CHICAGO (CBS) — The Bears are back at Soldier Field this weekend. How will New Orleans handle the great outdoors? Here are three things to watch Sunday as the Bears host the Saints.
An Outdoor Brees
Can Drew Brees handle the breeze? Amazingly, this will be the Saints first game outside this season. And in this one, 41-year-old quarterback Drew Brees will be facing 30 mile per hour winds at Soldier Field. While Brees’ numbers are still mostly good, it’s hard to tell if his arm is. According to NFL Next Gen stats, no Quarterback in the league averages fewer yards in the air per pass. His passes on average are traveling just 6.1 yards in the air. So with high winds, and perhaps low arm strength, look for the Bears defensive backs to stay pretty close to the line of scrimmage most of the game.
Counting On Kmet
Look for more Cole Kmet. It feels like every week recently Matt Nagy has talked about getting the rookie tight end and St. Viator alum more involved. I think this is the week it finally happens. For whatever reason, tight end Demetrius Harris has been getting more playing time than Kmet, but Cole finally passed him in snaps last week and caught the longest pass play of the season for the Bears. And how about this, a tight end has scored against the Saints in every game this season.
What About The Run?
This isn’t the week the Bears run game gets it going. Nick Foles may be throwing a bunch in this one even with high winds because don’t look for the Bears to be able get their ground game going this week. They’re dealing with injuries on an already struggling offensive line, and the Saints defense has been solid against the run. They’re allowing the third lowest yards per attempt at just 3 ½ yards per carry. Of course, if the Bears averaged 3.5 yards a run, that would actually be an improvement from their ridiculously low 2.6 yards per attempt average over the last 3 weeks.
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