New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, October 20, 2019
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois
Preview for Digital Sports Desk: By Gracenote
CHICAGO – The Chicago Bears have had two weeks to stew about an upset loss to the Oakland Raiders that snapped the team’s three-game winning streak. Coming off their bye week, the Bears will hope to get their offensive struggles rectified with the expected return of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to the lineup when they host the surging New Orleans Saints this afternoon.
Trubisky was injured in a Week 4 win over Minnesota and sat out against the Raiders due to a dislocated left shoulder, but he practiced fully Thursday and is on track to start. “He’s feeling good. I like where he’s at,” Chicago coach Matt Nagy said of Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Saints have been without their starting quarterback since Drew Brees suffered a thumb injury in Week 2, but backup Teddy Bridgewater has guided the team to four consecutive victories. “There’s a calmness about him — I think it’s contagious, if you will — and how he approaches things,” New Orleans coach Sean Payton said. “It’s one of those unique traits that leaders have.”
TV: 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Bears -3.5. O/U: 38
ABOUT THE SAINTS (5-1): Although Bridgewater threw for 314 yards and matched a career high with four scoring passes in Week 5, he struggled against Jacksonville last week and is averaging only 217.8 yards passing. Bridgewater may have to do more this week against Chicago’s rugged defense with the potential absences of star running back Alvin Kamara (ankle/knee) and tight end Jared Cook (ankle), who each sat out practice for the second straight day on Thursday. Latavius Murray will get the start if Kamara can’t go while wide receiver Michael Thomas (NFL-high 53 catches) is the top option in the passing game. New Orleans has been stout defensively, allowing 40 points over the past three games.
ABOUT THE BEARS (3-2): Trubisky averaged 230.2 yards passing in 2018 and his production was no better through his first three games, with his best performance coming in a 231-yard outing at one-win Washington in Week 3. Rookie David Montgomery has rushed for only 225 yards and has yet to jump-start a running game that is averaging only 80.6 yards while third-down back Tarik Cohen has done next to nothing on the ground with 37 yards rushing while averaging nearly 20 yards fewer than last season in the passing game. Allen Robinson has been the only reliable option in the passing game with 31 catches. Chicago’s defense ranks fifth against the run at 83.0 yards per game.
- Bears LB Khalil Mack has 10 sacks in nine home games with Chicago.
- Bridgewater has won his last three versus Chicago while the Saints have won four in a row in the series.
- The Bears placed RT Kyle Long on injured reserve earlier this week.
PREDICTION: Bears 20, Saints 17