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Bears' Six-Pack Keys to Victory Over the Saints

We offer our six keys for the Bears to not repeat their result last week against the Saints.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

1) Know Where Darren Sproles is At All Times

Darren Sproles isn't the biggest guy in the NFL. He's not the biggest running back in the NFL. He's so small Garrett Wolfe is bigger than-- okay, no, maybe that one's a stretch.

The point is, what Sproles does do is run. He runs very well. He runs really well with the ball in his hands. And the Saints do what they can to get him said ball and get him in space with blockers. What does that mean for the Bears? Long story short, don't let the Saints do what Reggie Bush was able to do with great effectiveness. And on top of that, don't let interior running lanes develop to the point the Lions got them.

2) Sooner or later...

The defensive line needs to do its part to stop those running lanes. And getting after the quarterback would be good too. There's too much talent on the defensive line not to play better than they have, and they're a large part of what makes the defense run properly. Drew Brees has been sacked 12 times, so it's doable.

3) Jimmy Graham

The Saints' quarterback also has a quarterback rating over 100, and it's in large part to getting the ball to Sproles, Marques Colston, and this guy right here. Jimmy Graham is a really big matchup problem. You can't exactly leave him on an island, he's just too big and fast for that (so it's even more imperative for the Bears' defensive line to play well so the Bears don't have to blitz).

4) Matt Forte

Offensively, Forte was off to a good start last week, but then things kind of got out of hand. So, you'd hope this week Forte gets a little more use (because the Bears don't give up 21 points that quickly, ideally). The Saints have some strong edge rushers in Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette, so getting Forte going on the outside (similar to that toss for a touchdown...) could get some significant yardage.

5) Ball Security

It should go without saying that turnovers increase the likelihood of losing the game. Throwing multiple picks and giving up a fumble for a touchdown go a long way towards that. Please hang on to the ball.

6) Tackling

Likewise, this should also go without saying. Make tackles. Missed tackles mean big special teams plays, big defensive plays, and of course the most obvious, big offensive plays allowed. The Saints' offense is a very good one; don't give them gift yards by failing to make tackles.