The Bears may be one of the worst 5-2 teams in NFL history, and it seems unlikely they’ll be able to keep up with Sean Payton’s offense, which has scored at least 27 points in every game this season.
The Bears only impressive win this season was a one-point win over Brady and Bucs in Week 5, and they only barely eked that out off of a last minute field goal and what appeared to be a costly mistake by Brady, who seemed to think he had another down on the final play of the game.
The Saints, meanwhile, have taken losses to their two best opponents, the Raiders and Packers, early in the season. Chicago doesn’t stack up to either of those teams and the Saints have since recovered nicely, winning their last three versus the Lions, Chargers, and Panthers.
If the Bears are to win, Nick Foles is going to have to throw for more than his average 228 yards per game. He hasn’t logged multiple passing TDs since his first start in Week 3 after he took over for Mitch Trubisky, and his play looked downright ugly in last week’s 24-10 primetime loss to the Rams. Los Angeles’ defense ate Foles up for 4 sacks and two interceptions. To top it off, Foles may be without his best receiver, as Allen Robinson is in concussion protocol with a day less than usual to be cleared for play.
The Saints may be short on receivers too, what with Mike Thomas dealing with a hamstring injury he sustained in practice and Emmanuel Sanders testing positive for COVID-19 last Thursday. Chicago’s defense is their upside in this game as the Bears are holding opponents to a 31.8% third down conversion rate and a league-best 36.4% red-zone touchdown rate. Though Drew Brees has proven he doesn’t need star receivers to create plays, the Bears defense could force him into making questionable decisions without all that talent on the receiving end of the ball.
The Saints’ defense isn’t nearly as formidable as the Rams’, and the Bears’ defense is the best the Saints have faced this year, so a Chicago win is possible if they can hold New Orleans to 20 points. However, it seems unlikely that Brees won’t find ways to pick apart the Bears’ defense en route to a win that should cover their +4.5 point spread.
Prediction: Saints 24 – 17 Bears
-- by Kyle King