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The consensus in all of the stories was unwritten but understood: Of course he’s going to play. And the consensus was correct. He was back at practice Thursday, three days after his mother, Lavoyda, had died of unknown causes. He was to be in Lovington, N.M., for her funeral Saturday and in New Orleans on Sunday for a noon kickoff.

Martz loves to air it out, and will use every weapon in his arsenal to try and get big chunks of yardage at a time. Williams, they say, never met a blitz package he didn’t like, and will send in multiple guys in an effort to pressure the other team’s quarterback.

It’s never easy facing a team that just got rocked the week prior. That’s exactly what happened to the New Orleans Saints defense in their opener against the Green Bay Packers. The Saints defense gave up 42 points. It is not something defensive coordinator Gregg Williams places at the top of his resume when trying to get another head coaching job.

Despite his well-earned reputation as one of the NFL’s most brilliant offensive minds, Payton has gotten second-guessed byfans and media for an unsuccessful goal-line call nine days ago in a 42-34 season-opening loss at Green Bay. Rather than putting the football in star quarterback Drew Brees‘ hands with the game on the line, Payton called a running play that was stuffed as time expired.

The Saints (0-1) are hosting the Bears (1-0) tomorrow in a pivotal NFC showdown. New Orleans dropped their opener to Green Bay, while Chicago took it to the Atlanta Falcons in week one. For the Saints it’s a favorable matchup, and AccuScore thinks the same.

Topics: 2011 NFL Regular Season, AccuScore, Brandon Meriweather, Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears, Chris Harris, Chris Ivory, Darren Sproles, Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers, Jimmy Graham, Joique Bell, Julius Jones, Major Wright, Mark Ingram, New Orleans Saints, Pierre Thomas, Sean Payton, Zach Strief

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