It’s not often a rivalry gets this much hype, but it was the Falcons who won the first NFC championship.
Now it’s the Bears who have a chance to do it again.
Here’s what we learned.
The Bears won’t win their second division title in three years Bears fans might not be thrilled with the way the Falcons won their second straight NFC title, but the Bears won the division in 2014.
This time around, the Bears are looking to take a step back and let some of their recent history take its course.
Bears coach Marc Trestman is a veteran, so it will be interesting to see how he handles his players coming off a bye week and playing in the divisional round against a team that has been playing good football for years.
Bears rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky should make for a good test for his new offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Packers and Vikings in the late ’90s, so he’s not known for having a long history of offensive success.
But Trubisky is coming off an impressive rookie season and will get the Bears a chance at some success as they try to make a run at the playoffs.
The Falcons are a team with a ton of young talent, but they’ve had some issues up front this year.
They’ve had issues with turnovers and penalties, and the offense struggled with turnovers.
That should come into play against the Bears, who were just 5-for-31 against the pass last year.
The Atlanta defense is capable of stopping the run and forcing turnovers, so this should be an easy matchup for Trubys new offense.
The only real question is whether the Bears can make up for the mistakes they made last year in the second half, especially when it came to letting the offense make mistakes and allowing the offense to go downfield.
They struggled to do that last year and will be looking to turn it around this year with more consistency.
Bears WR Kenny Britt is the first player on this list to start his career on a bye, so his return could help the Bears.
Britt is coming from an injury plagued season in which he only played in three games.
He did have two catches for 31 yards and a touchdown, and it was his second game in a week.
Britt will be a big addition to the Bears offense, especially since he’s coming off of a career-high 40 catches for 718 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
The matchup between Trubishisky and the Falcons offense is tough, especially on paper.
Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan will have to find a way to keep Trubyisky under control while also playing to his strengths.
But the Falcons should be able to shut Trubiyisky down if they want to win this game.
Bears QB Mitch Tramp is coming out of his bye week.
The Chicago Bears are 3-2 when he returns, but he’s only played one game this season and he struggled against the Packers in Week 2.
Trubashisky will be expected to be at his best against the Falcons, but his biggest issue will be getting the ball out of Trubary’s hands.
The offense has a lot of talent up front, but Trubry can’t afford to allow the Bears to go through his progression process with the offense.
Bears running back Jordan Howard is coming back after missing the last two games with a groin injury, so Trubey should be careful with Howard, too.
The biggest question mark for Trubs offense is if he can continue to find ways to get the ball to his receivers.
Trubs receivers were targeted just three times in the fourth quarter against the Bengals last season, but those numbers were still huge numbers.
Trubi is looking for Trubbys best pass-catching opportunity this year and it will come in the red zone.
The Lions offense has been getting inconsistent play at times and the Bears will be desperate to get some scoring opportunities in the end zone this week.
Bears RB Jordan Howard has been out of the lineup this year due to an injury.
It’s been a slow start for Howard, who has only rushed for 40 yards on five carries this season.
But Howard has looked good in recent weeks and could get a big boost from this game with Trubries best weapon back.
The Saints have been playing well this year, but this is a game that should be close.
This should be a close game, but I think the Bears defense is the stronger team on the other side.
The Panthers offense has struggled mightily with turnovers this season, and they’ve been on a bad stretch of road games in recent seasons.
They’ll have to be able not only to stop Trubay’s offense, but also stop the Falcons defense from going downfield as well.
The Buccaneers have been able to win close games with their defense and special teams, so the Bears should have a tough time stopping this defense.
Bears LB Jerrell