The Bears (3-1) will host the Saints (4-0) on the lakefront Sunday afternoon. Here are 3 keys to the Bears getting a victory on Sunday.
Generating a pass rush with 4 linemen.
This has been covered all week in the media, but is imperative for the Bears Cover-2 defense to get pressure with only 4 players rushing the passer. With Darren Sproles, Jimmy Graham, and a host of other weapons waiting to catch the ball from Drew Brees; the importance to sack and pressure Brees with only 4 rushers is amplified. If the Bears are resorted to sending safeties on the blitz, it will be a long day for the Bears as they will be letting Brees find the right matchup, put the ball right on target and keep the drive alive.
Winning the turnover battle.
The Bears have generated 3 or more turnovers in each of their 4 games so far this season. While its unlikely Drew Brees will throw 3 interceptions, the Bears can also force fumbles, and pressure Brees into making a bad decision with the football. The only saving grace for the Bears is that the game will be played outside, and the Saints aren’t as productive outside as they are at home in their dome, so there is a chance for an error to strike the Saints that they normally wouldn’t be exposed to. This also falls on Jay Cutler reverting back to things he did against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, taking care of the ball, making smart plays with the football and not losing the ball on sacks.
Protecting Jay Cutler from himself.
One of the good things about Jay Cutler is that he can win the Bears a game, unfortunately there are games like last week where Cutler can also be responsible for the Bears losing the game. The Bears have to stay on schedule in terms of their drives, get into manageable 3rd downs, and avoid presnap penalties like they did in the first 3 weeks of the season. It also requires Marc Trestman to utilize Matt Forte in the rushing game as well as the passing game. Forte only got 14 carries last week. Even after removing his 53 yd. TD run last week, Forte still averaged 3.2 yds. a carry, so Forte was able to find a few holes and put the Bears in a manageable down and distance, and eliminate the need for Cutler to feel that he has to make a big play.
If the Bears follow these 3 keys, they should leave Soldier Field Sunday 4-1.