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Bears Fri Oct 16 2009

Footballic Ramblings: Bears Back From Bye Week

Sunday night the Bears and Falcons collide in the marquee matchup of Week 6 in the NFL. Both teams come into the collision with matching 3-1 records and a "solid" second place standing in their divisions. Footballic Ramblings has already gone over their offensive similarities . Today, let's study how each defense will slow down the very capable offenses that the 2009 editions of the Bears and Falcons are sporting:

When the ATL has the ball...

Expect the laser-guided Matt Ryan to supply the flame for the Bears reliably "burny, hot, fire-ready" secondary with steady deep passes to the big target, Michael Jenkins, the BIG target, Tony Gonzalez and speedster/"embarasserer" of your secondary, Roddy White who is coming off a 210 yard, 2 TD explosion against the 49ers last weekend.

We know the Bears' secondary is as stable as a ceasefire between warring tribes of goatherders in Afghanistatn and about as safe a bet as: your life in a game of Russian Roulette. So, really, the best-case scenario? The Bears front seven brings the ruckus in a big way and disrupts the unflappable Ryan and slows Michael Turner on running plays, forcing Ryan into errant throws that the safeties and cornerbacks of Chicago can bat down like a kitten with a moth.

Surprisingly, the Bears defense has maintained an incredibly effective rush defense and are right at last year's 93.5 yards per game average, which, last season was good enough for 4th in the NFL. Last year, in the Georgia Dome, the Bears held Michael Turner to 54 yards rushing which was his second lowest output of the year. The secondary was still just as flammable, so, yeah, the Bears defensive success starts with the run and sheer damage control in the secondary against the dangerous Ryan-led passing attack.

When Chicago has the ball...

Jay-Bot 5000 has been incredibly proficient since the first-half of the Green Bay game and will have to stay that way against the Falcons. He's still not incredibly comfortable with just one primary receiver, however, trending indicates that Olsen and Knox are his most readily available receivers. So expect Cutler to find those two early and often down in Dixie.

Meanwhile, hope that Matt Forte will featured slightly more prominently in the passing game as has been the case the past few weeks against Seattle and Detroit. Forte has struggled mightily in the running game [He did go off against Detroit, but that was against Detroit-Ed.] but Atlanta's defense has been fairly generous to opposing offense's run plans, yielding a robust 127 yards per game average. If Cutler can force the Atlanta defensive front seven to play honest by consistently hitting his receivers, than look for Forte to plow ahead and continue his "late to the party" campaign that began in Seattle.

The Bears Aren't On Til 7:30, What Can I Watch Before That?

Thanks to the always-awesome 506 NFL TV Distro Maps, we can ascertain that, indeed!, Sunday is a great day for network games.

Early Game: CBS: Baltimore @ Minnesota or Fox: New York Giants @ New Orleans It's a toss-up between the "Purple Punch-Out," between Baltimore and Minnesota live from Metrodome and the Clash of the Superdome between the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints. Will Adrian Peterson have his typical all-Universe type performance against a very good and very angry Ravens defense? Will Brett Favre get stabbed by Ray Lewis? Will Drew Brees lead an aerial assault against a very stout Giants defense? Tune in Sunday.

Late Game: CBS: Tennessee @ New England this game screams "Fantasy League Intrigue" to me, consider: Chris Johnson is Tennessee's only hope in this meltdown of a season that the Titans are suffering through. For the Patriots,Tom Brady has yet to have a "Tom Brady-esque" performance since coming back from his "a'sploded knee injury" last year. If he's going to have a breakout/return to form game, Tennessee's depleted defense is the squad to do it against.

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