Co-Host of WWL's "SportsTalk with Bobby Hebert & Deke Bellavia," Weekdays 4-8PM
Deke's Game-Day Preview: Saints at the Bears
by Deke Bellavia,posted Oct 6 2013 12:32AM
New Orleans Saints (4-0) vs Chicago Bears (3-1)
Sunday October 6, 2013 Noon Kickoff WWL Radio 870AM/FM 105.3
Soldier Field, Chicago
Last week’s results: New Orleans beat Miami 38-16 and Detroit beat Chicago 40-32
Series History: The Bears lead the series 15-12 which includes two post season wins over the Black and Gold.
What they are saying: Saints Coach Sean Payton on Chicago Running Back #22 Matt Forte
“He has good balance, good vision. He’s a versatile player in that he does a lot of things very well, catches the ball well, good protector when they’re throwing it. He’s smart so he’s not a one dimensional player. He’s a 3D player. He can block, run and catch. He’s been very productive for them in, I don’t want to say (a) short period of time but right from the start when he arrived. It’s something that you can see on film. He does a lot of things extremely well.”
Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan on facing the Bears offense
“I think Aaron Kromer is doing a great job out there protecting him, doing the things to allow Cutler to use his big arm instead of running for his life like he has been in the past there. I think they do a great job. I know Trestman has been around a long time and he’s back in the league. They have some fine coaches; Skip Peete does a great job of teaching protection. We have our work cut out to get to this quarterback. They’ve protected Cutler which he’s probably never had in his lifetime, so he’s playing pretty well too.”
Chicago Bears OT Jermon Bushrod on if the Saints tried to keep him in New Orleans
“I felt like they were going in another direction and that’s all good and I understand that. Sometimes you just have to take the feelings out of it a little bit. It was tough because New Orleans meant a lot to me, still does being that my wife is from there and I won a Super Bowl there. But this is just another opportunity, another opportunity for my family, another opportunity for us and it is a special situation. It is a blessing to even be in this situation.”
The Big Chief’s Final Analysis
Folks, simply put, this is a big game for the Saints. The measure here is much more than the Bears being a very good team in the NFC right now. This goes deeper, as the Saints have not had success against the Bears at Soldier Field.
A win over Chicago, over in Chicago, would not only keep the Saints undefeated and possibly atop of the conference standings, but it would be a big confidence lift for the Saints. A thing to keep an eye on is the condition of the field.
Former Bears great and NFL Hall of Fame DT Dan Hampton told us that he thinks that teams have trouble with footing when they play the Bears at Soldier Field. And of course, could this be the week that the Saints inability to rush the football with success catches up to the Black and Gold?
The Bears live and die off turnovers. Chicago on average forces three fumbles per game. If the Saints don’t turn the ball over, the Saints will win this game. New Orleans does not need to win the turnover battle….They simply must not lose it!
I’ve maintained all along that when I feel like a match-up is just about even that I would always go with the team that is playing the best defense. Right now the Saints are the better defense. I see the Saints harassing Bears QB Jay Cutler in this game, and I look for the Black and Gold to be mindful of how the Bears prey on their opponents when it comes to taking the ball away.
Chicago has forced the majority of their turnovers at the tail end of plays. So, look for the Saints to go down or try and get to the ground quicker once contact is made. That will be key in this game. I believe the Saints have practiced this all week long and are prepared to not let the Bears get that extra snatch or grab at the football.
This will be as tight as it gets. In a slim margin, I’ll give the nod to the Saints and say the Black and Gold squeak by the Bears. New Orleans 21, Chicago 20