Will the Chicago Bears bounce back versus the Saints in Week 8?
On offense, the tight ends need to have a productive day against the Saints defense. This means both Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet should see a lot of action together on the field. Putting these two in 12 personnel packages should create enough unpredictability to let both the Bears run game and pass game have some room to roam and score some points.
It would be special if on a blustery day with winds howling all over Soldier Field that David Montgomery finished with 100 yards or more on the ground. This is a winnable game if the Bears play it smart and tough.
The model for this game is what the Chargers did against the Saints. They ran the ball 32 times for 111 yards. They completed 20 of 34 pass attempts for 264 yards. This included four passing touchdowns. The Chargers lost in overtime as they could not hold a late fourth-quarter lead. In contrast, the Bears defense is good at holding leads.
There is a compelling yet hidden reason why the Chicago Bears should commit to the run the ball 25 or more times. Their offensive line is going through a period of crisis as their starting center, Cody Whitehair is out and they are also playing poorly. Offensive lineman love to be the aggressors and that means running the ball.
Hopefully, Alex Bars will replace Rashaad Coward at left guard so he can lineup next to Sam Mustipher at center. Bars and Mustipher played together at guard and center for Notre Dame. Given the problems the offensive line has had, the familiarity these two have with each other could be a big help to the entire offensive line.
The Bears offensive line has all too often looked confused as plays unfolded. Perhaps these two Notre Dame guys can add some quicker minds and on-point reactions to the Bears offensive line mix. Mustipher, by all accounts, is smart and tough which is just what the Bears offensive line could use.
If the Bears can run the ball and run it reasonably well, that will inject a lot of much-needed self-confidence into players on the offensive line. It will also pump up the rest of the offense and probably the defense as well. Add this to the simmering anger the Bears feel from their Monday night embarrassment and you could have a Bears victory over a good team.
My prediction the Bears win 27-23.