While many early on in the offseason completely wrote off the Bears’ chances of even being able to compete this season, there were some (like myself, see previous article at the bottom), who had some optimism that things weren’t going to be as bad as people feared. Many experts even picked the Bears to beat Atlanta, including Odd Shark‘s famed “SuperComputer.” All the hype and lack there of doesn’t mean anything until the pads actually come on and the team hits the field on a Sunday as we all know. The Bears played a pretty good game, looking dynamic on both sides of the ball, something that could not be said at ALL for last year’s team, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to beat the reigning NFC champions as they fell to the Atlanta Falcons in a nail biting 23-17 game.

I called it a couple days ago that Tarik Cohen would be a force to be reckoned with (article also at the bottom), and he was just that on Sunday, racking up 158 all purpose yards, a franchise record for a Bears debut. Cohen rushed for 66 yards on only 5 carries, had 8 catches for 47 yards, and gathered another 45 yards on punt returns on top of that. Cohen brings so much more than just a change of pace for starter Jordan Howard. Having as much speed as Cohen brings makes it SO MUCH harder for defenses to prepare for and cover. On his long 45 yard run, the Atlanta D all rushed to the outside trying to lockdown his speed on the assigned sweep pass. What makes him so dangerous is his cutback ability, which he put on full display on the play. The Bears will look to him even more moving forward knowing that he can handle the pressure of a regular season game.

A big concern heading into Sunday’s game was if Mike Glennon would be able to run the offense well enough to not get benched for rising rookie Mitch Trubisky. While he didn’t show anything flashy, the Bears didn’t sign him to be flashy: they signed him to run their offense. And that is exactly what he did, going 26-40 for 213 and a touchdown, in addition to a 86.8 passer rating. While it was tough to see him not end their final drive with a game-winning touchdown, he didn’t necessarily do anything wrong all day for the most part, and Bears fans should be happy and optimistic with how he played on Sunday.

Like I just mentioned, the Bears had a real big shot to win the game at the end, driving the ball all the way to the edge of the goal line. After a solid pass and catch from Glennon to tight end Zach Miller, the offense just couldn’t muster anything up in the red zone, with two big incompletions from wide receiver Josh Bellamy and running back Jordan Howard. It was vintage Bears, but a big difference, in my opinion, was that it was from players who were sincerely playing their asses off to get a win, which is something that can at least be admired after a heartbreaking loss in Week 1.

While the defense was able to keep the Atlanta offense in check for most of the game, they did give up some big plays, including Austin Hooper’s 88-yard touchdown catch, and they will have another tough matchup as they take on Jameis Winston and the Bucs next week. Another Sunday for Kissin’ Titties.

Tarik Cohen: More Than Just A Poor Man’s Darren Sproles

Book It: The Chicago Bears Will Make The Playoffs (Probably Not)