So I was 1-1 with my last set of predictions. I nailed the Panthers game, but I didn't account for the injuries to the Packers secondary (Harris and Bigby), the injury to Rodgers, and the growth of Matt Ryan for the Packers game. I was actually going to write last week predicting that the Falcons would beat the Packers, but I didn't have time... I swear I was!
This week we are playing the Bears, and our offense will not fare quite as well. The Bears run defense is stouter than the Packers, and our two losses have come against teams that can stop the run. The only way the Falcons can win this game is if Ryan continues to look good in the passing game. Luckily Roddy White getting KO'ed in practice wasn't that serious. Also Mularkey needs to make sure he mixes in some deep routes to stretch the defense. In our two losses, the Bucs and the Panthers were stacking the box, but Ryan was still trying to throw short routes. Ryan has to take several shots down the field, otherwise Turner will be hit behind or at the line of scrimmage every single time.
Defensively I'm not too concerned. Other then Devin Hester, there are no playmakers on the Bears offense. Everything is predicated on not turning the ball over. Forte (Thomas Jones 2.0) is a good, solid back, but he's not going to break any huge runs. He's only averaging 3.6 ypc. Similarly, Orton doesn't have the throws or the receivers to make the big throws as evidenced by his 7.1 ypa average. So as long as we play good special teams, take note of when Hester lines up as a receiver, and force a turnover or two, then the Bears won't score more than 20 points.
Well I was going to predict that the Falcons would lose their first home game, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm going with the Falcons winning on a Jason Elam field goal after Matty Ice's first 2 minute drill with the game on the line.