The Saints were able to pressure the Bears and suffocate Marc Trestman’s offense early and often. Rob Ryan knows a thing or two about blitzing from his Papa, Buddy, who was the master craftsman behind the ferocious ’85 Bears defense.
Marc Trestman talked about the Saints blitzes and how Bears offensive line adjusted:
“I think they were problematic. We hadn’t really seen them. I thought Rob (Ryan) did a good job. We had answers for them early, we just didn’t get it communicated it to the guys. Once we did, I think you see we efficiently moved the football up and down the field. Our guys did a good job of making that transition. I don’t know if all of them were the same ones. I think two of them were the same, one was a little different. So they got us early. But I was pleased we were able to make the adjustments. I would have liked to make them sooner.
When the Bears finally did adjust to the Saints and their blitzing, they were finally able to start moving the ball. Unfortunately, by that point, the Bears were down 13-0.
Long Drives, Big Plays and No Takeaways
The Bears defense is drawing accolades for limiting the Saints to “only” 26 points. While it’s certainly noteworthy to slow down the vaunted Saints attack, the Bears defense has to find ways to get themselves off the field. They gave up scoring drives of 10, 4, 6, 7, 13 and 12 plays. Somewhere, somehow, the Bears defense needs to get themselves off the field.
If the Bears weren’t giving up long drives, they were giving up big plays. They gave up plays of 38, 35, 29, 25 and 19 yards to the Saints. The Bears defense can’t give up long plays. It’s not how the defense is designed to work. It’s actually designed to force the opponents to dink and dunk their way down the field, and for the defense to take the ball away before the opponents can score.
The Bears finished the day -1 in the turnover ratio, with their lone turnover being the Cutler blindside sack fumble. That means the Bears defense didn’t take the ball away. They don’t usually win when they’re not taking the ball away.