- The Saints came out running. They obviously knew that the Bears have given up a lot of big ones. They’ve got one of the best running backs in the league. With the Bears offense being what it is, they probably figured they could wear them out as well.
- In line with the above, the Bears tendency to give up big plays made itself evident in teh first quarter. Alvin Kamara ripped off a 20 yard run in the first series setting up a field goal. He followed that with an 88 yard catch and run on the following series.
- Taysom Hill also did some damage on the run in the first half. He seems to run the ball a lot more than he passes. I’m surprised teams don’t key more on it when he comes in.
- Barkavious Mingo continues to do nothing but make plays for the Bears. He doesn’t get enough credit. He’s been a gem.
- I thought Roquon Smith also had a good game.
- One thing I was glad to see was that the Bears cleaned up the tackling this week. It was excellent. And it was needed. The Saints do a good job of running after the catch.
- Hated to see Roy Robertson-Harris go down with a shoulder. He’s a big (and also underrated) part of that defensive line.
- The Bears had a lot of trouble getting pressure on Drew Brees in the first half. He was also gettng the ball out fast. They did better in the second half.
- The drive before half time was a travesty. The Bears had them in a third and thirteen situation from thier own 40 yard line. They threw a little screen to the left and there were no Bears defenders in sight. He got 12 yards. They converted the fourth down and then scored a touchdown against some really bad coverage along with another Kyle Fuller penalty. I don’t know what they were thinking.
- Jaylon Johnson was nowhere near the guys he was covering an awful lot today. I don’t know what he was doing. Like a lot of things about this game, it was a bad look.
- The Bears came out with the short passing game. It was reasonably effective as the Saints defensive backs were giving them some room. The Saints have had some problems in their defensive backfield.
- Interesting bringing Mitch Trubisky in for a pleay in the first series to run the ball. It didn’t get many years but I didn’t have a problem with it.
- It was nice to see the Bears hand the ball off to Montgomery on 3rd and 8 in the first quarter. It keeps the defense honest, especially since it worked.
- It was also nice to see Montgmery break free for a big 38 yard run in the second quarter. The Bears ran the ball well in the first half. they Bears had 6.7 yards per carry at half time. They ended the game at 4.2 as they didn’t run as well in the second half.
- The Bears finally completed some nice deep balls in the second quarter with a 50 yard completion to Darnell Mooney followed by a 24 yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson on a really nice catch. I think most people familiar with the Bears have been waiting for that kind of catch from Mooney for a while. Its obvious that teams respect his speed and he ran right Janoris Jenkins.
- Nick Foles looked really awful in the face of the pass rush today. He might be at that point in his career when fear of being hit becomes a dominant part of your game. For much of this game he reminded me of Jay Cutler wiht the Dolphins. Or Tom Brady earlier this year while the Bears defense knocked him around a little. A straight back pedal off of the snap on a fourth down play at the beginning of the fourth quarter was a really bad look.
- Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews were your announcers. Aikman is always interesting. He’s not the kind of guy who will teach you a lot of Xs and Os but he’s observant and he’s obviously studies both teams very hard. His perspective on teh team is nice to hear.
- Bears special teams were not good. Coverage teams got outplayed. Return teams got out played. The Bears got outplayed. Cairo Santos was kicking well. That’s the best I can say.
- The Saints Will Lutz finally missed a feild goal after hitting 29 straight. He walked off looking at the goal post like it jumped in the way to purposely hit the ball.
- I noticed that Tedd Ginn was inactive after basically refusing to field a punt last week and showing little interest before that. He basically threw his opportunity to play away. Perhaps at this stage of his career, he’d rather do that than take the chances that come with returning punts. Dwayne Harris took his place as punt returner.
- There were two consecutive bad drops in overtime by Anthony Miller and Jimmy Graham. The drive died with a sack on the next play. The Saints kicked the winning field goal on the next possession.
- The Bears didn’t have as many penalties as they have had over the last few games but they came at critical times. Well, they’re all critcial when your margin for error is as small as the Bears. Javon Wimms took an unessessary roughness penalty midway through the third quarter and got thrown out of the game after throwing a punch at a defensive back. It was a dumb penalty. The only thing I can say is it wasn’t a big loss and he did nothing on the field before that.
- The Saints had one really bad penalty late in the fourth quarter, a pass interference on Jimmy Graham in the endzone that set up a Bears touchdown to make it a 3 point game. Other than that, they were very clean.
- Nick Foles threw a terrible looking interception that handed the Saints the ball deep in Bears territory. It looked like he expected Jimmy Graham to go back shoulder or hitch up. He didn’t and kept on running. It was an ugly play to go along with some other ugly play at the beginning of the half (see below). The Saints turned it into a field goal.
- There were a lot of players slipping around out there today, especially Saints players.
- The start to the second half was a travesty. The Bears offense failed to get lined up properly and took a delay of game. That was faloowed by a false start on the punt by Cordarella Patterson. That was followed by a Saints punt return to the 16 yard line.
- For most of this game, it didn’t feel like it was as close as the score indicated. With the Bears offense continuing to be miserable with some awful, embarrassing stretches, it never felt like the Saints wouldn’t or shouldn’t win. A lot of work remains to be done to get the execution to where it needs to be.