Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears Game Preview

| September 7th, 2017

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears. But let me tell you…

The Glennon Saga in 17 Steps

Let’s walk through how this entire Glennon thing happened, step-by-step. Some of this is common knowledge. Some of this is information I’ve acquired. The acquired information is asterisked.

Step 1. Bears decide to move on from Jay Cutler. I’d put this down as happening sometime around November 2016.

Step 2. Bears make Brian Hoyer an offer to return. That offer is low, far lower than Hoyer’s camp hoped, and the journeyman essential tells the Bears to go rub jalapenos in their eyes.*

Step 3. Bears have serious interest in Tyrod Taylor*, hoping the new Bills coaching staff would want to move on to their own guy. (Today the Bills know they miscalculated*. After dumping half their roster and punted on 2017, the know they should have listened to the Tyrod suitors floating around.)

Step 4. Who is left? Mike Glennon. Bears throw a ton of cash at Glennon in what is essentially a lucrative one-year deal that many in the national media scoff at. They are “pumped”. Rumors surface Pace pursued Glennon last offseason. Glennon is the guy.

Step 5. Bears ask Glennon to join fans for their first round draft party.

Step 6. Bears move up to get Mitch Trubisky in one of the most exciting moments in Bears draft history.

Step 7. Glennon ain’t pleased.

Step 8. Bears reiterate ad nauseum, and for no other than reason than to appease Glennon, that the formed Bucs backup is still the starting QB and they’ll bring Trubisky along slowly.

Step 9. Glennon is awful in the spring. This isn’t widely reported because nobody gives a shit what happens in the spring.

Step 10. Glennon is awful in the summer. This is more widely reported but seemingly ignored because Trubisky dropped a couple snaps. Many report that Mark Sanchez is actually the most consistent quarterback in Bourbonnais.



Step 11. The first preseason game. Glennon is abysmal. Trubisky is great. The fan base gets excited. Trubisky is suddenly on the covers of newspapers. The 2017 Bears are a source of excitement in Chicago?

Step 12. Nothing changes at practice.

Step 13. The second preseason game. Glennon is abysmal. The Bears decide to use Trubisky less, keeping him off the field until he’s joined almost exclusively by third-stringers.

Step 14. The following Wednesday, the Bears ANNOUNCE Trubisky is practicing with the first team. This excites many of us, seeing it as a sign the team is recognizing what is taking place in front of them. What comes from it?

Step 15. The third preseason game. Glennon mounts one good drive. Trubisky struggles in his two drives with the first team, thrives when re-partnered with the guys he’s practiced with for months. John Fox insanely calls Glennon’s performance “superb” and anoints him starter.

Step 16. Trubisky is officially named the backup quarterback on September 6th. What does this mean? It means the Bears believe he’s ready to play pro football. It means the hourglass is flipped.

Step 17. The season starts.

There was never a competition. The Bears never wanted to embrace what they saw with their eyes and give the better player a chance. And now Mike Glennon faces Matt Ryan to open the season in one of the week’s most lopsided quarterbacking duels.

(I’ll have more on Glennon, from a positive standpoint, on tomorrow’s pod.)

Three Reasons the Bears Win

  • Teams that lose the Super Bowl don’t usually have stellar follow-up campaigns. That should be especially true when the team blows the game like the game gave it $30 under the Queenboro Bridge. If the Falcons come out stale and fall behind early, on the road, will they be able to recover?
  • The Bears rushing attack should be as dynamic as any in the league. They can now complement Jordan Howard’s tough downhill style with Tarik Cohen’s sneak-through-the-cracks shiftiness and speed. Atlanta allowed 4.5 yards per rush in 2016. If they allow the same Sunday, the Bears should be able to keep the ball out of Matt Ryan’s hands.
  • Turnovers. Glennon knows the one thing he can’t do if he wants to keep this gig is turn the ball over. With Fox’s defense/run game approach, turnovers will kill any chance of pulling off an upset. I think Glennon will be ultra conservative with the football  and throw the ball into the third row before he considers a difficult pass downfield. This will beg the question: can the Bears get points in the red zone with play-calling and the rushing attack?

