The New Orleans Saints keeps defying the experts and are now 5 – 1. The “experts” say the Bears 3 – 2 Bears are favored. Let’s analyze that.
New Orleans Saints Are 5 – 1, Looking To Go 6 – 1
The New Orleans Saints are riding a wave of great defense play and Teddy Bridgewater doing just enough to be 5 – 1. This week the Saints travel to Chicago to take on the 3 – 2 Bears. Let’s break it down.
First one of the factors is going to be injuries. The Saints have some key players, beside Drew Brees, out for the game against the Bears. Here is the most current list as of this post:
Alvin Kamara RB
Drew Brees QB
Jared Cook TE
P.J. Williams CB
Tre’Quan Smith WR
Trey Hendrickson DE
The Bears also have some players who are questionable:
Bilal Nichols DE
Mitchell Trubisky QB
Ted Larsen OG
So taking into account the above lists, let’s get this show started.
Quarterback – Advantage to the Saints
While you might think the Saints would not have the advantage here, they do. While Bridgewater didn’t have the best game of his career against the Jaguars he will still get the job done. Taysom Hill is going to play a bigger role today than he has thus far this season. Bears QB Mitch Trubisky has an injury to his non throwing shoulder but will play. The combination of Bridgewater and Hill are much better than Trubisky and Daniels, book it.
Running Backs – Advantage Bears, Unless You Add Hill
Alvin Kamara has been instrumental in the Saints success. Kamara has accounted for 649 yds, rushing and receiving, this season with the New Orleans Saints. He has helped to take some of the pressure off Teddy Bridgewater. His absence will put pressure on Bridgewater as well as running backs. This will Latavius Murray’s chance to step up. Murray to this point has equaled Kamara in yd per carry, 4.3, he just hasn’t had as many touches. The addition of Zach Zenner will add some experience as well as depth to the Saints running game. David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen are excellent running backs which is why I would give the advantage to Chicago. The wild card is Taysom Hill who even though listed as a QB is an excellent runner and NFL Swiss Army Knife. I believe that he is going to play a large role for the Saints against the Bears both running and throwing the ball.
Wide receiver – Advantage to the Saints
The Bears have a decent receiving corps, they just don’t have as good a number one as Michael Thomas and they don’t have the depth at receiver that the Saints have. Depth is the deciding factor in this decision, especially when you throw in the Swiss Army Knife, Taysom Hill.
Tight end – Advantage to the Bears
The injury to Jared Cook tips the scales here. Without Cook, I have to give the advantage to Trey Burton and the Bears.
Offensive line – Advantage to the Saints
There is no question here. The New Orleans Saints offensive line is one of the best in the NFL. Even when the Bears offensive line plays up to their capability, they are only average. Still for the Saints to be successful the offensive line will have to do their job against the defensive line of the Bears.
Overall Offense – Advantage to the Saints
The Bears offense is ranked 30th in passing and 26th in rushing. While the Saints aren’t ranked as high as they usually are with Drew Brees running the show their offense is still superior to the Bears.
Defensive line – Advantage to the Saints
The Bears aren’t playing up to their potential. They got exposed against the Raiders and it isn’t going to get better for them against the Saints. The Bears are playing uninspired and seem to lack motivation. The Bears will not get a sack against the Saints, while I believe that the Saints, led by Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport, will have a 3 sack day.
Linebackers – Advantage to the Bears
The Chicago Bears have a really talented duo, Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith, that completely tips things their way. The New Orleans Saints have a good linebacker group. Demario Davis, Kiko Alonso and A.J. Klein are doing a good job but they aren’t quite as good as the Bears duo.
Defensive Backs – Advantage to the Saints
The Saints defensive backs have been playing inspired ball the past several weeks. Marshon Lattimore basically shut down elite receivers, Amari Cooper and Mike Evans, the past few weeks. Add in the play of Vonn Bell and the best player on the field, Marcus Williams and the Saints win this one hands down. They will frustrate Trubisky the way they frustrated Minshew.
Overall Defense – Advantage to the Saints
There will be much more pressure on the Bears defense than will be on the Saints defense. The Bears defense will not find it’s rhythm against the Saints. While Chicago is a good defense they are not the Monsters of The Midway of old. The game will be close but it will be more a result of Sean Payton playing things a little more conservative than he usually would with Drew Brees.
Final Prediction – Saints 17 Bears 10
The New Orleans Saints have found a way to win. They have pulled together as a team under difficult circumstances. This will not be a high scoring game which under most instances would favor the Bears but not this year. The Bears offense has and will sputter while the Saints will do just enough. The New Orleans Saints defense will be the difference against the Bears offense and I believe they will get a pick 6 which will be the difference.