If the Chicago Bears blitz Drew Brees, he will tear them apart
When you face a veteran quarterback like Drew Brees in the playoffs it is always going to be a question of how often you can limit them, not whether or not you can shut them down. Brees has been there and done that and there is nothing the Chicago Bears can throw at him that he will not have seen.
This can be shown by his statistics against the blitz. In 2020, Brees has been blitzed 99 times. In those, he averages 8.6 yards per attempt with 8 touchdowns and one interception, according to PFF. In comparison when he is not blitzed, he averages 7.2 yards per attempt with 16 touchdowns to 5 interceptions. That is on 296, so with nearly three times the passes, he has only double the touchdowns when teams do not blitz Brees.
It is not like rushing four and dropping seven will shut Brees down. Still, it is quite clear that he can identify the blitz, and with one less man rushing, he will always find the better matchup. You are worse off if you blitz Brees.
On one hand, Chuck Pagano does not bring more than four often. He ranks 29th in blitz rate with only the Browns, Colts, and Chargers blitzing less often.
Still, one thing that Pagano does too often drops a defensive lineman into coverage while replacing him with a rusher. Pagano still just sends four but looks for the confusion of an unexpected rusher that he can create pressure.
This can work at times, but has been exposed by Aaron Rodgers in the past two games. Rodgers threw all of his touchdowns with Robert Quinn in coverage, and Rodgers completed three passes against Quinn on seven coverage snaps on Sunday.
It is supposed to be a surprise that Quinn is dropping and a Blitzer is replacing him, but experienced QBs such as Rodgers and Brees identify it and see It as a chance to catch the Bears in a vulnerable spot in the back end.
If the Chicago Bears want to compete on Sunday, it will be on the defense to have a stellar performance. Chuck Pagano has to keep simple, as he will not outsmart Brees. The Bears need to rely on their four pass rushers to get home and then play seven-on-five in coverage. It may not shut Drew Brees, but it will give them their best shot.