Three Reasons They Don’t

  • Pass rush. Is Pernell McPhee actually healthy this week? If he’s not the Bears are hoping Leonard Floyd can blow up two solid, experienced tackles and disrupt one of the best passing attacks in the NFL. If the pass rush doesn’t get home the new look secondary will be dealing with one of the best crops of wideouts in the game. The only thing keeping Atlanta off the scoreboard Sunday is a sustained pass rush. Where is it coming from?
  • Pass rush. The interior of the Bears offensive line is terrific but the tackles have a tendency to start slow. With Glennon being a statue, any pass rush from Atlanta will more than likely either end up with (a) a sack or (b) a poor decision from Glennon.
  • How easy is it to game plan against the Bears offense? Put your defense in the box and dare Glennon and this collection of slot guys to beat you over the top. Chances of that happening: slim. If you believe – as I do – the Bears need to score in the 20s to win Sunday, you have to wonder how they get there.

My Favorite Thing About Atlanta

Song of the Week

How I feel heading into this opening week.

Cause of the Week

The Official Lady Friend of DBB, Ms. Sarah Scully, is running the New York City Marathon this year in support of the Noah’s Arc Foundation (Joakim Noah’s charity). Having done some work with the foundation myself, I will tell you this is a noble cause that will have a positive impact on the youth of Chicago.

You can donate to the cause – even giving just a few bucks – by CLICKING HERE.

About the foundation:

Noah’s Arc Foundation programs are focused on two areas: art and sports. Through the expression of art and the discipline of sports, Noah’s Arc works to develop the confidence and foster the passion that exists within every child. The goal of the Noah’s Arc programs and workshops is to help children tap into their unique passions and achieve their full potential in all areas of their lives. Additionally, our Drop of Consciousness™ movement is infused throughout each program, working to promote peace, unity and positive change.

Noah’s Arc arts programs give young people in under-served areas and those who are dealing with emotional and/or physical adversity the opportunity to engage in powerful self-expression. Through the discipline of sports, Noah’s Arc works to develop the confidence and foster the passion that exists within every child. Players become ambassadors for the Drop of Consciousness™ movement, bringing messages of peace, positive change and non-violence back to their neighborhoods.

Don’t Be Surprised If…

…the Bears have their worst home opener attendance in a generation. At of the time of this post, Thursday 6 AM ET, there are still tickets available for this game at Ticketmaster. Not secondary market. Straight-up face value. For those of you who don’t attend live Bears game, I can’t tell you how rare that is. (Full disclosure: I have paid 10x face value for tickets in December when the team had no chance of winning more games than they lost.)

People defending the decisions made by this organization simply don’t get it. The bulk of fans – those not on blogs, on Twitter, calling sports radio – have no interest in this Bears team under Mike Glennon. They are viewing the decision to start Glennon as an admittance that 2017 will be another developmental year. And they’re not going to waste their money on it. As I stated on Twitter a few days ago, the Bears would be looking at a packed, excited house and folks paying 5 x face (or way more) on the secondary market if Trubisky were the starter.

Don’t Gamble, But If You Do…

Under 49.5 points seems like a pretty decent bet for this game. Both teams have good defenses. Offenses are always behind defenses to start the NFL season. And the Bears, far more than the Falcons, will attempt to take the air out of the ball with the running game. If the game finishes 30-17, you win. I’ll put some scratch on the under.

Game Prediction

Scenario One (The Reality)

A close game, probably for the first half and change. Then a collection of three-and-outs from Glennon & Co. tires out the Bears defense and Atlanta pulls away in the fourth quarter.

Falcons 27, Bears 16.

Scenario Two (The Dream)

Bears find themselves tied 10-10 at the half, with Glennon struggling to make anything happen in the passing game. Second half starts and…wait…is that…is that Mitch Trubisky’s music?!?!?!?

Bears 27, Falcons 21

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