After a couple of third-down collapses on the first drive of the game, the Falcons defense quickly forced a Bears three-and-out courtesy of some good third-down pressure applied by Peria Jerry and Ray Edwards. Cutler argued for roughing-the-passer, but to no avail. Eric Weems had a nice punt return, and the Falcons offense set up on their on 43-yard line.
Ryan then found Julio Jones on the first play of the drive, a beautiful diving catch by Julio Jones good for 14 yards. The Falcons followed up with an eight-yard rush by Turner, and it looked as if the Falcons were poised to take the lead. However, Brian Urlacher showed why he's considered one of the game's best by picking off an awkward Matt Ryan pass, effectively killing the drive.
So, the Falcons defense found themselves right back out on the field, and John Abraham struck for his first sack of the season good for a nine-yard loss. However, a breakdown in coverage and poor tackling resulted in two Bears plays that went for a total of 81 yards, including a 56-yard Matt Forte catch and run that he took all the way to the house. Really, there was some bad tackling on that one. Mike Smith must be furious.
Following that giant momentum killer, the Falcons took over trailing the Bears 10-3. Ryan, who has gotten spotty pass protection all day, started the drive off right a 30-yard pass to Tony Gonzalez. At this point, Ryan is eight-for-nine on the day, his only incompletion the Urlacher interception.
But luck simply hasn't been on the Falcons' side, as on the following play we were forced to watch a rare Michael Turner fumble that was recovered by Julius Peppers. Don't get me wrong, the Falcons have been playing a decent game thus far. But turnovers are a huge drive killer, and the offense can't afford to make any more mistakes.
Still, this Bears team looks alot better than most people have thought. This is still a team that played in the NFC Championship game. Very concerning is the status of Jonathan Babineaux, who appeared to have been shaken up on the last play of the quarter. An update will come on him later. The Falcons enter the second quarter trailing 10-3.