Line: Falcons -3

A pair of 2-3 teams with Superbowl aspirations coming into the season find themselves at an early season crossroads on Sunday afternoon. The winning team will get back to a 500 record and have chance to build on momentum. The losing team will find itself 2 games below 500 with only 10 games left to play. Both of these teams posses offenses that are explosive and capable of putting big points on the board. Both team have a quarterback who is being paid as if he was an elite signal caller yet has much to prove to justify that status. Unfortunately both teams possess defenses that have been awful at times and that continue to put pressure on the offense to score because it is unlikely that the defense will get a stop.

The Falcons are coming off of a 30-20 loss to the Giants in which they showed yet again how weak their defense is. The Falcons were up by 10 in the 3rd quarter but then allowed the Giants to score the games last 20 points and win the game. Clearly the offense did not do its part in the second half otherwise the 20 unanswered points would never have happened, however a maligned and injured defensive unit is going to have to find a way to get some stops if the team wants to make a playoff push. The game also marks the first time new wide receiver Devin Hester will be playing against his old team. He set the record for most career kick returns for touchdowns earlier in the season and all but one of those came while wearing a Bears uniform. He grew frustrated during his last few seasons in Chicago, as he never really had a chance to play wide receiver. He has 14 catches for 212 yards and a touchdown this year. Julio Jones is having another monster season but it may benefit the offense if the ball is spread around more. Jones was targeted 16 times last week while Roddy White was only targeted 4 times. None of this will matter unless the defense can find a way to get some stops.

The Bears are almost like 2 completely different teams. At times they are a cohesive unit on both sides of the ball and at other they look like the worst team in the NFL. Their depleted secondary is a bad matchup for the star receivers of the Falcons and it will be critical that they are able to find a way slow down the passing attack. The Falcons have not had much of a running game all season long so the Bears need to do whatever it takes to put pressure on Matt Ryan and make plays in the secondary. The Bears offense has stalled at times which is almost inexplicable considering the weapons they have at tight end in Martellus Bennett, at wide out in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey and at running back in Matt Forte. They will need to get these guys going so that if there is a high scoring game they can be the last team standing.

Pick: Falcons -3

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