Bears Offense vs Saints Defense
The Bears didn’t have a very productive offense this season.
In fact, they ranked just 27th in both yards/play and yards/pass attempt. Yes, they ended the season on a hot streak, but that also came against the Texans, Lions, Vikings, and Jaguars, who are among the worst defenses in the NFL.
On the surface, Mitch Turbisky would appear to have had a productive season.
He has gone 6-3 as a starter, and his statistics are on par as to where they were in 2018. At the same time, he is only averaging 6.9 yards/attempt, reduced his average depth of target, and also managed to throw eight inceptions despite playing in just ten games.
Really, what has changed is the offensive scheme. About half of Trubisky’s total passing yards have come from either play-action passes or run-pass options, while he is benefitting from increased yardage after the catch (5.3).
When the Saints first faced the Bears, Nick Foles was the starter. However, their defensive strength may be their tackling in the secondary. Marshon Lattimore, in particular, has done a nice job limiting yardage after the catch.
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Chicago isn’t a very efficient passing offense, so they benefit tremendously from explosive passes to Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney. This was a problem when these two teams first faced off, and Saints fans are well aware of the team’s issues given up passes down the field.
The Bears rank in the middle of the pack in sacked percentage and have specifically dealt with injuries on the interior of their offensive line.
The Saints have one of the better pass rushes in the NFL, so if all goes as planned, David Onyemata could make a noticeable difference here. The same can be said about Cameron Jordan going up against Germain Ifedi.
Chicago doesn’t run the ball much (27th in rushing play rate), as the quick passing game is an extension of the running game for them. They also have been a below-average rushing offense in terms of efficiency, so New Orleans’ fourth-ranked rush defense should theoretically not have any trouble there.
The Bears offense has been trending upwards, but they are solely concentrated on a few select players, mainly Robinson and Mooney. Limiting their ability to create chunk plays after the catch will be critical for the Saints, as they aren’t facing a very efficient offense.