The Chicago Bears will host the New Orleans Saints in their first game following their bye week. The Bears come into this game with a 3-2 record and are looking to get back on track on offense with Mitchell Trubisky expected to return.
As for the defense, Chicago still owns one of the most dominant defenses in the NFL. Led by Khalil Mack, the Bears currently have the sixth-best defense in the league this season.
Now, on Sunday, they will be tasked with stopping a Saints team that has gone 4-0 with Teddy Bridgewater as their starting quarterback. Along with Drew Brees, New Orleans will also be without Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook in Week 7.
Due to this, Chicago will turn their attention to containing Michael Thomas and Latavius Murray. With that in mind, here are three bold predictions for the Bears defense against New Orleans in Week 7.
3. Bears Will Hold Thomas to Under 60 Receiving Yards
As mentioned above, without Kamara and Cook, there aren’t many weapons for Bridgewater to get the ball to. That leaves Thomas as the only reliable pass catcher in New Orleans right now.
With that being the case, Chuck Pagano will devote the majority of his game plan to keeping the All-Pro receiver in check. The Bears will put either Kyle Fuller or Prince Amukamara on him and likely have a safety over the top.
Thus, forcing the other wide receivers on the roster to beat them through the air. By keying on Thomas, Chicago’s stingy defense will hold him to under 60 receiving yards on Sunday. It would be just the second time this season that he’s posted less than 60 yards.
2. Bears Will Contain Murray to Under 50 Rushing Yards
Along with Thomas, Murray will be relied upon in New Orleans’ injury-riddled offense. Murray has shown that he can be a starter in the NFL in his career before with the Minnesota Vikings.
Aside from their dominant pass defense, the Bears also have a tantalizing run defense. At this moment, Chicago has the fifth-best run defense in the NFL.
The loss of Akiem Hicks definitely hurts but the Bears still have a stalwart front seven. The Bears’ defense led by Mack, Eddie Goldman, and Leonard Floyd will hold Murray to under 50 yards on the ground in Week 7.
1. Bears Will Sack Bridgewater Six Times and Force Three Turnovers
One of the plenty of strengths of the Saints offense is their offensive line. However, they haven’t faced a group as relentless as Chicago’s pass-rushing unit yet.
Of course, Mack always tends to create problems for opposing offensive linemen and Floyd is coming into his own on the other side. By collapsing the pocket, Bridgewater isn’t going to have much room to make the throws he wants.
Due to this, Chicago is going to sack him six times and force him into turning the ball over three times. If the defense plays up to their standards on Sunday, the Bears should be able to take control of this game very early.