Good: Jay Cutler performed like an MVP candidate, going 22-32 for 312 yards and two touchdowns. He took his fair share of hits, as usual, and hung in the pocket with poise and toughness – as usual. Three words for Matt Forte: pay the man! The Tulane product put on his best Marshall Faulk impersonation with five catches for 90 yards; including a 56-yard TD reception off of a well-executed screen. All throughout the afternoon, Forte was picking up a slew of real estate after first contact. Offensively, Mike Martz dialed up a ton of successful screen passes, which were operated to perfection more often than not.
Defensively, was that the ’06 version of Brian Urlacher, or what? #54 piled up 10 tackles (six solo), one key interception with the Falcons driving in Bears territory, and a recovered a fumble for six. Julius Peppers and Henry Melton were both constantly in the face of “Matty Ice.” Each defensive lineman registered two sacks, with Julius forcing the fumble which led to the Urlacher visit to the end zone. All in all, the Bears defense racked up six tackles for loss and 11 QB hits. Also, Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings paired up to do an admirable job against Roddy White and Julio Jones; especially “Peanut” Tillman, who also forced a fumble (when doesn’t he?), which got scooped up by Peppers. Offseason acquisition Adam Podlesh punted the ball extremely well, pinning the Falcons all day long. Futhermore, Robbie Gould was a touchback-machine.
Bad: Wide receiver Roy Williams (4-55) left due to a groin injury following a first-down reception and starting right guard Lance Louis exited early because of an ankle injury in the first half. Jay Cutler overshot tight end Kellen Davis on an easy misdirection screen pass (what a play call!) which would’ve went for a touchdown. Missed tackles on Michael Turner, who ran ten times for the century mark, were a common theme. Cutler still isn’t getting protected as well as he should be getting protected. The pick-six for Atlanta’s Kroy Biermann was fluky as all get out – should have never occurred.
Next: 1-0 Bears @ 0-1 Saints, 1 ET. 0-1 Falcons vs. 1-0 Eagles, 8:20 ET.
Injury update: OG Louis with a walking boot on right leg. He was was replaced by backup center Chris Spencer.