A post-draft look at the Falcons’ 2017 opponents: The Bears

Our old NFC South buddy John Fox is on the hot seat in the Windy City after posting their worst season since 1969. Here he’s in a Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, file photo, as he speaks at an NFL football news conference at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill. Fox. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

FLOWERY BRANCH — A look at the teams on the Falcons’ schedule and how they have reconstructed their roster since the season’s end:

CHICAGO BEARS

Falcons at Bears, Sept. 10

No longer with the Bears: The Bears parted ways with quarterback Jay Culter after eight seasons. Other losses include:

Key free agent signings: Mike Glennon, QB; John Jenkins, DT; Dion Sims, TE: Marcus Cooper, CB; Quintin Demps, SS; Markus Wheaton, WR; Mark Sanchez, QB; Bennie Cunningham, RB.

Draftees: Mitchell Trubisky, QB (first round); Adam Shaheen, TE (second); Eddie Jackson, S (fourth); Tarik Cohen, RB (fifth), and Jordan Morgan, OL (fifth).

Weaknesses: The Bears lack scoring punch. They averaged 17.4 points per game, tied for 28th in the NFL. In six games, the offense failed to score multiple touchdowns and scored more than 21 points only three times.

Strengths: Rookie running back Jordan Howard rushed for 1,313 yards last season to set a team record. The Bears are hopeful that former Georgia standout Leonard Pope can have a breakout season in his second year in the league.

Comment: When the NFC Champions roll into town the Bears will be trying to rebound from their worst season (3-13) since 1969. Six of those losses were by double-digit margins. They are trying to rebound from three consecutive last-place finishes in the NFC North. The have announced that Glennon will be the starter, but they may be tempted to get the Trubisky Era started.

FALCONS SCHEDULE

Exhibition season

Falcons at Miami Dolphins at 7 p.m. Aug. 10

Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers at 4 p.m. Aug. 20

Arizona Cardinals at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 26

Jacksonville Jaguars at Falcons at 7 p.m. Aug. 31

Regular season

Sept. 10 at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m., Fox

Sept. 17 Green Bay Packers, 8:30 p.m. NBC

Sept. 24 at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. Fox

Oct. 1 Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 8 BYE

Oct. 15 Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m., CBS

Oct. 22 at New England Patriots, 8:30 p.m., NBC

Oct. 29 at New York Jets, 1 p.m., Fox

Nov. 5 at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox

Nov. 12 Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m., Fox

Nov. 20 at Seattle Seahawks (Mon) 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Nov. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 3 Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 7 New Orleans Saints (Thur), 8:25 p.m., NBC/NFL Network/Amazon

Dec. 18 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mon). 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Dec. 24 at New Orleans Saints, 1 p.m., Fox

Dec. 31 Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m., Fox

THE FALCONS 2017 DRAFT

MUST READ PROFILE: Falcons top pick McKinley makes name for himself

2017 Falcons report card: Falcons earn a B-plus

NFC Champs add a pass rusher, quality depth 

1st rounder: Meet defensive end Takkarist McKinley

3rd rounder: Meet linebacker Duke Riley

4th rounder: Meet offensive guard Sean Harlow

5th rounder: Meet defensive back Damontae Kazee

5th rounder: Meet running back Brian Hill

5th rounder: Meet tight end Eric Saubert

 

 

 


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