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I've always been of the opinion that games before the bye week - particularly when the bye week is somewhere near the midpoint of the season - are of particular importance. With the NFL South tighter than my hamstrings, regardless of what happens today, the Falcons will be in the thick of things in the second half of the season.

But boy, would a win today be nice. I'd venture to guess there wasn't media member, fan, self-professed guru or anyone else with at least a tertiary knowledge of football who thought the Falcons had a chance to be 4-2 entering the bye week. Except, of course, the men and women who inhabit the halls of 4400 Falcon Parkway. We've been believers since Coach Smith came in and brought his no-nonsense, people-first attitude with him. We believed the first time we saw Matt Ryan practice in a Falcons uniform. We believed when we saw the raw power and lightning quickness of Michael Turner for the first time in person.

We believed early on. And we believe now.

We know what a win over a very physical NFC foe would do for this club and it's fan base. The Falcons have been nothing short of dominant in the first two home games, and we're all hoping that pattern continues today.

From my vantage point here in the press box, it looks as though Roddy White is going to be a go. He's running around, doing short sprints and cuts, and hauling in frozen rope passes from Matt Ryan.

These two teams are very evenly matched, and this game will probably be a close one. It will be a day to test "the process," the term Head Coach Mike Smith uses to describe the day-to-day and week-to-week evolution of his football team. A win puts us at or near the top of the division and ahead of schedule with our process. A loss still has us at .500, and right on schedule for where this team should be this season. Either way, you cannot help but be optimistic as we head into the bye week.

With that, I'll ask simply: Are you ready to kick some Bears behind?


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If the Falcons win today, they become legitimate. And I don't even like the Falcons.

Oh but you do like the falcons!You are here because you like the falcons.You dont know yourself do you?The scared little boy who thinks girls are icky.You dont know why your on the falcons boards on gameday?

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Nice start to this thread Mod.

Now my .02 worth. I believe we can win this game. I also fear with the Bears D and a young QB it could be a reality check type game. The Bears passing game will test us. If we lose...don't lose faith.

If we lose this game, hold in the urge to throw the "i told ya sos" at everyone. A loss here will hurt if it happens, because we've started to beleive. We've started to believe because this team nas new talent, new coaches, and a new attitude. All of those things still exist should we lose.

I hope we win. I see how we could take a set back. If we go into the bye 4-2, make room on the band wagon. Look at our remaining schedule and temper the euphoria. It all boils down to this, we have to win 2-3 games in our division. We only have 4 left. If we find a way to win those divison games, we wil lbe a factor. If we can't, we will wait for next year without the normal amount of loathing associated with that reality.

I know this team and this organization is coming. I may be out of my mind, but i see a solid foundation for that "long term contender" that AB has been promising since he arrived. We will be relevant.

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Atlanta Falcons Inactives

QB D.J. Shockley (third quarterback)

WR Laurent Robinson

S Thomas DeCoud

CB David Irons

LB Tony Gilbert

C Alex Stepanovich

T Quinn Ojinnaka

DT Jason Jefferson

Chicago Bears Inactives

QB Caleb Haine

CB Nathan Vasher

LB Nick Roach

G Dan Buenning

T Chris Williams

DT Matt Toeaina

WR Brandon Lloyd

DT Anthony Adams

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