The Chicago Bears displayed a very impressive effort against the 2016 NFC Champions in game one of the season against the Atlanta Falcons.
In a game that most expected to be a blowout, the Chicago Bears proved to the National Football League that they are: a team that shouldn’t be underestimated.
The Bears defense immediately faced an uphill battle when the Atlanta Falcons marched down the field on the first drive and scored. The drive didn’t end in a score in the end zone but through the uprights as Falcons’ kicker, Matt Bryant, hits a 48-yard field goal eight minutes into the game. With 4:15 left in the first quarter, the Bears answered back with a 54-yard field goal made by kicker Connor Barth. Early in the second quarter, the Falcons answered back with a five-yard touchdown run from Devonta Freeman that put the Falcons up 10-3. But in college-like fashion, the Bears answers back with a wild cat set! Quarterback Mike Glennon lined up as a receiver and rookie running back Tarik Cohen lined up in the quarterback position. With Cohen and Jordan Howard in the back field, Cohen hands the ball to Howard who runs it in from four-yards and ties the game at 10 heading into the half.
Both the Bears and the Falcons failed to score on their first drive of the second half, but just under halfway through the third quarter, the Falcons regained the lead with a 28-yard field goal by Bryant. As if a three-point lead wasn’t good enough, the Falcons increased the lead to 10 after quarterback Matt Ryan heaves a pass to a wide opened tight end, Austin Hooper, for an 88-yard touchdown reception. Well, the boys in blue must have taken that play as a smack in the mouth because on the very next drive Glennon and the offense put together a nine play, 75-yard scoring drive and a pass to Cohen for a 19-yard pass, 20-17 Falcons lead. After another made field goal by Bryant, the Bears had a chance to upset the NFC Champs with a scoring drive at the end of the game. Glennon and the Bears drove 74-yards down the field to get within the five-yard line. Glennon took three shots at the touchdown but failed to make it in. The Bears drive finished with a nine-yard sack on Glennon and the Falcons beat the Chicago Bears, 23-17 in game one.
With his NFL debut, fourth round draft pick running back Tarik Cohen is today’s most valuable player! Cohen showed up and showed out in Sunday’s game, finishing the game with five attempts for 66-yards rushing, eight receptions for 47-yards and one touchdown, and he even added an extra 45-yards after three punt returns. His most notable play on Sunday was a five-yard loss turned into a 46-yard gain after the Falcons defense forced Cohen to redirect. Cohen’s agility and speed proved to be a problem for the Falcons and their very good defense. To top it off, Cohen set a franchise record for most yards in a debut game with a total of 158-yards. Looking good for the future!
This category is going to be quick and sweet. The Receiving corp of the Bears seems to be a problem. Yes, a lot of the blame can go on Mike Glennon and his inability to extend plays, but at the end of the day, it’s the receivers job to get open and get deep. Underneath routes are great and can be a force, but when that is the only threat you have as a team, you become one dimensional. The receivers need to show a presence downfield.
Play Of The Game
The 88-yard touchdown catch and run was pretty impressive for the Falcons, BUT THIS IS NOT THE FALCONS’ PAGE. So, we are going to go with the Barry Sanders-like run from Tarik Cohen in the second quarter. Cohen starts left tackle where it is immediately shut down, but he then shifts direction and out runs the defense to the other side of the field for an extra 46-yards and the first down. That play set up the first score of the game for the Bears to tie the game at 10 heading into halftime.
Chicago Bears (0-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0)
Sunday, September 24