Atlanta Falcons (0-0) at Chicago Bears (0-0)
NFL Football: Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm (Soldier Field)
The Line: Chicago Bears +7 -- Over/Under: 51 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears open up the 2017-18 NFL season Sunday at Soldier Field.
The Atlanta Falcons would love to get off to a strong start after choking a Super Bowl that they had all but won. Majority of the key players from last years squad return for the redemption tour, as Matt Ryan leads an explosive offense that includes Devonta Freeman, Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. It’s going to be interesting to see just how explosive they’ll be without coordinator Kyle Shanahan, but there’s no denying all that talent. After all, we’re talking about a Falcons offense that averaged at least four points more than any other team last season. Defensively, the Falcons hope the addition of Dontari Poe improves the defensive line and takes pressure off linebackers Vic Beasley and Deion Jones. Last year, the Falcons were 27th in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed, so they could certainly improve that side of the ball. The Atlanta Falcons have won seven of their last nine regular season road games.
The Chicago Bears have won a combined nine games the last two seasons and hope coach John Fox can turn the corner in his third year. The first step for a turnaround is finding a quarterback, and the Bears may have found one in rookie Mitchell Trubisky, but Mike Glennon may get the nod to start the season. Jordan Howard proved to be one of the more underrated running backs in the league last season and the addition of Markus Wheaton along with Kevin White could add some spark to this Chicago offense even with the injury to Cameron Meredith. There’s potential with this Chicago offense if it can find stability at the QB position. Defensively, the Bears spent their offseason by replacing their entire secondary with Prince Amukamara, Marcus Cooper, Quintin Demps and Eddie Jackson. It should also be fun to see how Leonard Floyd builds on what was a highly successful rookie season. Last year, the Bears 24th in points allowed and 15th in yards allowed, numbers the coaching staff would love to improve. The Chicago Bears have lost four of their last six regular season home games.
The Falcons are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 road games, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in September and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Bears are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games in September, 4-1 ATS in their last 5 home games and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Falcons are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 meetings, the home team is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings and the under is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings.
I like the direction the Bears are going and see a brighter future for them than a lot of people, but that doesn't mean they're ready to compete with the big boys right now. The Bears are still undermanned on the offensive side and still have questions on defense. The Atlanta Falcons are a well oiled machine with nearly the same team from a year ago and have an offense that can run most teams out of the building. Even at home, this is a scary matchup for the Bears, as they simply don't have the horses to run with the Falcons. I'll lay my touchdown and predict a Falcons win by double digits.