Chicago Bears: What You Need to Know Heading into Week 5
This Sunday, the New Orleans Saints travel to Chicago to face the 3-1 Bears. Fresh off of their 40-32 loss to the Detroit Lions this past Sunday, the Bears will look to bounce back against the 4-0 Saints.
After two come-from-behind victories and a victory in prime time, the Bears struggled to find much of a rhythm on offense early, and the defense struggled to slow down Reggie Bush and the Lions' running game.
The Saints came out on top Monday night against the Miami Dolphins behind the strong play of quarterback Drew Brees (30-of-39, 413 yards, four touchdowns) and running back Darren Sproles (seven catches, 114 yards, one TD) and stand atop the NFC South division.
While the Bears are busy game-planning for their opponent, here are something things you need to know heading into Week 5.
High Turnover Games Are Still a Reality for Jay Cutler
After throwing three interceptions and losing one fumble in the first three games, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler matched that total on Sunday against the Lions.
He got sloppy with his footwork, and at times his throwing mechanics did not look as crisp as they did earlier in the season.
The Saints defense has four interceptions and four forced fumbles this season, and it has greatly improved from the one that allowed the most yards and the second-most points in the NFL in 2012.
Cutler will need to show off those improved mechanics from the first three weeks in order for the offense to keep up with the high-powered offense of the Saints.
Bears Lead All-Time Series with the Saints (15-12)
The Bears look to extend their all-time lead over the Saints in head-to-head matchups on Sunday, but the Saints took the victory the last time these teams met in 2011.
The Saints came away with a 30-13 victory in the Superdome that afternoon, and Cutler was sacked six times, including an incident in which he was kicked in the throat.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees is 1-4 (including playoffs) against the Bears in his career and has averaged 245 passing yards per game with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Charles Tillman's Status For Sunday Appears to Be Up in the Air
Prior to the game against the Lions, Bears cornerback Charles Tillman was listed on the injury report as questionable, still dealing with knee and groin injuries. He missed practices Wednesday and Thursday and was involved only in a limited capacity Friday.
Tillman rotated throughout much of the game with Zack Bowman, and while the combination of the two did a nice job of slowing down Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, it will be another difficult task on Sunday against Saints receiver Marques Colston, and the Bears will need a healthy Tillman to slow him down.
He played 41 snaps (just 61 percent of the team's snaps on defense) against the Lions, but head coach Marc Trestman was optimistic Monday, referring to positive reports from head athletic trainer Chris Hanks, per the Chicago Tribune's Dan Wiederer: "[Hanks] feels that we'll get a better Charles Tillman this week than we had last week."
Ineffectiveness Along the Defensive Line May Bring More Playing Time for Rookies
After a season-ending injury to Henry Melton during Week 3, undrafted free agent Zach Minter seemed like a logical choice to fill the empty spot in the defensive tackle rotation. Instead of going with Minter, the Bears signed veteran Landon Cohen late last week, and he was active on Sunday over Minter.
Minter showed flashes in the preseason, and considering the lack of pressure up front, he could add a spark in the middle of that defensive line. Another rookie who showed some promise during the preseason but has yet to make his mark in the regular season is defensive end Cornelius Washington.
Washington has speed and a solid first step, and he got on the field Sunday against the Lions for just four snaps in his first game action of the season. Considering how the Bears have struggled to get pressure from their defensive ends, Washington's speed and ability on passing downs could help him get on the field Sunday afternoon against the Saints.
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