The New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears will go head-to-head for the 26th time ever on Sunday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. CT. The Bears lead the all-time series 13-12.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler lost his only matchup against the Saints in 2011, 30-13, which was the last time these two NFC teams squared off. However that game was at the Mercedes Benz Superdome, this game will be at Soldier Field where the Bears are 8-6 against the Saints all-time.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees has gotten off to a superb start here in 2013 completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 1,434 yards, 10 touchdowns and just four interceptions.
Brees hasn't been that great at Soldier Field during his 14-year NFL career. His 71.3 passer rating at Soldier Field is his lowest at any stadium in which he's played at least four games.
The Saints haven't won at Soldier Field since Oct. 8, 2000. In that win, Jeff Blake was under center for New Orleans and Cade McNown was tossing interceptions for the Bears.
The Saints are looking to continue their perfect season, while the Bears are trying to get back to the winning side of things after a bad loss to the Lions, 40-32.
Cutler and Co. will be fired up as they return home for this big matchup against a Saints team that features tight end Jimmy Graham, wide receiver Marques Colston and running back Darren Sproles who all compliment Brees.
It should be a fun one to watch as both teams have plenty of talent to make runs deep into the playoffs this season.
Take a look at the five Bears players you should pay attention to in Sunday's game.
Bears- Cornerback Charles Tillman (knee/groin) didn't practice on Wednesday or Thursday. He practiced on a limited basis on Friday and is considered questionable for Sunday afternoon's game. He should be out there covering the Saints number one receiver Colston, but Zack Bowman should see time once again.
--Safety Anthony Walters (hamstring) did not practice all week and has been ruled out. Defensive tackle Stephen Paea (turf toe) did not practice all week and is considered questionable. He should be able to go as the Bears are already without Henry Melton for the rest of the season.
--Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (foot) was able to get in a limited practice on Friday after sitting out the past two days. He will play plenty in this big matchup, but his foot should be monitored throughout.
Saints- Wide receiver Lance Moore (hand), defensive end Tyrunn Walker (knee), running back Mark Ingram (turf toe), safety Roman Harper (knee), defensive end Brodrick Bunkley (calf) have all been ruled out of Sunday's game.
--Cornerback Keenan Lewis (hip) and defensive end Tom Johnson (hamstring) have both been limited all week with injuries and are listed as questionable.
Players Who Must Step Up
Matt Forte- The Bears abandoned the running game early in last week's loss to the Lions. Forte needs to be more involved in the offense especially in the early going if the Bears want to succeed. He carried the ball 14 times for a season-high 95 yards and a touchdown. However, 53 yards came on one carry which he took for a score. He added five catches for 22 yards out of the backfield. He was used more as a last option more than a first option. He should be in line for a big game on Sunday.
Martellus Bennett- The "Black Unicorn" has been a big asset for this Bears' offense. He's reeled in three touchdown receptions through four weeks. He reeled in eight catches for 90 yards last week, but a lot of those yards came when the Bears were playing catch up. He has to be looked upon to get the running game going as a blocker and as a red zone contributor. If Jay Cutler wants to bounce back Bennett needs to help him out in a big way and make those clutch catches we saw from him during the first two weeks.
Lance Briggs- He will be put into plenty of tough situations on Sunday as both Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham will be utilized often especially over the middle of the field. Briggs has held his own in his zone, but the weak Bears pass rush has forced him to play into pass coverage a lot more than he is used to in year's past. This a big test for Briggs and the Bears' defense. Here's to hoping he is up for the task after posting 13 tackles and one forced fumble a week ago.
Final Score Prediction
Bears 35, Saints 31
Qwikcast.com Weather Report
Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 60s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.
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