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Bears can beat Falcons on the road

The Bears are set for a road clash with the Atlanta Falcons, who hold the same 2-3 record as the Bears. The Falcons are close to unbeatable inside the Georgia Dome, with QB Matt Ryan holding a 38-10 record there. The Bears have been better on the road this season so far, and could remain that way with another good game Sunday.

Streeter Lecka

Earlier this week, fellow-WCG writer Steven Schweickert introduced readers to the Falcons by showing their offensive defensive rankings, as well as showing what each team could do to win.

The Falcons, much like the Bears, have been up and down but their swings have been much bigger than the Bears'. Like the Bears, their season has been split between home and away. The team has lost all three of its road games while winning both of its home games.

This is in contrast to the Bears, who have lost both their home games and won two of three on the road.

Schweickert brought up some stats that show it is possible for the Bears to beat the Falcons, but they will need to play a complete game start to finish, something that they haven't done.

The infuriating thing about Chicago in 2014 is their ability to shoot themselves in the foot. Shoulda, woulda, coulda is a dangerous and fruitless game to play in the NFL, but the Bears have an argument that they could be 4-1 with better play through four quarters.

The offense has been the single most frustrating unit on the team, believe it or not. Defensive expectations were low and that side of the ball has held up well, even exceeding expectations for the most part. Special teams was an unmitigated disaster last season and all preseason, so it was no surprise when that unit sprays the field with flags and boneheaded mistakes.

The offense, though, after ranking in the top 10 in both yards and points, is currently middle of the pack. They ranked 16th in points with 23.2 per game and 17th in yards with 348.6 per game.

What's more is that the Bears have fumbled and thrown games away, with six of their 10 giveaways occurring in the second half.

It's common knowledge that turnovers kill teams but when they occur late in games, especially close games, they are nearly impossible to overcome.

Now, as for Sunday's game, the Falcons can be beat at home.

In their week one victory over the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons had to rally from a 20-7 deficit to tie the game as time expired at 0:34 and then recover a New Orleans fumble in overtime to kick the winning field goal.

Furthermore, the Bears have had some heartbreakers down in Atlanta in the Matt Ryan era. Most fans remember the 2008 game when the Bears took a 20-19 lead with 11 seconds left, only to have Robbie Gould's squib kick returned ten yards to the Atlanta 44 yard line, where Matt Ryan was able to complete a 26-yard pass to Michael Jenkins, setting Jason Elam's 44-yard field goal with 0:01 on the clock.

Just one year later the Bears returned to the Georgia Dome and tied the game at 14-14 with 6:18 to play, but allowed a 62-yard kickoff return to Eric Weems, giving Matt Ryan and Co. a short field; Michael Turner scored the go-ahead touchdown with 3:10 to play. On the ensuing Bears drive, Jay Cutler led the Bears to the Atlanta five before an Orlando Pace false start pushed them back to the 10 where, with 0:34 left, Cutler's pass intended for Desmond Clark was incomplete on 4th and 6, turning the ball and the game over to the Falcons.

It's not like the Bears were blown out in Atlanta like the Buccaneers were a few weeks ago, 56-14. They were close games that the Bears had chances to win but couldn't close. Those teams weren't unlike the 2014 squad: imperfect, flawed in areas, and seemed to come up short when it really mattered.

If the 2014 Bears want to avoid the memories of the teams in those games, then they need to show up big on Sunday and play mistake-free. The Falcons can be beat at home and it's time for the Bears to exorcise those demons.