The New Orleans Saints travel to the windy city of Chicago to face the Bears at Soldier Field, in a week 7 showdown. The Bears (3-2) are coming off of their bye week, after suffering an embarrassing loss to the Oakland Raiders, in one of the London games. During their bye week, while most teams rest and recover, the Bears placed pro-bowl DT Aikeem Hicks and longtime OG Kyle Long on injured reserve. The team did receive some good news when injured QB Mitch Trubisky (shoulder) was cleared to play, although he will be wearing a brace to support his non throwing arm. When the Bears hired Matt Nagy as head coach, he was supposed to take the offense and QB to the next level, while complimenting a defense that stays at the top. But so far this year, the Bears offense have been one of the worst, ranking #30 in the league in yards per game. On the other side of the ball for them, the defense has played up to their usual level of success ranking at #6 in the league for yards allowed. But it’s still yet to be seen how much of an effect the Hicks injury will have on this team.
The New Orleans Saints continue to find ways to win and extend their winning streak while back up QB Teddy Bridgewater leads the team. Over the last 3 weeks, there has not been another team that has played better team defense than the Saints, who seem to shut the other team down. Sean Payton and the coaching staff keep scheming up the perfect game plan week after week, and showing why he is the easy choice for Coach of the Year. This week though, the team faces a new challenge on how they will attack, with the announcement that TE Jared Cook and all world RB Alvin Kamara will be out for this week’s game . With AK sidelined, the team will be handing the ball off to Latavius Murray, who showed in last weeks game he is a capable replacement. Jared Cook really started to find his groove over the last couple of weeks. It was evident he was getting more comfortable and confident in the offense, and with Bridgewater. Josh Hill should step in as the starting TE in place of Cook. Hill has been with the team for several years and knows the offense well.
There are allot of similarities these teams share and they match up well on paper. The biggest advantage is the game will be played in Chicago. With both teams having top notch defenses and offenses in the bottom half, this game is most likely going to be a very low scoring game. The game will probably come down to whomever makes fewer mistakes with the ball. The reality though is that anything can happen, especially when the game has 2 great offensive minds coaching their teams. In a game that has all kind of potential to go in any direction, we really have no idea what is in store for us. So it has come that time of the week again, that we take a look into the crystal ball and see what is meant to be.
Latavius Murray fills in nice for Alvin Kamara.
Alvin Kamara is not human, and the way he plays and moves suggest he may be from the same planet as Superman. No one who steps in to replace AK41 is going to do what he can do, but Murray will do fine and find success behind the best O-line in the game. Oakland found success last week by pounding Chicago’s defense with Josh Jacobs over and over. One could assume, the Saints will continue the trend. Also, the Bears defense gives up allot of yards in the passing game to RBs, so don’t be surprised if you see the Saints run several screen plays. 22 carries 107 yards 1 TD, 4 receptions 37 yards.
Saints O-line is better than Bears D-line.
This will be a fun match up to watch. The Saints have the best tackle tandem in the league in Armstead and Ramchyzk, who will be going up against Khalil Mack, one of the top pass rushers in the league. So far this year, the duo have faced some of the best in the league with very much success, and this week will not be any different. The line will open up holes for Murray a bus could drive thru and keep Teddy upright all day long.
Marshon Lattimore will shut down Allen Robinson.
After Drew Brees went down with the injury, Lattimore really stepped up, put the team on his back, and has played lights out. Lattimore has shut down every WR he has faced since the Brees injury. Lattimore will shadow Robinson everywhere, except when he plays in the slot, and he may just have to go there if he wants to breathe. Lattimore will shut down Robinson and will be the “robbin’-one” as he gets another interception. It will be huge to shut him down, since Robinson is the only thing on the Bears offense to show any signs of life.
Thomas Morstead continues his special special team play.
Having won the Special Team player for last month and again winning it last week, Morstead is having an amazing year by showing the league what New Orleans already knew. This will be a field position game and will be won with inches. A big part of how the Saints pull out the win will be by having Morstead pin them, and by starting them out of the end zone on several occasions.
Wil Lutz is the leading scorer in the game.
In a game that will most likely end up being a defensive struggle, not many TDs will be scored and FGs will be at a premium. Luckily, the Saints have one of, if not the best, special teams unit in the league. We can TRUST, when Lutz is on the field, it will be CLUTCH. 5 FG attempts 5 FGs made
Saints 22 Bears 16 WHODAT!!!