Bears nearly upend Falcons with last-second drive, suggesting 2017 won’t be a barren wasteland

The Falcons’ quest to defend their NFC Championship nearly took an unexpected turn Sunday afternoon. Atlanta led 23-17 with 21 seconds to go, but a surprisingly efficient two-minute drill had Mike Glennon and the Bears facing first-and-goal as the Falcons, already toasted by the warm Chicago sun, began to sweat a bit more.

Ultimately, three straight incompletions and a game-ending sack prevented the visitors from starting their season 0-1, but Bears fans left Sunday’s game with a little more hope than last year’s 3-13 campaign had instilled.

While 2016 MVP Matt Ryan still managed to carve up the Chicago secondary, an energized front seven kept one of the league’s top tailback platoons from doing any sustained damage on the ground. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for just 53 yards on 20 carries. Their inability to produce lay in stark contrast for the Bears’ biggest reason for optimism.

Even if he is activated for Sunday as a game-time decision, Beckham Jr. figures to be going off at less than 100%. New York is 9-2 SU and 8-3 ATS over its last 11 regular season games.
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Sunday night’s total is set at 47.5 points. The OVER is 12-4 in the last 16 games between the Giants and the Cowboys.

Nine of the last 10 games between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less, and three of the last four have been decided by a field goal or less. Even with Beckham’s status in question, 4.5 points will be tough to pass on on the Giants’ side in this historically hard-fought rivalry.
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