All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL's Game Statistic and Information System.
I think the Chicago Bears' offense is starting to come along.
They racked up 478 yards of total offense led by Jay Cutler, who threw for his most yards ever as a member of the Bears. Jay went for 381 yards, on 26 of 38 passing (68.4%), with 1 touchdown, no turnovers and a 109.6 passer rating.
The improved health of his top 2 wide outs allowed their gameplan to sprinkle in some deep shots. Both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery went over a hundred yards with their targets/receptions/yards slash line looking like this, 9/6/113 for Marshall and 7/5/136 for Jeffery. They each only sat out 5 of the 73 plays the Bears ran on offense.
Josh Morgan may be firmly cementing his status as the #3 receiver as he played 37 snaps to Santonio Holmes' 9. This is something to keep an eye on the next few weeks. Morgan caught the only pass thrown his way for a 3 yard TD. Chris Williams got on the field for 2 snaps.
Matt Forte led the Bears with 157 yards from scrimmage. He had 17 rushes for 80 yards and 2 TDs on the ground, and he caught 10 of the 13 balls thrown his way for 77 yards. Forte played 66/73 snaps on O, with Ka'Deem Carey playing the other 7. Carey had the long run of the day by either team, a 15 yarder, and he ended his day with 4 carries for 19 yards.
Tight end Martellus Bennett was targeted 8 times, catching 4 for 52 while playing 88% of the offensive snaps (64/73). Eben Britton came in for 15 snaps as an extra blocker and back up TE Dante Rosario had 29 snaps on offense and an additional 19 on special teams.
Cutler and his 5 offensive linemen were the only Bears to play every snap on offense. Roberto Garza was back at his familiar center spot and I thought he looked solid.
I think it's safe to say the Bears have figured out how to defend the run. After six games they're currently 10th in the NFL at 103.7 yards per game. In their last 5 games that number is only 85.8 ypg. Atlanta only managed 3.2 yards per rush on their 13 attempts.
Leading the charge against the run has been the improved play of the front four.
Even though he led the d-line in snaps against the Falcons, Jared Allen played a season low 46 plays. He picked up the first sack of his season which brings his career total to 129.5.
Lamarr Houston was next at 45/56 snaps at both DE and DT. He had a pass defended, 2 quarterback hits and a tackle. Houston hasn't exactly been filling the stat sheet this year, but I think he's been doing a good job against the run. He's often stetting the edge on the Bears' left side and he brings a toughness to the line. His numbers will come, but he's a big part of Chicago's improved run D.
Not only did Willie Young pick up 2 more sacks, but he's now the league leader in that category with 7. Young was in on 70% of the defensive snaps (39/56) and it's interesting to note, the only game he was held without a sack was the game he started.
Cornelius Washington made it in for 2 defensive snaps at DE, he also played 16 on special teams.
The Bears spent a lot of time in their nickel package, meaning Houston was inside at defensive tackle, so their DT rotation may look a bit odd. Jeremiah Ratliff had the most DT snaps at 38. In his first game back since week 2 he failed to crack the stat sheet, but I thought he was active and provided a good push up the middle.
Stephen Paea is having a career year now that he's healthy, plus he's playing for his next contract. He had a couple of tackles, a sack, and a pass defense in his 24 snaps (43%). He already set a career high and only one other DT has more than his 4 sacks.
Rookie DTs Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson played 15 and 14 snaps apiece. The only scratch by either in the stat sheet was Sutton's pass defended that ended the game.
Reigning rookie of the month Kyle Fuller was the only defender to stay on the field for all 56 snaps. He had 5 tackles, a pass defense and a forced fumble. He didn't shadow Atlanta wide out Julio Jones, but he did have a hand in holding the Pro Bowl receiver to just 4 catches, on 12 targets, for 68 yards. Atlanta's other starting WR, Roddy White, was targeted 6 times, catching 3 for 40 yards.
Chicago's other corner, Tim Jennings, had a tackle and a pass defense in 54 snaps. Rookie corner Al Louis-Jean saw first career action on 4 defensive plays. Brand new nickelback Demontre Hurst had the game's only interception along with 3 tackles. He played 38 snaps (68%), plus another 10 on special teams.
Safety Chris Conte left another game, this time with yet another shoulder injury, after making 3 tackles in 25 plays. It was rookie Brock Vereen that was the first safety off the bench this week and he played 31 defensive snaps, with another 24 on special teams. Brock had a tackle in both phases.
Danny McCray filled in for 2 plays on D when starter Ryan Mundy was shaken up. Mundy had just 1 tackle on the day.
Just how active were the three new Bear linebackers?
#Bears new LBs were top 4 on the team in tackles today. Greene led with 8, Sharpton tied with Fuller for 2nd with 5 & Jones was next with 4— Lester A Wiltfong Jr (@wiltfongjr) October 12, 2014
Middle linebacker Darryl Sharpton only left the field for one play on D. He had a QB hit and a pass defense to go along with his 5 tackles. I think I'd like to see Sharpton given a chace at some MLB reps even when D.J. Williams returns.
Khaseem Green only took one play off on defense and Christian Jones played 20 snaps (36%) plus another 21 on special teams.
Overall the Bears only gave up 287 yards to the high powered Atlanta offense. They held the Falcons to 31% (4-13) on 3rd down tries and they stopped them on both 4th down attempts.
New LBs DeDe Lattimore and Terrell Manning each played 16 snaps in the third phase. Corner Teddy Williams played 21 and running back Serorise Perry chipped in with 20 on special teams. Williams, Lattimore and Perry each made a special teams tackle.
Even though the Bears' 3rd phase has been unimpressive, I though Pat O'Donnell did a good job with his directional punting to slow down Devin Hester. Megapunt only had a 32.2 net, but Hester only had 10 yards on two returnable punts.
What were your thoughts on the numbers this week?