After the Saints storming win in the early game the question heading into last night was whether the Bears could steal a tough win on the road against a well balanced Falcons team on Sunday night football.
The game was close from the outset with both defences imposing themselves on the game and both Quarterbacks blowing hot and cold on possessions. Matt Ryan seemed to have the edge early on as he continued to impress with his maturity. He has a canny ability to avoid the sack whilst also not forcing too many plays which makes him a dangerous foe for years to come. Jay Cutler on the other side was having problems under pressure as the Bears struggled to establish the running game.
The contest was littered with penalties and some surprising mistakes by the Bears special teams. Coach Dave Toub will be having nightmares after this one. They managed to get away with a huge mistake late on where they fielded 12 players and kept a late Falcons drive alive. Luckily the Defence stepped in and picked Ryan on the next play giving the ball back to the Bears deep in their own territory with just 3 minutes left on the game clock, trailing 21 to 14.
Cutler was able to drive down to the red zone in part thanks to a great open field move by Devin Hester but ultimately they were unable to convert on 4th and 7 and blew what would have been a perfect Sunday in my household.
The Falcons next up face the Cowboys before heading to the Super Dome for a division showdown with the Saints. It's a mouth watering clash in prospect.
The Falcons may be without Jerius Norwood who limped out injured in the first half of this game. Without him the Falcons will rely on Michael Turner to carry the ball even more than they do at present. Turner is more effective with Norwood in the game as the change of styles offered by the two RB's keep defences guessing. His recovery from injury in time for the Saints clash could be an important factor in the eventual outcome.