Will we see a better defensive effort this week?
As mentioned before, the Chicago Bears had a poor defensive showing last week. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert went 31/40 for 298 yards and 3 touchdowns. He took advantage of a defense that tried to keep him from making the big throw downfield. He was perfectly content with throwing underneath and taking those yards.
The Bears defenders certainly helped the Chargers receivers make big plays. They continually missed tackles and that allowed the ball carriers to turn five yard plays into 20 yards.
The Bears face another good passing offense. The Chargers ranked in the top ten in nearly every offensive category. The Saints are top ten in attempts (5th), yards (9th), and interceptions (9th). They do, however, rank just 23rd in touchdown passes.
The Saints are coming off their best offensive performance last week against the Indianapolis Colts. They amassed 511 yards, 350 of them through the air. They will look at the film from last week and will likely do the same. The Bears defenders have to make stops when they are on the ball carrier or they will be looking at the back of his uniform all day long.
The Bears could again have a big day stopping the run. After allowing just 54 rushing yards last week, they now rank third in the league against the run. That is a remarkable feat considering they ranked 31st in 2022. The overhaul of the interior line has worked for the Bears. Andrew Billings, Gervon Dexter, and Zacch Pickens, along with Justin Jones, have done an excellent of plugging up the middle. Additionally, the linebackers unit, with TJ Edwards, Tremaine Edmunds, and Jack Sanborn, have provided good run support.
After giving up 273 rushing yards combined in Weeks 2 and 3, the Bears have allowed just 254 yards in the last five games. The Saints rank 20th in rushing yards so they could have another good game against the run. They will have to deal with Alvin Kamara, however. After serving a suspension at the start of the season and missing the first three games, he is averaging 64 yards per game on the ground. He also has 228 receiving yards and a touchdown reception.
Let's hope that the Bears defenders fixed their tackling troubles and do a much better job of stopping ball carriers. If not, it will be another long, frustrating game.