Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons
I cannot wait to watch these elite receiver tandems put on a show in the A-T-L dome. Sure, the Bears need to use RB Matt Forte more. The same can be said about Falcons RB Antone Smith, who is breaking out in his contract season. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan is lethal when he gets to drop back in his friendly confines. Jay Cutler is the yin and yang of quarterbacks. One thing is for certain, Devin Hester is salivating to bust out some big plays against his former team. On one hand, Roddy White has passed the torch to Julio Jones. Across the field to the other sideline, Alshon Jeffery is still taking notes from Brandon Marshall. This could very well be the highest scoring game of the week. Both teams are 2-3, so a loss would further hinder one of their playoff chances. Get your popcorn ready for this show on turf.
The Falcons are favored at home by a field goal. There isn’t much to be proud about defensively for either team. Atlanta has given up 71 points in the last 2 weeks, while the Bears have allowed 69 in the same time span, all games against NFC opponents. That’s the reason the over/under has been set around 53 points, I would strongly consider taking the over. I would comfortably play both quarterbacks, the starting receivers, Bears TE Martellus Bennett, with serious thought about putting Hester in the lineup. If Harry Douglas returns for the Falcons, you could take a flier on him, but coming back from a leg issue is always risky. You can’t bench Forte, and I’d only play Steven Jackson if you have a flex position. I do like his backfield mate a lot, as Smith has scored 4 times, but he won’t get the reliable volume you’re looking for. If you need to pick up a kicker, roll with Matt Bryant or Robbie Gould if they are available, giving the edge to the home team. I really wouldn’t think about playing one of these defenses.