The Atlanta Falcons used to be seemingly unstoppable at home. There was an aura of invincibility whenever the Falcons were in the Georgia Dome hosting an opponent.
Through their first two home games, they averaged 46.5 points and 528 yards. Those averages are in stark contrast to the 19.3 points and 372.3 yards on the road.
That invulnerability evaporated Sunday afternoon.
Atlanta fell 27-13 to the Chicago Bears in what was essentially a must-win game.
And really, it was uglier than the 27-13 score.
The team is in the midst of a tough seven-game stretch. Today’s game was their last game in the Georgia Dome until November 23, and the next “home” game is in London in Week 8 as they “host” the Detroit Lions.
The Falcons looked uncomfortable from the start. Julio Jones and Roddy White had two early drops, and the offense as a whole looked stagnant.
Maybe it was because of the alarming amount of Bears fans that nearly took over, making the game seem like the Falcons were on the road. At one point, Matt Ryan was even forced to call a timeout because it was so loud.
At the half, Atlanta had just three points and 98 yards of total offense compared to Chicago’s 13 points and 275 yards.
The Falcons did show signs of life in the third quarter, however. They had possession of the ball first and proceeded to put together a seven-play, 86-yard drive that was capped off by a 41-yard touchdown catch and run by Antone Smith.
Atlanta put three more points on the board to tie the game at 13.
From there, Chicago took the game over and didn’t look back. On the next drive, Jay Cutler connected with Alshon Jeffery on a 74-yard bomb to set up a short six-yard touchdown from Matt Forte.
Another Forte score from nine yards out in the fourth quarter to put the game officially out of reach for the Falcons. He ended up with 80 yards on the ground as well as 10 receptions for 77 yards.
The Bears totaled 478 yards of offense. Cutler had no difficulties picking the Falcons defense apart, throwing for 381 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. Brandon Marshall had his first 100-yard game of the season, and Jeffery finished with 136 yards on just five catches.
Next week, the Falcons go back on the road to take on the 4-2 Baltimore Ravens. At this point, the outlook is pretty bleak.
The Falcons were inefficient on third down once again, successfully converting just four of 13 attempts.
Seven dropped passes for the Falcons. Levine Toilolo, Jones, and White all contributed to that number.
Atlanta did show signs of pass rushing life. They were able to sack Cutler three times, putting their season total at seven.
The Falcons never made a trip to the red zone.