With 10:30 left in the second quarter, the Chicago Bears were the holders of a 10-6 lead, and although they had hardly played well to that point, they had themselves in a good position against a division rival. The Detroit Lions were moving down field, although the Bears defense was able to hold them to a field goal, meaning they still maintained a one point lead.
It was just about three minutes later when Matthew Stafford would rush up the middle at the 1 yard line to give the Lions the lead. 21 second later, after a Jay Cutler interception, Stafford would hit Calvin Johnson for a two yard touchdown, giving the Lions a 23-10 lead. By halftime, it was 30-13, and the Bears would be left wondering where the team they saw on the field in the first three weeks had disappeared to.
The Bears would eventually give up 40 points in the game total, all while essentially shutting out Johnson. While Johnson may have been quiet, running back Reggie Bush ran all over the Bears defense, running for 139 yards and receiving for another 34.
Fast forward to this Sunday, when the Bears will be taking on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints have really bounced back with the return of coach Sean Payton, and the offense once again looks as dominant as it had in the seasons before his one year suspension. Ranking second in the league in passing, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has to be about as excited as could be looking at film of the Bears defense.
The Bears passing defense ranks 23 in the league, giving up 278 yards a game. The Saints offense is averaging 338 yards per game. It sets up to be a rough game for the Bears, one in which they would need to win in a high scoring shootout. That would require a huge bounce back from Cutler, who had one of his worst games last week. He is also going up against the fifth best passing defense.
To put in perspective how good the Saints have been this season, offensively, the least amount of points they have scored in any game was 16, and that came in week two on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Defensively, the largest number of points they have given up is 17, just one less than their worst offensive output.
On the other hand, the least amount of points the Bears have given up is 21, and that came in the first week against the Cincinnati Bengals, who were up against a relatively unknown offense. The Bears even allowed 23 points to the Steelers defense, who had scored 19 points combined in their previous two games.
While there were some reports that said there were people who felt former Bears defensive tackle Israeli Idnojie was giving away plays to the Lions, the Bears won’t have to look far for some insight on the offense of Drew Brees. Current Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer came from New Orleans, and should have some helpful tips as to how to stop the future hall of fame quarterback. All in all, they will need all the help they can get.
With the regression of the Bears defense, and the resurgence of the Saints offense, Sunday’s matchup is starting to look like a lopsided one. The Bears offense will be looking for a chance to bounce back from their atrocious showing against the Lions. If we have to once again where the pass rush of the Bears defensive line is, it will indeed be another long day for Bears fans.
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