As the Falcons prepare to return to the Georgia Dome to take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday, keep an eye on these storylines.
When the Chicago Bears take the field at the Georgia Dome on Sunday, it won't be tough to spot two of their top playmakers on offense, WRs Brandon Marshall (6-4, 230) and Alshon Jeffery (6-3, 216), each described by Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan as "game wreckers." The WR duo is responsible for 45 receptions, covering 547 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014.
Among the Falcons defenders who will see a lot of Marshall and Jeffery on Sunday include Falcons CBs Desmond Trufant (6-0, 190) and Robert Alford (5-10, 186), who have combined for 32 tackles and 10 PBUs this season.
While the size, speed, strength and vertical-jump ability of both Bears receivers will be tough to match, each having the ability to go above would-be defenders to make tough grabs, the Falcons corners are up for the challenge.
"They obviously have great size," Trufant said of the Bears WRs duo. "They're great jump-ball guys and (Bears QB) Jay Cutler gives them the chance to go up and make a play on the ball; he puts it in the right spots. They have legit guys over there, but we have legit guys here too; we're just going to go compete."
Despite having some miscues that he'd like to take back from Sunday's game against the New York Giants, Alford's demeanor in the locker room Wednesday was very businesslike, focused on correcting mistakes, which Nolan said had a lot to do with being too aggressive.
"The NFL came down with a new rule about physical contact this year and it's something that I just have to adjust to," Alford said. "I still need to be physical and aggressive, but it has to be at the certain point that I can test the receivers. Everybody has a bad game; it's a different guy every week and it depends on how you bounce back the next week. I'm going to bounce back; today is the first day for the Bears and I'm focused on preparing for them."