’t as vaunted as many thought it would be. So how are they going to stop Matt Ryan and company? Matty Ice enters this game with 109.6 passer rating, six TDs, one INT, 68% completion and eight yards per attempt.

All I can say is, good luck with that.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Speak Your Mind