CHICAGO (AP) - As opening arguments go, the Chicago Bears sure made a strong one.
All doubters that they’re contenders in the NFC should consider Sunday’s rout of the Atlanta Falcons.
“Big for us,” receiver Roy Williams said. “Big confidence booster for us as a football team. We knew what we can do offensively. We knew what we can do defensively. But to put it together, especially against a good football team in Atlanta, shows what kind of football team we have.”
In a matchup between reigning division champions, it was no contest. This one clearly belonged to Chicago.
“Disappointed, not discouraged,” Atlanta coach Mike Smith said. “It’s a long season, it’s Week 1. We will work to get this fixed and we will get it fixed.”
A lunging Urlacher picked off Ryan’s pass to set up an early 56-yard touchdown catch and run by Matt Forte. In the third quarter, the linebacker picked up a fumble by Ryan and scored from 12 yards to make it 30-6.
Cutler completed 22 of 32 passes and was intercepted once in his first game at Soldier Field since the Bears‘ loss to Green Bay in the NFC championship. He left that game with a knee injury and was roundly criticized.
The schedule doesn’t get easier with games against the past two Super Bowl champions coming up _ at New Orleans next week and then Green Bay at home _ but Chicago certainly looked strong in this one.
“It’s a good start,” Urlacher said. “We’ve got a ways to go. We made some mistakes, me included. Our offense played great today. I know they’re going to say they didn’t do this and that, but they kept us on the sideline for the most part.”
Forte, seeking a contract extension, turned a short screen into a long TD in the first quarter, and caught five passes in all for 90 yards. He also carried 16 times for 68 yards.
Devin Hester had three catches for 60 yards. He turned a swing pass into a 53-yard gain and got stopped just short of the goal line, setting up a 1-yard TD catch by Matt Spaeth that put the Bears ahead 23-6 midway through the third quarter. Urlacher put away the game with his fumble return.View Entire Story
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