By Ryan Bukowiecki (@ryanbski)
A pivotal fork in the road awaits the Chicago Bears this week, both as a collective and as individual units within said collective.
It has not been a renaissance offensive year so far under head coach Matt Nagy and one area the offense struggles with especially is scoring points. Make no mistake about it, the Bears offense is going to have to score multiple touchdowns this week against the Atlanta Falcons in order to improve to 3-0 on the year.
But wouldn’t you know it, an opportunity for a breakthrough has shown itself in the form of a poor Falcons defense vulnerable to giving up scores, even when they build up seemingly insurmountable leads.
On the other side of the ball this Falcons team has a strong offense, starting with veteran quarterback Matt Ryan who has plenty of playmakers on the outside and an offensive line to protect him. In spite of their 0-2 record, for the first two weeks these Falcons have been a handful to both the Seahawks and Cowboys.
Clearly, the Bears defense will have to be good this week. Would it be too much to ask them to get back to elite level and potentially shut down this explosive Falcon team? Will the Bears offense score enough points to even compliment the defense? Lets try and answer all these questions and more in our four goals to a Bears victory on Sunday.
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Score, Score, Score…Then Score Some More — It’s no secret that the Bears’ scoring attack has been very suspect of late, continuing a trend that pretty much stretches back to the beginning of this millennium.
Fortunately, for the Bears they have been able to put together wins at a good clip despite the extended droughts of offense. Sadly that tactic won’t work this week — they need more and they need it when they have control of the ball.
A Good Start? — A lot of positives can be said about rookie corner back Jaylon Johnson in his immediate introduction to the NFL, but based on his competition and overall execution has it been that good of a start? Signs point toward Johnson effecting the final outcome in Atlanta one way or another.
Rush Order On Stopping the Pass — Having stout pass rushers like Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks and now Robert Quinn should set the Bears up to have one of the best pass rushing groups in the NFL. It hasn’t quite played out that way so far, so light up the pass rush signal and show the Falcons and the rest of the league who you’re really going to be in 2020.
Where is My No. 2 Man…Mr. No. 2? — Wide receiver Allen Robinson has been a revelation for this Bears franchise. It would be scary to think where the Bears would be without their No. 1 receiver, especially since quarterback Mitch Trubisky has only shown true trust in Robinson. But will that connection be enough for the Bears to get where they want to go?
Ryan Bukowiecki covers the Chicago Bears and professional football for WARR