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Chicago Bears: What to Watch for in Week 5 Matchup Against New Orleans Saints

Sep 29, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman looks on during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. The Lions won 40-32. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
James Tillman IIIAnalyst IOctober 4, 2013

The Chicago Bears will be looking to bounce back from their 40-32 loss to the Detroit Lions when they host the New Orleans Saints in Week 5. 

While the final score against the Lions was respectable, the game was pretty much in hand after the first half.

In order for the Bears to beat the Saints, they will need a much better effort than what we saw on the field last week.

So without further ado, let's take a quick look at a few things to watch for in this high-powered matchup between two of the best teams in the conference.

 

Bears' Defensive Line vs. Drew Brees

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 22:  James Anderson #50 celebrates with Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears after recovering a fumble during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 22, 2013 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Needless to say, containing one of the best quarterbacks in the game is not an easy task, and Chicago will have its hands full.

Not only is Brees coming off a masterful performance against the Miami Dolphins (30-of-39 for 413 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions), he has also thrown for 300 yards in nine consecutive games, which ties a record he set back in 2011, per Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times.

It should also be noted that Brees is ranked fifth in passer rating (103.8), second in passing yards (1,434) and third in touchdown passes (10).

On the positive side, he has not fared well in his career at Soldier Field.

In four outings in the Windy City, he has only thrown for a total of 955 yards (238 yards per game) with a passer rating of 71.3.

Most importantly, all of those games were victories for the home team.

The Bears are ranked 20th in total defense, and it is no secret that they have had difficulty generating a consistent pass rush this season. This is a trend that will need to change if they hope to hand Brees another loss in Chicago.

 

Alshon Jeffery

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: Alshon Jeffery #17 of the Chicago Bears catches a fourth quarter touchdown next to Darius Slay #30 of the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 29, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 40-32. (Photo by Gregory Sha
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

One of the few bright spots for the Bears in the loss to the Lions was the production of second-year receiver Alshon Jeffery.

He caught five passes for 107 yards and a touchdown to go along with a nice 27-yard run on an end-around—by far his best game of the season. He also made a key block that helped spring Matt Forte loose for a 53-yard touchdown that temporarily gave Chicago a 10-6 lead.

Although the Bears lost the game, it was a big day for Jeffery. According to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-TimesBrandon Marshall said after the game, "If he can continue to build off of that, man, he’s going to be unstoppable.”

Based on that assessment, Jeffery should play a larger role within the offense this week.

 

Jay Cutler

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 29: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears tries to escape the fourth quarter tackle of Willie Young #79 of the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 29, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 40-32. (Photo by Gregory Shamu
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After three solid performances to start the season, Cutler had his worst outing against the Lions.

Not only did he throw three interceptions, he also had one fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

Per Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com, Cutler had to this to say about his performance:

It's going to happen. What you don't want to see is three turnovers, three turnovers, three turnovers consecutive weeks like that. If you can minimize those, you're going to be in a better place obviously. Going into this week, it's just 'take care of the ball.

The bad news is that he reverted to some of his bad habits that have driven Bears fans crazy during the past few seasons.

The good news is that he has shown the ability to bounce back after dismal performances. Following games in which he has thrown three or more interceptions, Cutler has posted a record of 6-1.

That being said, he will need to get back to doing the things that enabled him to be successful during the first three weeks of the season. 

After all, one of the best ways to beat an opponent with a high-scoring offense is to keep it on the sideline as much as possible. If Cutler and the offense can be productive, the Bears should be able record their fourth win of the season. 

 

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