The Falcons (BARELY) pulled out a 23-17 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Below are my good, bad and ugly takeaways from the game.
- Defensive end Brooks Reed: Reed, and his golden Thor-like locks, had the game-saving sack on Bears quarterback Mike Glennon. Reed had two sacks in the game and five tackles. Not a bad day for Thor.
- Tight end Austin Hooper: It wasn’t Julio Jones, Taylor Gabriel or Devonta Freeman making the big plays today. It was Austin Hooper and his mean stiff-arm. Hooper and quarterback Matt Ryan mad a big play when the Falcons needed one most. After scrabbling to avoid a sack, Ryan found Hooper by himself down the field. Hooper made the catch and then ran at a speed of four miles per hour to the end zone. Along the way, Hooper put Quintin Demps on his back with the stiffest stiff-arms of all stiff-arms as he trotted his way to the end zone. Hooper made another good catch with an awesome stiff-arm later in the game.
- Kicker Matt Bryant: Matt “Money” Bryant was accurate as usual, making all three of his kick attempts.
- The defense: The ending of the game felt like the ending of the Super Bowl. After the Falcons took a 20-10 lead in the third quarter, the defense let FREAKIN MIKE GLENNON have his way with the passing game, leading the Bears to a touchdown to bring the score within three points. Not sure what defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel was calling, but the Bears receivers had too much space to catch Glennon’s passes. I would have liked to seen more press coverage, but whatever….
- Tackling: There were a few missed tackles and poor tackling technique by the defense. Hope they can quickly fix that.
- Guard Wes Schweitzer: Wes Schweitzer was named the starting right guard over Ben Garland. Maybe Garland should get a shot at right guard next week because Schweitzer was horrible today. Bears defensive Akiem Hicks had a field day with Schweitzer and sacked Ryan twice. I don’t know what the coaches saw in him to make him the starter, but I saw enough and I’m over him.
- Penalties: Falcons had eight penalties that cost them 73 yards. The Bears only had four penalties for 40 yards. Hopefully first-game jitters were the cause for those penalties and the Falcons will be more disciplined when they face Green Bay next week.
Photo credit: Atlantafalcons.com