PFW associate editor Dan Parr makes his prediction for the outcome of Sunday's game between the Bears and Saints.
Coming off two straight awful performances on the road, including last season's playoff loss in Seattle, I think the Saints' defense will rise to the challenge in the comfort of the Superdome this week. The Bears know coordinator Gregg Williams is going to throw different looks at them and blitz early and often. Predicting when the blitz is coming and where it's coming from is another matter, though. I'm not confident Chicago's offensive line is ready to execute against a very different style of defense than the one it faced last week against the Falcons.
QB Drew Brees is going to have to be patient and take what's given to him against the Bears' cover-2. He'll be patient and avoid turnovers. Getting the running game going early is extremely important for both teams, and a good day from RB Matt Forté will keep the Bears close.
The winner of the battle for takeaways could decide this game between two playoff-caliber teams.
Prediction: Saints 24, Bears 20
Season record straight up: 0-1
Against the spread: 0-1