The Saints will also be without a couple of other key weapons in this one.
Saints vs Bears: Keys For a Saints Win
Latavius Murray Impact
It’s already been announced that Alvin Kamara will miss this game. It’ll only be the third regular-season game that Kamara has missed in his NFL career.
This will put a lot of pressure on Latavius Murray.
Murray is no Kamara, but he has been a very good backup running back this season. He is averaging 4.3 yards per rush while averaging 7.4 yards per reception on nine catches.
Nobody should expect Murray to be Kamara when it comes to being elusive and breaking tackles. However, he’s very capable. It’s going to be tough sledding in the running game against a very good Bears defense, but Murray is someone who can get extra yards.
Make no mistake about it though, not having Kamara when Brees is already out of the game, is going to be tough. If Murray can be productive, it will put the team in a good chance to put together another win.
Wide Receivers Step Up
With him out, tight end production is likely going to be limited. This will put significant pressure on Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr. Not that those two aren’t capable, because they obviously are, but with Bridgewater under center last week, the passing offense struggled against a middle of the pack pass defense.
With Tre’Quan Smith also banged up, options in the passing game are running low.
This is a game where Thomas needs to step up and show that he is a top wide receiver in the league like he’s paid to be and like he is.
Saints vs Bears: Keys For New Orleans Continued
The Bears don’t blitz all that often, but they are the best team in the NFL in terms of pressure percentage.
Not only is it Khalil Mack, but Nick Williams has emerged this season, while Leonard Floyd is a dangerous pass-rusher on the outside and Akiem Hicks is one of the more disruptive inside forces in the league.
Last week the Saints offensive line struggled in pass protection against the Jaguars. The Jaguars are a good pass-rushing team, but the Bears are a different animal.
Expect to see the screen game a lot, and to see a lot of routes with max or close to max protection.
Smother the Run Game
The Saints are a middle of the pack run defense in terms of yards per rush allowed, but the Bears have been one of the worst teams in the league at running the ball this season. It will be huge for the Saints to absolutely smother the running game.
Tarik Cohen and David Montgomery are both capable if they are given room, but this Bears offensive line hasn’t been good. There’s a good chance Mitchell Trubisky is back this week. However, that shouldn’t scare the New Orleans defense.
The Bears do have a dangerous receiver in Allen Robinson, but Trubisky has struggled mightily this season.
If New Orleans stops the run game, it will put the Bears in obvious passing situations. If that happens, it will allow Cameron Jordan, Marcus Davenport and the rest of the front to get after Trubisky.
That will also allow the defensive backs on the outside to play aggressive and increase the chances of forcing turnovers.
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