Saints vs. Bears: Breaking Down Chicago's Game Plan
The Bears have as good a chance as anybody to beat the Saints, but they will have to put forth a better effort than the did in Detroit this past week. It is vital for the Bears to protect the football and stay disciplined on defense.
New Orleans is a different team on the road. Their offense isn't as fast-paced, and getting them off turf tends to even the playing field a little bit.
This bodes well when the defense is trying to slow down an offense that has put up 108 points in four games this year. Drew Brees has 10 touchdowns and over 1,400 passing yards thus far.
Expect a lot of Cover 2 from the Bears in this game. A bend-but-don't-break mentality is very key. The safeties need to stay deeper than the targets, corners need to play the mid-level toward the sidelines and linebackers need to cover the middle of the field.
LM: #Bears coach Marc Trestman says Saints TE Jimmy Graham is "hard to stop" and "he's a force, no doubt about it."— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) October 2, 2013
There's not one player on the Bears defense who can keep up with Graham or Sproles in a one-on-one matchup. This is going to have to be a team effort by the back seven to keep them out the end zone. Holding the Saints to field goals instead of touchdowns is key.
It's been said for the last four games, but it would be nice to get a pass rush from the front four. The Saints are not a viable threat to run the football, so that unit can focus on getting to the quarterback virtually the entire game.
It may seem slowing down Brees and company is the most important piece to a victory, but actually, it falls on the offense this week.
The Saints defense has only given up an average of 13.8 points per game this year. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has that unit playing a stingy style that has frustrated quarterbacks.
It is essential Jay Cutler doesn't have another four-turnover performance. The best way to do that is come out running the ball. Tampa Bay almost beat the Saints at home in Week 2. They had 160 yards on the ground in that game.
Marc Trestman needs to get into a chess match with Ryan. Make Ryan prove he can slow down Matt Forte and Michael Bush. Misdirection, screen plays and good old smash-mouth football should be on the agenda.
When Jay puts it up in the air, he should be in a three-step drop rhythm. Quick intermediate passes will allow for timing and ball control. Putting Cutler out on the edge where he can use his athleticism to make a play is equally important.
The Bears know Soldier Field and all of its nuances better than the Saints. This has to be an advantage that's utilized. In the spotlight is Devin Hester and Adam Podlesh. Both players are under the gun after shaky performances last week.
Who do the Bears need to slow down more?
The Saints are in no way an unbeatable team. Like everybody, they have their flaws and vulnerabilities. As long as the Bears don't get beat deep, run the football and win the turnover battle, they will be right there at the end to grab a victory.
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