ReFo: Bears @ Falcons, Week 6
Someone was bound to get back on the right track as the Bears came in losers of two straight while the Falcons came in losers of three straight. After an unusually quiet first quarter that produced just three points from two Top-10 offenses, the offense started flowing.
Jay Cutler and the Bears went on a 13-0 run in the second quarter which the Falcons answered back with a 10-0 run of their own in the third, highlighted by Antone Smith’s ridiculous 41-yard touchdown. After Matt Bryant’s field goal tied the game at 13 midway through the third quarter, the Bears quickly responded with a three-play touchdown drive and the Falcons wouldn’t score again en route to a 27-13 Bears victory.
Chicago Bears – Performances of Note
Jay Cutler, QB: +6.6
Breakdown: If you were looking for the risky decision making Jay Cutler, you weren’t going to find him on Sunday. Cutler hit open receiver after open receiver and with only one pass touched by a Falcons player all day. The Bears quarterback was accurate on 28-34 targeted passes including 3-5 over 20 yards downfield. It was one of the most efficient performances of Cutler’s career.
Signature Plays: At Q2-4:06 and Q3-6:14 the Bears ran the exact same play: A play action fake with a deep crosser coming underneath a deep corner route to the right side of the field. Cutler read it perfectly both times for huge gains. The left corner stayed deep in cover three the first time and Cutler hit the crosser for a gain of 26 yards. The second time the Falcons were in cover three again and the left cornerback, Desmond Trufant, bit on the crosser and left Alshon Jeffery open on the deep corner for a gain of 74 yards.
Roberto Garza, C: +3.6
Breakdown: In his first game back since suffering a high-ankle sprain week 1, Garza was excellent. The center made positive work on defensive tackles and linebackers alike. Garza was dinged with one negative grade all day against the run and had a superb +1.5 screen blocking grade.
Signature Plays: On both of Matt Forte’s touchdown runs, Garza rotated out the nose tackle and got clean seals on his side of the trap play.
Stephen Paea, DT: +2.9
Breakdown: Although known more for his pass rushing than his run defense, Paea he put on a clinic in both on Sunday. Paea was successful two-gapping on multiple occasions Sunday, a rarity for the undersized defensive tackle. Against the pass, he added a sack, a hit, and a batted pass.
Signature Play: On a third and seven early in the second quarter(11:31), Paea ducked inside Jake Matthews on a stunt for the sack on Matt Ryan.
Atlanta Falcons – Performances of Note
Matt Ryan, QB: +5.0
Breakdown: This is what it looks like when excellent quarterbacking is given as little support as possible. On the day, the Falcons’ receivers accounted for an unheard of seven dropped passes while both the left and right tackles had pass blocking grades lower than -3.0. When Levine Toilolo dropped his third pass just after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter, it looked as though the Falcons were actively working against Ryan. Take away drops, throw aways, and batted passes and the Falcons’ quarterback was accurate on 26 of 32 targets on Sunday.
Signature Stat: The seven drops from Falcon receivers were a combined 99 yards downfield. That was the highest lost yardage total of any quarterback in Week 6.
Jake Matthews, LT: -6.0
Breakdown: When a -6.0 grade is a step up in performance, then it’s been a rough couple of weeks. Matthews accounted for seven pressures on the day, including two sacks, and was also flagged twice for holding. The left tackle just didn’t have the power to stand up to Jared Allen as five of his seven pressures yielded came by way of the bull rush.
Signature Stat: Matthews’ 86.0 Pass Blocking Efficiency was the lowest of any tackle this week.
Jonathan Massaquoi, DE: +3.0
Breakdown: One of the lone bright spots on defense, Massaquoi got after it to the tune of one sack, two hits and three hurries. It was easily the most productive game of his career to date as he set career highs in every pass rushing stat. The breakout game provides some reason for optimism for the Falcons’ currently 32nd-ranked pass rush.
Signature Plays: Massaquoi took Jordan Mills to school with the same spin move at Q2-8:55 and then again at Q2-0:10, applying immediate pressure both times.
PFF Game Ball
It was the third-highest grade we’ve ever given Jay Cutler and he needed every bit of it to best Matt Ryan for this game ball.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @PFF_MikeRenner