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Non-Falcon Fan Gets It Right Concerning Week 1 Loss


MagnusXXIII
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You can deflate a lot of the air surrounding the Bears' 30-12 win over the Falcons. Chicago outplayed Atlanta and fully deserved the victory, but there's a lot going on to make a simple defeat look like a beatdown.

The game turned on fumbles. There were five of them, and wouldn't you know — Chicago recovered all five. These weren't meaningless fumbles at the end of the game, either. Devin Hester fumbled on his own 25-yard line during the second play from scrimmage and recovered it. Hester then muffed a punt in the second quarter that would have given the Falcons the ball at midfield. After a Falcons drive at the end of the first quarter was ended in Bears territory by a Michael Turner fumble, the Bears broke the game open with a stripsack of Matt Ryan on Atlanta's second drive of the second half. Brian Urlacher picked up the fumble and took it to the house for a 30-6 lead. The only fumble that really came in garbage time was when Jay Cutler dropped one on his own 22-yard line with 5:31 left, and even that would have given the Falcons a faint glimmer of hope.

Contrary to what you might believe, recovering fumbles is not a Lovie Smith trademark. Despite having a reputation for building defenses that swarm the ball in the hopes of recovering fumbles at the end of plays, his defenses don't recover a particularly high percentage of the fumbles. Although there's a lot of fluctuation from year to year because of the small sample size, teams will recover about 50 percent of the fumbles over any significant length of time. One of the few ways in which the 2010 Bears weren't "lucky" was on fumbles. They combined to recover just 24 of the 57 balls that hit that ground, for a recovery rate of just better than 42 percent. The Bears should improve on that figure, but 5-for-5 isn't happening again anytime soon.

If the Falcons recover even one of the first three fumbles, the entire complexion of the game changes. The Falcons were forced to throw for most of the second half and faced an excellent Bears pass rush that teed off on Ryan. The Falcons star was sacked five times on Sunday after taking just 23 sacks during the entire 2010 season, and four of those sacks came during the second half, when there was no threat of a run game. Atlanta was also without center Todd McClure, who makes the line calls and adjusts the protections along with Ryan, and right guard Garrett Reynolds was making both his first NFL start and his first NFL appearance since December 2009.

Even the soft stuff went Chicago's way. Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud had two interceptions bounce out of his hands, including one in the end zone. Matt Forte's long catch-and-run for a touchdown saw Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon deliver a particularly menacing nudge 20 yards downfield instead of attempting to wrap Forte with a tackle. Hester's 53-yard screen broke open when a Falcons defender slipped [Dunta Robinson]. The Bears did lose two players to injury during the game — but they were guard Lance Louis and wide receiver Roy Williams, arguably their two worst starters.

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Nothing about Soft Zones? Jay Cutler throwing for 300+ yards? Missed tackles, failure to wrap up the ball carrier?

Some good points were made here, but the glaring holes in our Defense were obvious.

There were very few moments that we could even imagine a stop by this Defense.

The Patriots put on a clinic for varied Defensive Looks and Schemes this weekend, perhaps we could Lock BVG in the Film Room and replay that game film OVER AND OVER until he screams "I GET IT NOW!?!"

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do you mean the same patriots defense to finish below the falcons last year in passing?......and the one that made ched hennevlook like Dan Marino? ....

We did give up too many 3rd and longs but 1/3 of his yards came up on 2 little screen passes.

Once again here the Issues get blown out of proportion and made to seem worse then what they really are.

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Thanks for the post Magnus. There hasn't been much point in commenting on Sunday's game because the board kidiots are out in full force, and participating in their 'discussions' would be demeaning. There are more things to point to than just the fumbles, but this is the stat that turned the game

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do you mean the same patriots defense to finish below the falcons last year in passing?......and the one that made ched hennevlook like Dan Marino? ....

We did give up too many 3rd and longs but 1/3 of his yards came up on 2 little screen passes.

Once again here the Issues get blown out of proportion and made to seem worse then what they really are.

Ched Hennevlook - he's that quarterback from Denmark, isn't he? :D

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It seems that this team rebounds very well from losses. I have all the faith in the world that this coaching staff will have the Falcons ready to play Sunday night.

I wanted to post earlier but every time I came to the boards I felt like the world was ending with all the negativity.Thanks for putting GAME ONE of a 16 game season in perspective.

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Hmmm. I watched all the Bears games last year and they most certainly did get lucky in certain situations. The Calvin Johnson TD, according to the rules, was not a TD and would not be a TD this year.....but it sure looked like a TD. Was there an element of luck or unluck there. Probably. I also saw that same play called a couple of years earlier on the Bears WR as he went in for a go ahead TD against the Vikings. They got situational lucky in that they faced a few 2nd and 3rd string QBs last year. Some of those came because they were knocked out of the game BY Bears players, others were injured in other games. I have seen the ball bounce their way a few times last year, I have seen it bound the other teams way last year.

They were other teams who had the same situations as the Bears did, but they did not capitalize on those situations the way the Bears have been doing since Lovie Smith got here.

When it keeps happening year after year after year, you cannot chalk it up to luck. At some point you have to give credit to the players for playing that way and for the coaches coaching that way.

The Falcons were 13-3, have two WRs on their roster who are better than any WR the Bears have ever had in their entire existence....if Julio Jones was on the Bears, he would be their greatest talent ever at that position and it would not even be close. Ryan was (and still is) poised to take the next lead into the top tier of QBs. The Falcons are a big SB team, a lot of people are picking them. It is not like they are the Lions, this team is legit. They won like crazy last year and did it in a fashion that no one can deny.

But the game Sunday? There were only two plays the Falcons "won". The long run by Turner, and the fumble recovery for a TD. That's it. They were blown out of the water on every other play. There was NO luck involved in that game. The Falcons were totally out played. It happens.

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From the beginniing, I said that last Sunday's game would be determined by turnovers and I was right, unfortunately, the turnovers were caused by the Bears. We need to develop not an opportunistic defense. we need to develop a dominating, ball hawking, gang tackling defense that forces our opponents into turning the ball over to the offense. We better start getting right on both sides of the ball because as everybody knows the next few weeks going Eagles, Saints, Packers,,Vikings Titans, Texans , Jaguars, and the rest are really going to test just how good the Falcons are, and just how wisely they used their money on the draft picks they got and the FA's they got.

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