11 December 2008: Tight end (82) Greg Olsen of the Chicago Bears reaches for a pass while being defended by cornerback (42) Jason David of the New Orleans Saints during the second half of the Bears 27-24 overtime victory over the Saints at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo Credit: Icon Sports Media)
No need to rehash the season opener – our offense played great, our defense played mediocre, and our special teams played well. We opened this season against great odds, in a hostile environment, against arguably the best defense and quarterback/receiving cores in the league. Like the Saints did in the 2010 opener, emotion and energy greatly favored the defending champs. We would rather be 1-0. We’re better than 0-1 and it’s time to bear down.
No one will argue that the Saints have one of the most prolific and explosive offenses in the league and have been for a few years. We scored 34 points against a stingy Packers defense. While the Bears have a great defense (#4 in points allowed and #9 in yards/game), the Packers are better statistically (#2 points allowed and #5 in yds/game)…and the Saints managed to find lots of holes in that one last Thursday night.
The real question is whether our defense can come up big when it counts. It is their job to keep the dome at a fever-pitch. This is the time to dial-in the Greg Williams high-pressure defense, forcing Jay Cutler into bad decisions and poor passes. The Bears offensive line is porous. They led the league in sacks allowed with 56 in the 2010 regular season and left their QB vulnerable to 92 hits. If last week is any indication, this thin veil of protection has not improved this year. The Falcons sacked Cutler five times last week – and they are not known for their aggressive pressure.
If our defense plays above average and the offense keeps the pedal to the metal, the Saints should come out on top. Come on Vilma…it’s bear season…let’s go hunting!
Stay tuned for video footage from the game in our first installment of “Dome Culture”…