The Bears are big underdogs and are starting Tyson Bagent once again.
Some of the excitement and newness of Tyson Bagent was lost after last week’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. Any goodwill for the coaching staff from when they won two of three games evaporated with it.
Especially after running backs coach David Walker was fired, marking the second assistant to be fired for vague reasons involving HR.
The tumultuous season continues in Chicago. So what will it take to get back to winning ways?
Our staff weighs in.
Sam: Another week of Secret Bagent Man. Can he recapture the magic from the Raiders game? Probably not. Josh McDaniels and Brian Hoyer aren’t on the other side to give the Bears some help.
Defense: Play aggressively, get after Derek Carr. Carr has been playing conservative football, so if you can contain Alvin Kamara and take away the short passing, Carr could fold.
Offense: run the ball, protect the ball. Make the smart plays and work in play action and keep the pocket moving.
Lester: Will the Chicago defense make Saint QB Derek Carr ‘sweat’ with consistent pressure? We’ve seen Carr be extra quick to check down when his pass protection breaks down during his career, and this year the Saints have thrown to running back Alvin Kamara 44 times in five games. Coming up with a game plan to slow Kamara’s option routes will be key, but if the Bears can’t harass Carr, he’ll be able to sit back and hit his talented trio of wide receivers. On offense, we’ll need to see Bagent push the ball downfield some to loosen the underneath stuff up, but will the pass protection hold up to let things develop or will he be extra quick to check it down too?
Taylor: The Saints have their fair share of issues and haven’t been able to really put together a complete product. The inconsistency of Derek Carr is something the Bears need to lean into heavily. Hopefully, Sweat and Yan can create some pressure this weekend and the interior can get back on track against the run. Bagent just needs to limit mistakes and do what worked best for him in the short and fast passing game. Also, run the ball.
Jack R Salo: Offense: The Bears dedication to the run will be key this Sunday. The Saints have one of the best pass defenses in the league, and the Bears have a backup quarterback who struggled last week. If they hand the ball off less than 25 times in New Orleans, they will lose, plain and simple. The corresponding key in this one will be the right side of the offensive line vs. Cam Jordan, one of the best in the business. If the Saints line him up on that side, that’s a marquee big man matchup between him and Darnell Wright/Teven Jenkins, who are having killer years themselves sewing up that side of the line. If you like heavyweight bouts, get your popcorn ready.
Defense: Alvin Kamara is still the toughest running back to cover in the league when he becomes a receiver, while the Bears struggled mightily to tackle Austin Ekeler last week, so a key matchup in this one is Kamara vs TJ Edwards. If Tremaine Edmunds misses this one, then Edwards may get 100,000 steps in trying to track Kamara around the field. Wrap Kamara up on the first try, or the Saints will gash the Bears all day. No broken tackles applies to Jack Sanborn, too. A secondary key (no pun intended) is the Bears defense in press coverage. Jaylon Johnson and Tyrique Stevenson both like to play a bit off receivers, but Michael Thomas is a slant machine and they can’t let him get 6 yards every target. Chris Olave can kill you in the short game, too. Whew, Derek Carr really walked into the best situation. Press up, track Kamara, tackle on the first try, and eventually the pressure should get home. Easy, right?...