The Defense Played Well, But…..
The Saints won this game because their defense came to play. The only points they allowed were either in garbage time or off of Taysom Hill’s fumble. The Bears’ 4.9 yards/play would be equivalent to what the Bengals and Washington averaged this season.
Despite facing a poor offensive line, the Saints only hit Mitch Trubisky three times. Meanwhile, they remained somewhat vulnerable to explosive passes, which is essentially how the Bears were able to generate any offense.
Then, there is the opponent. Chicago ranked 27th in yards/play this season, and don’t exactly have an elite quarterback.
To make matters worse, with Darnell Mooney injured and Anthony Miller getting ejected, outside of Allen Robinson, they were starting reserve wide receivers. That isn’t quite what you’d expect from a playoff opponent.
They won’t be able to simply stop the run to take away their opponent’s offense this time around, and they’ll need edge rusher, Trey Hendrickson, back in other to have a more healthy rotation of pass rushers.
With how reliant defensive success is on the opponent, expecting the Saints to have as much success against a far more prolific offense would be foolish.