The New Orleans Saints (5-1) will head to Soldier Field in Chicago to play the Bears (3-2) Sunday, and they’ll be as short-handed as they have been all season. New Orleans is still without starting quarterback Drew Brees, which has been the case for most of the season, but they will also be without their best offensive weapon in Alvin Kamara. The injuries don’t stop there for the Saints, who will also be without starting tight end Jared Cook.
The Bears are also a team riddled with injuries this week. Starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is listed as questionable, although all signs point to him starting his first game since Week 4. The Bears will also be without one of their best defensive players in Akiem Hicks, who was placed on IR this week.
How both teams play in spite of all the injuries should determine the outcome of this one. Here’s a breakdown of the game:
The Saints have managed to go 5-1 with backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater leading the way. And while the New Orleans offense clearly isn’t as dynamic as it is with Brees under center, Bridgewater has done a nice job filling in. He has 1,089 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions so far this year.
He’ll be without two major offensive weapons in Kamara and Cook, however, and he’ll be going up against the best defense he has seen so far this season.
The Saints have a defense that is bordering on the top ten in the league. They’re giving up 20.3 points and just over 100 yards rushing per game. Their secondary is also a strong unit, featuring Marshon Lattimore, who will likely be blanketing the Bears’ best offensive player in Allen Robinson. Their matchup will be one of the game’s most important.
The Saints will also likely be looking to put a lot of pressure on Trubisky with the hope of making him uncomfortable, and Cam Jordan could have a huge game if the Bears’ revamped offensive line doesn’t keep Trubisky’s pocket relatively clean.
The Bears are coming off their bye week and are fresh from a disappointing loss to the Raiders in London Week 5. This will also be Trubisky’s first start since Week 4, where he dislocated his non-throwing shoulder. How Trubisky responds after the injury will be a key deciding factor in this game.
The Bears’ offense has been one of the worst in the league so far this season. They have not been able to establish the run game at all, and they have no offensive identity whatsoever. Much of this has been due to a poor start by their offensive line. After placing starting guard Kyle Long on injured reserve this week, the Saints will be looking at a retooled Bears’ line.
Rashaad Coward will be starting in place of Long, and while Coward is inexperienced, he played well in place of Long against Minnesota this season. The Bears will likely try to establish the run early at home, and if David Montgomery finally gets going, the Bears have an excellent chance to win this game.
The Bears defense will also be a major factor. They’re giving up just over 13 points per game, and they’ll likely be looking to compensate for their worst showing of the season against the Raiders. Look for Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd to have huge games in Akiem Hicks’ absence, and watch for safety Eddie Jackson, who has had a relatively quiet season so far, to have a huge game.
Saints vs. Bears: Trends, Pick & Prediction
SPREAD: Saints +4
OVER/UNDER: 37 points
Odds Shark has the Bears favored by four points at home. They are projecting Chicago to win by a score of 24-17, which has the Bears covering the spread and the total score going over 37 points.
Some trends to note regarding the game:
• The Saints are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games.
• The total has gone UNDER in 10 of New Orleans’ last 15 games.
• New Orleans is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games.
• The Saints are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games against Chicago.
• Chicago is 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games.
• The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Chicago’s last 10 games.
• The Bears are 12-4 SU in their last 16 games.
• The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chicago’s last 5 games against New Orleans.
• The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Chicago’s last 5 games at home.
The Saints have won four in a row against the Bears. Their winning streak should end on Sunday. The Saints will likely take away the Bears’ best offensive weapon in Robinson, but look for second-year wide receiver Anthony Miller to pick up the slack, and expect David Montgomery and the Bears running game to finally get going. Our projected final score? Bears 21, Saints 17
Pick: Bears by 4, OVER