By Matthew Asher
The 2014 Atlanta Falcons continue to bring up more questions each week. Coming into this week’s game against the Chicago Bears, Atlanta was a perfect 2-0 at the Georgia Dome while losing every away game. For some reason the Bears have yet to win a game at Soldier Field and have currently won three straight away games.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: When Might Your $1,400 Economic Relief Payment Arrive?
Over-matched in basically every category, Atlanta just couldn’t catch any breaks this game. Chicago held the ball for more than 36 minutes, outgained the Falcons by about 150 total yards and had almost double the number of first downs, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Atlanta lost their third straight game of the season. This is one of the rare weeks where the traditional Good, Bad and Ugly will not take place because there really wasn’t anything good from the Dirty Birds this game.
Atlanta’s Defense gets an F
Take your pick on what the Falcons defense did wrong. In the first half alone Atlanta allowed Bears quarterback Jay Cutler to throw for 233 yards. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall picked up 100 receiving yards on 5 catches including a 47-yard reception. In the second half, Atlanta couldn’t stop Chicago running back Matt Forte, who finished the game with 157 yards of total offense (77 receiving yards and 80 rushing yards) including two rushing touchdowns with both coming in the second half on 27 total touches. When the game ended, Atlanta gave up 478 total yards of offense.
Cutler finished the game with 381 passing yards, completing 26 of 38 attempts and one touchdown. Two Chicago receivers, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery were responsible for 100+ receiving yards. Marshall finished with six grabs for 113 yards and Jeffery had five catches for 136 yards. The one interesting note on the Bears passing attack is that the lone passing touchdown was only a three-yard pass to wide receiver Josh Morgan, his only catch of the day.
Atlanta’s Offense gets a D+READ MORE: Wanted For Homicide, Florida Man Leads Deputies On Chase, Breaks Into Home Before Placed Under Arrest
The Falcons finished the game with only 287 yards of total offense gained. Matt Ryan threw for 271 yards, and as a team the Dirty Birds ran the ball just 13 times for 42 yards. Ryan was sacked four times for a loss of 26 yards. As a team Atlanta picked up only 12 first downs (10 passing, 2 rushing) and only ran 54 offensive averaging 5.3 yards per play plays compared to Chicago’s 69 plays averaging 6.9 yards a play.
Atlanta never had a single red zone/goal line set of plays as their lone touchdown was a 41-yard pass to running back Antone Smith. This was also the first time Ryan threw an interception this season while playing at home as his six other interceptions have all occurred on the road.
Placekicker Matt Bryant gets an A-
If you exclude Smith’s touchdown reception, Bryant was really the only Falcon who did his job right this game. He was a perfect 3/3 on kick attempts including making both field goals of 52 and 54 yards, respectively. Otherwise, Atlanta simply was over-matched the entire game.
Atlanta will now have to travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens in Week 7. Hopefully Smitty and the rest of the coaching staff will figure out a way for Atlanta to turn their season around because another consecutive loss and there’s a good chance this season will be all but over for the Dirty Birds. Kickoff for the Ravens game is scheduled for 1 pm ET.
For more Falcons news and updates, visit Falcons Central.MORE NEWS: Florida Man, Family Torches His Impounded Vehicle To Destroy Evidence
Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.