After two rough outings on the road, the Atlanta Falcons will be returning to the Georgia Dome to host the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
With the Falcons returning back home that should mean good things for quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense.
Ryan has had a solid start to the 2014 season, in case you were wondering. the Boston College product has thrown for a 1,579 yards and 11 touchdowns to only six interceptions and despite the national media rhetoric Ryan hasn’t been awful on the road this year, save for the week two loss to Cincinnati. In the last two weeks he has totaled 614 yards passing and four touchdowns.
I fully expect him to put up his third 300-yard performance of the year (and to be fair he is one or two completions away from two more) against a shotty Bears secondary.
But for as good as “Matty Ice” has been this year, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been just as good.
He has put up close to 1,300 yards passing and 12 touchdowns, five of which going to Brandon Marshall who despite battling an ankle injury this season is still one of the best receivers in the NFL, and along with him Alshon Jeffery, the team’s leading receiver, has been almost unstoppable this year and the twin towers of Chicago should be the biggest test for the Falcons young corners in Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford.
I am a big time fan of both corners but it is almost impossible to really shut down two receivers as good (or tall) as the Bears’ duo, and along with them is Martellus Bennett at tight end. The Falcons have been surprisingly good against the tight end this season but I honestly look at it as more of an aberration than anything. Besides Jimmy Graham they have yet to face a truly elite tight end and I expect Bennett to be Cutler’s go-to guy in between the hashes as the Falcons linebackers leave…. Something to be desired.
And because of the Falcons issues at linebacker Matt Forte has a big game waiting for him. Although the consensus top-five fantasy pick has gotten off to a slow start this season I expect him to get on track on Sunday, I mean you all saw what Giovanni Bernard did to the Falcons right?
I expect the Bears to put up points but luckily Matt Ryan has no shortage of weapons on offense.
Julio Jones has been unstoppable this season, catching 40-passes for 552 yards and three touchdowns and was leading the NFL in receiving had T.Y Hilton of the Indianapolis Colts absolutely go off on Thursday Night Football but for those of you into those sort of things he should retake that honor on Sunday. I expect him to be the focal point of the offense yet again as Roddy White appears to be either hurt or just slow and Harry Douglas out again with a foot injury.
In the run game, Steven Jackson has been actually productive this season (contrary to what many fans may feel) but Antone Smith has been the running back many fans have been clamoring for and for good reasons, it seems like he breaks off a huge 50+ yard touchdown every week and with that sort of explosion many fans, myself included, are hoping that Dirk Koetter finally unleashes the beast and lets him touch the ball more than four times. But until that happens, I find it hard to trust any Falcons runner in fantasy.