Keys to the Game: Saints vs. Bears

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Sep 30, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) is knocked out of bounds by Miami Dolphins strong safety Chris Clemons (30) during the second quarter of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The offense looked its best on Monday Night against the Dolphins. The Saints rank 4th in Total Offense, Total Yards/Game, and they are 2nd in Passing Yards/Game. We thought we’d see more from the run game Monday Night, but Brees went into his ‘Tecmo Super Bowl’ mode.

The big thing to look for here is how the Saints front line matches up against the Bears front seven. Chicago is giving up 384 yards/game on offense (which is a 21st ranking). The Bears also only have 6 sacks on the year, which is very uncharacteristic in relation to seasons past. The Saints offensive line has yielded 12 through 4 games, and Brees was only sacked twice last week, but that is still way too many. On the road, with a hostile crowd, this is one to watch.

Ball security is a huge one here as well, as the Bears are T-2nd in the NFC (ironically with the Saints) in their Giveaway/Takeaway Ratio with +5. The Bears have 14 total turnovers with 8 fumbles, and 6 interceptions on the season compared to the Saints 10 (7 interceptions, 3 fumbles).

As always, it will be interesting to see who is covering Jimmy Graham on the day (Peanut Tillman?), and even more interesting to see how they solve for the extremely versatile Darren Sproles. Lance Moore isn’t going to be able to go again (likely a precautionary thing), look for a similar mix from Monday Night of Colston-Toon-Stills-Meachem. Chicago is giving up an average of 106.3 yards/game at this point. Again there’s no Mark Ingram, so look for Khiry Robinson to be put in the mix again.

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Tags: Chicago Bears Drew Brees Marc Trestman New Orleans Saints Sean Payton Week 5 Matchups

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