The New Orleans Saints (4-2) march into Soldier field to battle the Chicago Bears (5-2) in Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season. Both teams are looking to improve on their positioning in their division as the approach the home stretch for playoff positioning. Below is the Saints News Network Krewe's Biggest keys to victory against the Bears.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Control the Trenches
Obviously the Saints will need to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball to generate pressure on Foles and protect their own quarterback. Missing their top three wide receivers, the biggest key to a New Orleans win over the Bears lies with the running back position. Alvin Kamara leads the league in yards from scrimmage, while Latavius Murray had a 100-Yd outing against this Chicago defense last year.
Weather conditions in the Windy City won't be optimal for either quarterback, so it's even more essential that the Saints have success on the ground. Chicago's defense has been uncharacteristically vulnerable against the run this season, so I expect a heavy dose of Murray between the tackles while they test the Bears edge with pitches to Kamara. Both backs will also be used on screens and check-down throws to take advantage of their athletic edge against the Bear linebackers.
Kyle T. Mosley
Setting the Tempo via the Run and Being Patient - Sean Payton tended to abandon the run game and rely on the passing game - even after the run had been successful early in games.
The Saints are averaging 118.8 yds/game (#14) and 1.5 touchdowns/game (#3). The running back duo of Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray provide balance to the Saints offense.
The Trust of Brees
The Saints will not have three of their top four receivers in Sunday's contest. GM Mickey Loomis called-up receivers Austin Carr and Juwan Johnson from their practice squad to fill the void left by Thomas, Sanders, and Callaway. The versatility of RB Ty Montgomery may make an appearance at the receiver position for New Orleans. In either scenario, Brees still has receiver options in RB Alvin Kamara, TE Jared Cook, TE Josh Hill, TE Adam Trautman, and QB Taysom Hill.
Keys to a Saints Win on Defense
- Pass Rush, Pass Rush, Pass Rush
- Make Foles 1-Dimensional
- Secondary must be Discipline
- Create Turnovers
- Stop Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Be the Better Defense
The Saints are without Emmanuel Sanders and Michael Thomas again, while also not having Marquez Callaway in the lineup. Needless to say, the receiving threats are very thin for New Orleans. Of course, that means we will probably see a heavy dose of Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray. This is a game where the Saints need to get the most from their defense, and be better than Chicago's.
We know the defensive breakdowns have been there, as well as an inconsistent pass rush. The Rams handled things last week well against Nick Foles, and the Saints defense should use a carbon copy of that to get out. It's time for the real Saints defense to come to the table, and they'll need to step up and be heroes for the offense.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Maximize the Limited Offensive Weapons
The Saints lined up with two terrific backs in an old school way against the Panthers and enjoyed a thrilling victory. The offense looked great with their two biggest rushing games of the season against the Panthers and the Lions. Sean Payton ran the offense extremely effectively and put up ridiculous third down conversion rates.
The key against the Bears will be for Coach Payton not to just plug the next offensive opening, but to maximize the offensive weapons left in his arsenal. With so many receivers out, the Saints will have their hand full against the Bears. Against the Panthers, adapted. There is no next man up to replace Mike Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders who combined for exactly 1100 catches more than 13,000 yards.
It was two undrafted guys Marquez Calloway and Deonte Harris who stepped up a week ago. This week Calloway is out. The key to defeating the Bears will be the Saints’ athleticism. The Saints will have to continue 3rd down conversions, Drew Brees will have to use his savvy football IQ to run an error free offense and the defense will have to show up big this week.
Biggest Key to Saints Victory: Pound the Rock
In the windy city, with winds up to 45 MPH and a real feel in the 20s the Saints will need to pull out the tape of this matchup from a year ago and try to recreate that magical day on the ground. Latavius Murray ran all over the Chicago defense a year ago racking up 100+ yards and 2 TDs. And the run game will be even more important as the Saints are without 3 WRs in Week 8.
New Orleans should play "old school" football this afternoon and pound the rock against an underrated Bears defense. Between Murray and Kamara the Saints should have their way offensively and all my fantasy football owners with Kamara or Murray should be smiling ear to ear. It should be a big day for the Bayou Backfield.
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