Game Preview: Bears @ Saints

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Oct 22, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) walks off the field after defeating the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2017; Green Bay, WI, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) walks off the field after defeating the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears have done fairly well against the NFC South this season, even if the record doesn’t reflect it. Chicago was in the red zone and only down by six points against the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons in Week 1, and if Trubisky would have been the starter who knows if the Bears win that game. Last week the Bears demolished the Carolina Panthers with strong defensive play, and in all honesty, the Buccaneers had Mike Glennon’s number that game in Week 2. The New Orleans Saints are currently atop the NFC South division and will be one of the toughest battles the Bears will face all season.

Bears fans received great news on Wednesday that the Bears traded a conditional 7th round pick for wide receiver Dontrelle Inman formerly of the San Diego Chargers. Mitchell Trubisky finally has a big bodied receiver to throw to rather than just a stable of slot receivers. Inman should be a great target both in the red zone and downfield. This couldn’t have come at a greater time. Trubisky will need to have his best start yet in order to keep up with the Saints’ high octane offense, and although Inman will only have a few days to prepare, I believe him and Trubisky are working tirelessly to bring Inman up to speed in order for him to contribute in this game.

The Bears defense has been spectacular as of late. They have not allowed an offensive touchdown in the last nine quarters. We can all hope that streak continues through the next four quarters but that is a lot to ask of any defense against Drew Brees. Willie Snead will most likely play, even if just a limited role as he has been dealing with hamstring issues. Michael Thomas was recently listed as questionable with a knee injury, and it is not for certain if he will play or not. The Saints still have many more weapons though. Their dual-threat running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara will be a handful for the Bears defense to contain, along with their tight end Coby Fleener, and still, have the downfield threat of Ted Ginn Jr.

Luckily for the Bears, Ryan Pace was the Director of Player Personnel for the Saints in 2013, so he should be familiar with quite a few of their players. Akiem Hicks was originally drafted by the New Orleans Saints and will make every attempt to show his dominance against his former team.

A couple defensive players on the Saints defense that I will be looking at in particular are rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Pro Bowl defensive end, and fellow Chandler High School alumni Cameron Jordan (Go Wolves). So far this year Jordan has five sacks which have put him on pace for a possible career-high thirteen sacks. Trubisky will need to avoid his side of the defensive line and needs to be aware where Jordan is at all times.

Lattimore was a high draft prospect for the Bears this past year. Were it not due to his injury history, I believe the Bears just might have pulled the trigger on this Ohio native. Lattimore has been quite impressive throughout the five games in which he played this year. In Week 4 against the Miami Dolphins, he recorded his first forced fumble and fumble recovery. Against the Lions in Week 6, he snatched his first career interception and returned it for a touchdown.

Jordan Howard and Tarik “The Freak” Cohen will be relied on heavily to get this offense rolling. All offensive and defensive hands on deck will be needed if the Bears hope to leave New Orleans with a victory and continue to make their ascent to the top of the NFC North. Winter is coming.

SCORE PREDICTION:

Bears – 27 Saints – 24


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