"Huh." After a thorough dismantling of the Falcons, that neither the staunchest Bears fan, nor most hater-ing of haters could've seen coming, the Bears are 1-0 and look to handcuff Drew Brees and the "zany" pass anywhere New Orleans Saints offense. The Saints for their part are coming off a Week 1 loss to the Packers at Lambeau and are looking to get back to .500 with a W against visiting Chicago. I, unfortunately, won't be watching this game live on Sunday afternoon (community servi...I mean "volunteer" hours), but that shouldn't stop you from having an excellent time watching the game and it definitely won't stop me from making some inaccurate and, fingers crossed, implausible predictions in 3, 2, 1...
When The Saints Have the Ball
Okay, last week, I said the Falcons will air it out a bunch and that that would be an issue for the Bears. I was wrong. Chicago's defensive line continually pressured and hurried Matt Ryan and the secondary, when called upon, did their job. Trust me, the Saints offense is much better and far more liable to torch the Bears. Drew Brees is a sous-chef continually looking for new and innovative ways to flambe opposing secondaries. Even with wideout Marques Colston out with a busted collarbone, New Orleans has plenty of options in their arsenal. Count on Brees to distribute to Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson, Darren Sproles, et al and wait to see if Mark Ingram gets into gear to tenderize the Bears front 7 from the backfield. Sproles, in particular, is a hellish mismatch for Chicago's defense to contend with. The wily and elusive speedster packs a surprising amount of punch in his duties as gadget receiver out of the backfield and is capable of switching on the warp drive as a return man on special teams.
When The Bears Have the Ball
In a weird sense --poorly constructed metaphor alert-- New Orleans is akin to Russia. Russia's greatest asset in times of war has always been its vastness (and, y'know, awful winters). Against Napoleon, the Russians simply went into "war of attrition mode," --replete with scorched earth tactics and full retreats-- and let the silly French follow them deeper into Russia --as winter approached and with les Bleus getting further and further away from their comfort zone and supplies. In World War II against the Nazis? Same game plan, different enemy, newer technology, same outcome. "Take THAT!, Hitler." New Orleans greatest asset (aside from the po'boy) is touchdowns. The Saints simply draw other teams into shootout after shootout. Which isn't to say, by any means, that their defense is soft, bad or is trying to let the opposition score, I'm just saying, "You wanna get into a shootout with Drew Brees? Sure. Go for it. We've got more ammo," isn't the craziest modus operandi for this squad. Luckily, in a twisted sense, the Bears offense isn't nearly competent enough to keep up with the Saints. The Bears will be aiming to keep ahold of the pigskin and to sustain long, long, time-nomming drives. This scheme must be maddening to Mike Martz who, surely!, has the ego to try and match Cutler-bot 3000 against Brees, but, hopefully, has the sense to realize a conservative gameplan may be the rule of the day. "Defense do your work. Offense don't mess this up." So, yeah, here's to Matt Forte getting 50+ carries, 400+ yards and 10 tuddies.
The Bears Game Is Over What Else Is On?
Per usual the awesome that is the 506 has your football watching tendencies on lockdown. CBS has the double-header this weekend and the Bears-Saints are on FOX at noon. Watch in awe at the early CBS game on commercial breaks from the Bears match and witness Ndamukong Suh potentially eat Kansas City's entire roster of quarterbacks. Gaze in spectacle at the rapturous match of Tom Brady and Phillip Rivers throwing lasers across the entire field of play in the late CBS game. The NBC nightcap is Philly visiting Atlanta in the Michael Vick Used To Play Here Bowl.