The Chicago Bears (2-0, 1-0 away) travel to the state of Georgia to take on the reeling Atlanta Falcons (0-2, 0-1 home) on Sunday in Week 3 of the National Football League. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. EST inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium as part of the NFL’s early slate. Atlanta is a 3-point favorite according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears enter week three with a perfect record but have faced two teams that have yet to win a game. Both victories have also been close calls, with a 27-23 victory at Detroit in the season-opener and a 17-13 triumph at home over the Giants last week. Both of those contests came down to the final minute.
There was a lot of noise in the offseason on whether or not Mitch Trubisky was the long-term solution under center for the Chicago Bears offense. Chicago went as far as to sign veteran Nick Foles in the offseason to compete at the position. Trubisky has looked decent in his first two starts though, completing 38-of-64 passes for 432 yards and five touchdowns.
David Montgomery has led the Bears in the rushing department, accounting for 146 yards on the ground so far. Montgomery also has four receptions for 55 yards and a score. Allen Robinson II has been Trubisky’s top target, with eight receptions for 107 yards.
The defense continues to be a strength for Chicago, allowing just 18 points-per-game through two weeks of play, which is third-best in the league. Outside linebacker Roquan Smith (15 total tackles, two tackles of loss) and safety Eddie Jackson (14 total tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss) pace the Bears’ defensive unit.
What to Know – Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta will try and shake off the nightmare of what happened in the closing quarter of last week’s game in Dallas. The Falcons suffered a devastating loss to the Cowboys after leading the game 29-10 at the half. Atlanta also dropped their home-opener against the Seahawks, 38-25, in week one.
Offense has not been an issue for the Falcons. Matt Ryan continues to perform at a high-level as we have witnessed for many seasons. Ryan’s 723 yards passing and six touchdowns are both tied for second in the NFL early in the season.
Calvin Ridley has caught 16 of his 22 targets for 239 yards with 4 touchdowns through two games. Those numbers statistically make him the top wideout in the league at this point. Ridley has benefitted from opposing defenses focusing on Julio Jones but can expect that attention to turn to him as the season continues.
When the Falcons do run the ball, their primary rusher is offseason signee Todd Gurley II. Gurley has just 117 yards and one rushing touchdown on the year however.
Linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal are leaders on the Falcons defense that’s allowing an eye-popping 39.0 ppg. Jones has 15 total tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss and half a sack. Neal has added 13 tackles, including eight solo stops.
The Pick is In
The Bears record is deceiving with their soft schedule to start the season. The defense has performed well, but the Lions were able to move the ball in chunks in the opener. Atlanta’s defense has face two high-powered offenses through two games and will get relief here against a Bears team averaging just 333.5 yards per game. The Falcons and head coach Dan Quinn desperately need this victory, and it will happen on Sunday. Our selection is Atlanta -3.5 in this one.