The 4-2 New Orleans Saints head into Chicago on Sunday for a Week 8 matchup with the 5-2 Chicago Bears. Both teams currently hold a playoff spot in the NFC and this will be a huge matchup.
This game features one of the top offenses in the NFL against one of the toughest defenses. This game could go either way, but recent trends should help determine which team will come away with the victory.
Status of Thomas is a Huge Question
The New Orleans Saints have been playing without wide receiver Michael Thomas, but that could change in this game. Thomas led the NFL in receptions a season ago, and the Saints could really use his playmaking ability on the field.
New Orleans is still scoring 30 points per game, and they have scored at least 27 points in each of their last three games. Quarterback Drew Brees is completing more than 70 percent of his pass attempts, but it has been Alvin Kamara that has been the real star.
The Saints have struggled a bit on the defensive side of the ball, but that shouldn’t be much of a concern against the Bears. New Orleans wants to win the game with its offense, and having Thomas in the fold would help that happen.
Bears Offense Is a Mess
Simply put, the Chicago Bears are an absolute mess on offense, and it doesn’t appear that things will change anytime soon. A quarterback change didn’t do the trick, and the team still has a banged up and less than mediocre offensive line.
The Bears are averaging just 84 rushing yards per game, which is dead-last in the NFL. That has forced the Bears to throw the ball, and Jim McMahon isn’t walking through the door to guide the Bears offense.
The defense continues to play great football, and safety Eddie Jackson had a touchdown a week ago. Chicago’s defense will attempt to make life difficult on Drew Brees, but this unit also knows that it must score to win games.
A Playoff Preview?
This game is being hyped up as a potential playoff preview in the NFC, but just how realistic is that? Sure, both teams are currently in a playoff position, but it will take some work for either team to reach the playoffs.
The New Orleans Saints are the best bet to reach the postseason, as this franchise has a tradition of getting there. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem positioned to win the NFC South this season, but the Saints will at least be a Wild Card this season.
Da Bears entered Monday Night in Week 7 with a chance to take over the top spot in the NFC, but the team fell flat on its face. Chicago has already banked five wins, but just how many more can they get?
Chicago is going to have to find a way to score soon, or that defense is going to get worn out. The odds say the Bears will find a way to reach the playoffs, but let’s pump the brakes on the whole “playoff preview” talk at this time.
Saints Expose Tired Bears Defense
The Bears defense continues to play well, but that unit can only take so much. You won’t see any quit or complaining from this unit, but they are going to get exposed on Sunday.
With or without Michael Thomas, Drew Brees is set to have a monster game. He is one of the most accurate passers in NFL history, and he will find plenty of holes in that secondary.
New Orleans is scoring at least three touchdowns in this game, and it’s hard to see the Bears scoring even once. Bet on the New Orleans Saints -4.5 to pick up a comfortable win on Sunday over the Chicago Bears.