What History tells us between Bears-Falcons
Kamil Krzaczynski - USA Today Sports

What History tells us between Bears-Falcons

by - Senior Writer -

With the Bears win over the Cardinals last week, Chicago finds themselves 6-9 and a very slim chance to make the playoffs if they win out. That all starts with the Atlanta Falcons this weekend, as Chicago will close out the home portion of their schedule on New Year's Eve. With Detroit capping off their first division title since 1993 last weekend, the only chance the Bears have to make the playoffs would be to slide in as the final wild card team.

Atlanta, on the other hand, is on the outside looking in, but with Tampa Bay leading the NFC South with an 8-7 record, the Falcons are far from out of the division and are just one game back with two games left. This week's matchup features a matchup against two teams hungry to keep their seasons alive for at least another week and between a pair of teams that have played about as even as you can possibly play.

This will be the 30th all-time meeting between the two, and it is the Bears holding the 15-14 lead at the moment, showing just how evenly matched this series has gone since its inception. When you look at how things have unraveled in the past, it was the Bears winning the first-ever meeting in 1966 by a score of 23-6 before following that up with a second win one year later. Atlanta responded by winning the next two games, but the Bears held a 3-2 lead after the first five meetings.

Once the 1970s rolled around, it was all Atlanta as they took over the rivalry during that decade. Not only did the Falcons win the next five meetings, but had it not been for the Bears win in 1978, they would've gone winless during that entire decade as Chicago was searching for answers. Their struggles continued into the 1980s, but once the glory days rolled around (1985), the Bears decided to take over the rivalry as they won five straight from 1985-1993.

Going a bit further than that, the Bears continued to have success against the Falcons during the 1990s and into the New Millenium as they backed that five-game win streak up with three more wins in four games as they took eight of nine from Atlanta at one point. Their lone loss during that stretch came in 1998 when the Falcons outslugged the Bears 20-13.

The past seven meetings between the two show how balanced these teams are more often than not, as the Falcons have won four of the last seven to keep the overall series at just a one-game difference. That includes a pair of wins in 2008-2009, along with their most recent win the last time these teams met in 2022 when the Falcons held on for the 27-24 win.

That was their first win against Chicago since 2017, and the Bears will look to respond.

This will be the final inter-division matchup for the Bears this season and the final home game for the Bears in 2023, as Soldier Field should be electric. The last time these teams met at Soldier Field was back in 2017, and it was the Falcons coming out victorious 23-17 in what was a Matt Ryan and Julio Jones-led offense.

Before that, the last win the Falcons had in Chicago was 1983, as things have been a struggle for the Falcons in Chicago. You wouldn't have guessed that early on as the Falcons couldn't lose in Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s only to have Chicago take over from 1983 on, making this a difficult place for the Falcons to play for the better part of 30 years now.

It's hard to look at either of these teams and pick out which team has the advantage over the other. Both teams have certain things they do well and things they don't do well. Ultimately, this could come down to who can make the lesser of the mistakes, and that has been the Bears as they continue to force turnovers while protecting the football.

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