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The Chicago Bears scored early and often in their 30-12 blowout victory over the Atlanta Falcons as they opened their season with an impressive win over a quality opponent. Matt Forte and Brian Urlacher led the Bears on offense and defense respectively as they dominated the Falcons.
Forte excelled against the Falcons both rushing the ball and catching passes out of the backfield from Jay Cutler. After the team's traded field goals to open the game, Forte added the first touchdown on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Cutler. He took a short pass over the middle, eluded multiple defenders and broke tackles on his way to the end zone.
The Bears looked impressive, but most of the Bears' offensive success came at the expense of the atrocious Atlanta secondary. Throughout the game, Cutler had wide receivers streaking wide open down the field.
Although Cutler's performance was mostly positive, he still had some trademark Jay Cutler throws and decisions. When facing pressure, Cutler forced throws into pressure and offered some potential interceptions to the Falcons defense.
With his team up 13-3 late in the first half, Cutler had an opportunity to put the game further out of reach as a beautiful play call left tight end Kellen Davis wide open. Cutler overthrew the 6'7'' tight end and the Bears were forced to settle for a field goal leaving points out on the field.
Later in the game, with the Bears comfortably ahead 30-6, Cutler faced pressure on a screen pass and tried to get the pass off with three Falcons within feet of him. The ball was batted up into the air, caught by Kroy Biermann and returned for a Falcons touchdown.
The Bears defense was much more impressive as they frustrated Matt Ryan with their Cover-2 defense forcing him into two turnovers. They also forced a fumble on a Michael Turner run.
Most of the Falcons' success on offense came from running the ball as they averaged 7.9 yards per rush, but as they failed to put points on the board, were forced to play catch-up and threw the ball 47 times.
Certainly, the Bears proved they are for real and can play with any team in the league when they are on their game. With that said, they are still not the team to beat in the division, but should be held in a higher regard than the Detroit Lions at this point.
The Bears' weaknesses appear to be the offensive line that was responsible for giving up four sacks and multiple holds that wiped out big plays and Cutler's tendency to make mistakes in the face of pressure. The Bears face a big road test next week against the New Orleans Saints.