The Atlanta Falcons found themselves in a nail- biter to start off the 2017-18 season.
Falcons left fans on the edge of their seats as they found a way to come out on top of the Chicago Bears to begin the season with a much-needed 1-0 start.
The Falcons didn’t put on a showing on the offensive end like we came accustomed to last season and looked a bit sloppy, but their were still a lot of positives throughout this win and fans have no reason to worry.
The Dirty Birds looked rusty on the offensive end and didn’t seem to ever get into their groove.
Devonta Freeman scored the Falcons first touchdown of the season but wasn’t as effective as usual only running for 37 yards on 12 attempts
Julio Jones was only targeted four times for 66 yards.
Although, Matt Ryan had a solid game completing 21-of-30 passes for 321 yards while adding the huge 88-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hooper to give the Falcons the lead 20-10 in the 4th quarter.
This seemed to be the dagger to put the game away, but the Bears answered right back moving the ball down the field and finishing the drive with a touchdown pass to Bears rookie running back Tarik Cohen, to cut the Falcons lead to 20-17.
The Falcons then came right back down the field but was forced to only add 3 points to their lead from a 37-yard field goal from Matt Bryant, which gave Atlanta the 23-17 lead with 3:24 remaining.
But the Bears showed no quit as they marched down the field reaching Falcons territory.
It all came down to the final 4 plays inside the 10-yard line as Falcons fans could feel the taste of defeat. The defense gave their best efforts and found a way to stop the Bears drive with a huge sack by Brooks Reed on 4th and goal giving Falcons fans a sigh of relief with a 23-17 final.
There were a lot of good signs that came from this not so pretty performance.
The defense was the highlight of this game. They looked sharp for most of the game, swarming to wherever the ball went. The Falcons defense looked quicker than ever and showed that the pass rush was still there getting 4 sacks in total, which should leave fans excited about whats to come with this younger defense.
Although the defense was on point, tight-end Austin Hooper was the key factor in the victory with two huge catches, Hooper finished the game with 128 yards and a touchdown.
The Falcons continue the season next Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers for a rematch of the 2016 NFC Championship game. This will also be the Falcons first official home game in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Daric Clemens – @D_TooSick