Chicago Bears (3-1 3-1 ATS) at Atlanta Falcons (3-1 3-1 ATS) Georgia Dome Atlanta, GA 8:20 PM EST Sunday October 18, 2009 on NBC
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bears +3/Falcons -3
In a big game in the NFC this Sunday night on Prime Time TV the Atlanta Falcons host the Chicago Bears. Both teams have looked solid this season and each are in a fight in their respective divisions. The Bears and the Falcons both trail undefeated teams in their divisions, as the Vikings are 5-0 in the NFC North and the Saints are 4-0 in the NFC South. Each team needs to win this game to keep pace with the teams that they trail in division play. Matt Ryan vs. Jay Cutler on national TV? This is a game that should be fun to watch, especially if both teams keep playing offense like they have been.
Last week the Falcons crushed the San Francisco 49ers 45-10 in the City by the Bay and the Bears had the week off and in their last game laid a beat down on the Detroit Lions beating them 48-24.
In the Bears win a couple weeks back over the Detroit Lions their rushing offense led them to victory, They out-gained the Lions 151 yards to 90 yards on the ground and they averaged an impressive 7.6 yards per carry. The Lions had more passing yards, but they had to air it out in the 2nd half. Going into halftime the game was tied at 21, but after that it was all Chicago, as they outscored Detroit 17-3 in the 2nd half. In this game Bears were favored by 10 points so they easily covered the spread and the 72 points easily surpassed the posted 43 point total for the game.
The Falcons thrashing of the 49ers this last Sunday they dominated the San Francisco, as they out-gained them 477 yards to 279 yards and in time of possession 36:29 to 23:31. The game was pretty much over after the 1st half, as the Falcons jumped out to a 35-10 lead with 5 TD’s. RB Michael Turner had 3 TD’s and Matt Ryan had an awesome game going 22/32 for 329 yards with 2 TD’s. The Falcons’ secondary came up big, as 49ers QB Shaun Hill was only 15/38 for only 198 yards passing with 0 TD and 1 INT. the Falcons were underdogs in the game by 1 point so they easily covered the spread and posted total of 39.5 was surpassed by 15.5 points.
If you look at the stats for this game they are pretty even on both sides of the ball, as each team has been stellar on offense and each has had defensive problems.
The Falcons’ secondary was solid against the 49ers and they will have to be solid in this game against a Bears’ passing offense that is averaging 213 passing yards per game.
One key for each team will be stopping the opposing RB. Micheal Turner (323 yds 5 TD) and Matt Forte (271 yds 1 TD) have been ok this season, but each is only averaging less than 4 yards per carry. Each RB has to have a good game to take pressure off their QB.
Jay Cutler only has 1 INT after getting intercepted 4 times in the Bears’ season opening loss to the Green Bay Packers.
The Falcons offensive line has to step up in this game and protect Ryan, as the Bears rank 4th in the NFL with 14 sacks in only 4 games. Conversely the Atlanta defense has to put pressure on Cutler and they only have 8 sacks in 5 games.
In a few trends for this game the Bears are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games, the Under has been the pick in 8 of the Bears last 11 games, the Falcons are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 homes games, and the total has gone Over in 4 of the Falcons last 6 games.
The special teams of the Falcons must not let Bears’ return man Johnny Knox have a big game, as Knox has 322 yards on kick returns this season and has run one back 102 yards for a TD.
Jason’s Pick: Both teams have the offense, but their D has not played well with the Bears ranking 30th and the Falcons ranking 24th. However, the Falcons played solid D last week in San Fran and I think they will do the same at home this Sunday. I look for Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense to light up the scoreboard again, as Atlanta will win this game and cover the spread. I also think the Over pick is a no-brainer in this game.