New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears: Live Grades and Analysis for New Orleans
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The Bears draw closer with a late TD to Brandon Marshall.
New Orleans 26
|Positional Unit||Halftime Grade||Postgame Grade|
Pass Offense: Drew Brees was vintage, throwing for two touchdowns and completing 83 percent of his passes. He finished with 8.2 YPA in a ruthless and efficient performance. Jimmy Graham led the Saints with 10 catches and 135 yards, while Pierre Thomas hauled in two receiving touchdowns.
Run Offense: Not surprisingly, the Saints non-existent rushing offense continued to be largely non-existent. They finished with just 66 rushing yards, with leading rusher Pierre Thomas averaging just 1.9 yards per carry. Coach Sean Payton hasn't endeavored to establish the run game, and why should he? The Saints are 5-0 without it.
Pass Defense: Jay Cutler's numbers were impressive (72 percent completion rate, 10.8 YPA and two touchdowns) but not enough to keep Chicago in the game against the Saints' high-flying attack. Alshon Jeffery had a phenomenal game with 10 catches on thirteen targets for 218 yards and a touchdown.
Run Defense: The Bears rushing attack came alive in the second half, led by 45 rushing yards in the half from Forte. Chicago finished with an impressive 5.2 YPA as a collective, but they rushed just 18 total times as they tried to keep up with the Saints passing attack.
Special Teams: Garrett Hartley was perfect on his four attempts and Thomas Morstead continues to boom punts at a near 50 YPP average. Devin Hester managed a 17 yard punt return but the Dolphins were mostly able to keep him in check.
Coaching: Sean Payton's Saints came out with a perfect game plan in endeavoring to shut down the Bears' rushing attack while establishing a lead that would force Cutler to have to take over the game. Once again, the Saints were turnover-free and committed just two penalties for ten yards in the game. Another impressive game for the undefeated Saints.
Pass Offense: This wasn't the barn-burning Saints offense we've grown accustomed to, at least not until Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham hooked up late in the half for the game's first touchdown. Brees erupted for two second quarter touchdowns to put the Saints up two scores late in the half. He finished with 85 percent passing at a 9.8 YPA clip and two touchdowns. Graham, as per usual, led the skill players with 106 yards receiving, including a 38-yard reception to set up the game's first touchdown.
Run Offense: The song remains the same for New Orleans' run game—there isn't one. Pierre Thomas led the team with seven carries on 21 yards (including a crucial late fourth-down conversion to set up the Saints' second touchdown) but the Saints managed just 34 yards in the half.
Pass Defense: Cutler was on point in the first half, completing 78 percent of his passes at a 9.7 YPA clip. If not for two lost fumbles, Chicago would have put up double digits in the first half. Still, the Saints were able to get off the field on third down (the Bears converted just two of six third down attempts) and sacked Cutler three times. Rookie Kenny Vaccaro has been flying all over the field, recording a pass defensed and a sack in the first half.
Run Defense: Matt Forte against the middling Saints run defense appeared to be a lopsided matchup in favor of Chicago, but he was held in check in the first half. Forte managed just 10 yards on four carries as the Bears offense stumbled out of the gate. This was an impressive half for a Saints defense that has had success stopping the run but has struggled on the ground against lesser ballcarriers than Forte.
Special Teams: Garrett Hartley converted both his field goal attempts and Morstead boomed two punts but there wasn't much forthcoming from the return game (Darren Sproles' sole punt return wound up being just a two-yard gain).
Coaching: Sean Payton opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 in field goal range with 40 seconds left in the first half, and it paid off. Pierre Thomas managed to pick up the short yardage, converting the first. Thomas then caught a screen pass in the flat and, with blockers in front of him, rumbled forward the late touchdown to go up 20-7 at the half. Payton's signature boldness paid off in extending his team's lead heading into halftime.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?