The Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons will battle in Week 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a game between two teams trending in opposite directions. The Falcons (0-2) were on the losing end of one of the most horrific meltdowns in recent memory, allowing two touchdowns and a last-second field goal in the final five minutes to fall 40-38 to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. The Bears (2-0) hung on to beat the Giants 17-13 despite going scoreless in the second half.
Though the Falcons are winless, it isn’t because of Matt Ryan, who is off to one of the best starts of his career. The veteran quarterback will be tested by a Bears defense that features three fearsome pass rushers in Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, Akiem Hicks, and an opportunistic secondary.
The Bears have prevailed in two close games to get off to their first 2-0 start since 2013, but need quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to be more consistent if they are going to emerge as a legitimate NFC contender. A dismal Falcons defense might be exactly what he needs to get on track in Week 3.
Date: Sunday, September 27
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
Bears: 5th vs. Pass, 14th vs. Rush
Falcons: 28th vs. Pass, 18th vs. Rush
Bears: +3.5. +155
Falcons: -3.5, -190
QUESTIONABLE: DT Mario Edwards (glute), LB Khalil Mack (knee)
OUT: S Ricardo Allen (elbow), CB Kendall Sheffield (foot)
QUESTIONABLE: DE Dante Fowler (ankle), WR Julio Jones (hamstring), T Kaleb McGary (knee), DE Takkarist McKinley (groin), LB Foyesade Oluokun (hamstring)
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Mitchell Trubisky, Quarterback, $5,700
Trubisky hasn’t gotten off to the best start, but he’s still thrown for five touchdowns and has a very favorable matchup this week. Only the Seahawks have allowed more passing yards than the Falcons. And while Trubisky can be turnover prone, Atlanta hasn’t had any interceptions this year.
Allen Robinson, Wide receiver, $6,200
Trubisky has thrown his five touchdown passes to five different receivers, but Allen Robinson hasn’t been one of them. He leads Chicago in catches and yards and has proven to be a viable red zone target in the past, so that should change soon. Why not against the Falcons whose pass defense rank near the bottom of the NFL in every category?
Matt Ryan, Quarterback, $6,600
The embarrassing finish against the Cowboys overshadowed a great performance by Matt Ryan, who threw for 273 yards and four touchdowns. He ranks second in the league in passing yards and tied for first in touchdown passes.
Hayden Hurst, Tight end, $4,700
Everyone knows about Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones, but Hurst is coming off a big game in which he caught five passes for 72 yards and a touchdown against Dallas. The former first-round pick could be an interesting play against the Bears, who have allowed a tight end to rack up at least 56 receiving yards in each of their first two games.