CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11: A large American flag fills the playing field during the National Anthem and a moment of silence to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks prior to the game between the Chicago Bears and the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Bears dominate Falcons in all areas of the game in route to their week one victory.
What a great start for the Bears on Sunday in their season opener. Picked by many experts to finish no higher than third in the NFC North, the Bears showed that they are still a force to be reckoned with this season. What made the win even more impressive was that it came against the Atlanta Falcons who some picked to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl this season.
The Bears, and the rest of the league, started off with a beautiful ceremony and emotional national anthem to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that forever changed our country. The anthem got the crowd involved, and the Bears seemed to feed off the energy.
Chicago got the ball first and had a nice 10 play drive that led to a 41-yard field goal by kicker Robbie Gould to put the Bears up 3-0. Atlanta quickly matched that with a long drive of their own to tie things up at three after a field goal by Falcons kicker Matt Bryant from 48 yards. After this it would be all Bears.
Brian Urlacher intercepted a Matt Ryan pass to give the ball back to the Bears and they capitalized with a great screen pass to Matt Forte which went 56 yards and gave the Bears a 10-3 lead. The Bears continued to move the ball on their next couple drives and took a 16-3 lead to the half after two more Robbie Gould field goals.
Atlanta opened up the second half with some big plays, but luckily the Bears defense stopped them when they needed to and held Atlanta to another field goal to make it a 16-6 score. The Bears would rebound nicely and score two more touchdowns, one on offense and a defensive touchdown by Brian Urlacher, to blow the game wide open.
The Falcons did score a defensive touchdown of their own but that would be all and the Bears would go on for the 30-12 victory.
All three elements of the Bears played well in their season opener. Jay Cutler passed for over 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Matt Forte had almost 170 yards of total offense to lead the Bears. On defense the Bears sacked Matt Ryan five times and also forced three Falcon turnovers. The special teams excelled as well pinning the Falcons deep on punts and kicks and having some nice returns of their own.
Things won't get any easier for the Bears as they head to New Orleans next Sunday to play the New Orleans Saints.