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Key Fantasy Matchups for Sunday’s Bears-Falcons Matchup


Bears RB Matt Forte vs. Falcons LBs Curtis Lofton and Keith Brooking

Atlanta moved the veteran Brooking out of the middle to let the rookie Lofton play in the middle. The Falcons have a veteran run stuffer in the middle in defensive tackle Grady Jackson, but they have not been playing stout run defense. The Bears have to have success on the ground and should get some chances since quarterback Kyle Orton has had the hot hand in the last two weeks. Offensive guards Josh Beekman and Roberto Garza are both mobile; they can get to the second level on Lofton and Brooking to spring some big holes for Forte.

Bears OT John St. Clair vs. Falcons DE John Abraham

St. Clair has faced a who’s who of pass rushers thus far. This week is no different: He draws the league leader in sacks, Abraham (seven). Abraham possesses a nice mix of speed and power moves; he will most certainly lead the Bears to provide help for St. Clair at times. The matchup is more difficult because it is on artificial surface and will be in the noisy Georgia Dome, where the offensive linemen will be at a disadvantage. St. Clair has done well for himself, but first-round pick Chris Williams is healthy and getting into playing shape. It’s imperative that St. Clair have a good game to stay on the field.

Falcons RB Michael Turner vs. Bears LB Brian Urlacher

Some felt the Bears should pursue Turner, who attended Northern Illinois University, in free agency, but they went the draft route with Forte. Atlanta cannot be more pleased with Turner, the explosive runner who runs with excellent pad level and isn’t easy to bring down on first contact. This is a meeting where the Bears, in their one-gap scheme, will need to be fundamentally sound. Urlacher hasn’t had a big game yet, and this would be a good place to start, in a dome where he has excelled in the past.

Falcons WR Roddy White vs. Bears CB Charles Tillman

White had a special first half against the Green Bay Packers, catching eight passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. He is quarterback Matt Ryan’s favorite target (team-high 26 receptions) and the only wideout with double-digit catches. He possesses the speed to hit the home run, and Tillman will be called on to shut him down. Tillman doesn’t just play the ball in the air well, he’s an aggressive corner who is one of the best in the league at stripping receivers just after the catch. If Tillman succeeds, it will put the pressure on Ryan who hasn’t found a comfort level with his other targets.

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