NFL 2019 (Week 7): New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

Russell S. Baxter

NFL 2019 (Week 7): New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears

By Pete Fasulo

Special to Pro Football Guru

We have a Week 7 match-up that pits the very solid defense of the Chicago Bears versus possibly the best team in the NFC in the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are coming off a 13-6 win over Jacksonville, while the Bears are coming off their Bye Week. The big question in this game is “can the Saints’ normally high-powered offense make a dent in the very strong Bears’ defense without Drew Brees at the helm?”

Saints: New Orleans has performed well, even without future Hall of Fame quarterback Brees, who suffered a fractured thumb in week two versus the Rams. Teddy Bridgewater has looked very good filling in as he has completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 1,089 yards. He has thrown seven touchdowns to only two interceptions since taking over. Wide receivers Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn have been excellent averaging, almost 12 yards per reception. Tight end Jared Cook has also looked good, catching 15 passes for an average of 11.2 yards per grab and two touchdowns. Running back Alvin Kamara has rushed for 373 yards this season and is averaging 4.34 yards per carry. But don’t expect those numbers to be that high versus the solid Bears’ front seven. Sean Payton’s troops have a defense that is led by a solid secondary in Marshon Lattimore and Vonn Bell. Up front, Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport, Demario Davis and A.J. Klein lead a group that have amassed 18 sacks this season. New Orleans has held opponents to 36.8 percent on third down conversions. Expect them to be able to keep the underperforming Bears’ offense at bay throughout most of this game.

Bears: The Monsters of the Midway are living up to their nickname this season as they have allowed an average of only 13.8 points per game thus far. In today’s offense-first NFL that is an amazing statistic. Led by a solid shut-down secondary that features Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Kyle Fuller, Eddie Jackson, and Prince Amukamara the Bears will look to keep the Saints receivers blanketed all day. Up front, Roquan Smith and Khalil Mack are making opposing offenses miserable. They have held opponents to only 83 rushing yards per game and have amassed 17 sacks so far this campaign. In addition, the Bears’ defense has held opposing teams to 19 of 60 on third down conversions. On the offensive side of the ball the Bears have not been as solid. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had completed only 65.1 percent of his passes for 588 yards before a shoulder injury in week four. His return is expected for this game. Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel are Chicago’s leading receivers, yet with 31 and nine receptions respectively, that’s not saying much. The Bears are averaging only 17.4 points per game and have scored only 2 rushing touchdowns in the first five contests.

Prediction: With Brees’ return slated for another week or two, the Saints would love to rack up a win here versus a conference opponent, solidifying their place among the top of the NFC pecking order. Expect this to be a low-scoring affair, with the Saints finding a way to scratch out a few solid drives against the Chicago defense. Even with the return of their starting quarterback in Trubisky, expect the Bears to have trouble penetrating the Saints’ defense and scoring points.

New Orleans Saints 20, Chicago Bears 14

Pete Fasulo (@LISportsFans) is a freelance writer covering business, music, and sports. He has written for music publications such as Revolver and Aural Fix. His sports writing career has been resurrected here after numerous years at The Torch and The Long Island Tribune (many moons ago).

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