Dictionary.com defines “streak”: a spell or run: an uninterrupted series. The WhoDat Nation describes simply – “About Time”.
A review of the Payton/Brees Era, the Saints have had eleven streaks of over three wins in a row. Five times the streak has ended after three wins (2006 (2) 2012, 2013, 2015). Twice it extended to four games (2007, 2011) and once it reached five games (2013).
The last game in the 2013 streak was a 26-18 victory against the Bears at Soldier Field. Today our Boys in Black and Gold are going for win that will tie the longest streak in the 2017 league year and the longest streak since 2013 – against the very same Chicago Bears. That five-game streak helped lead the Saints to a 11-win season and the last appearance in the post season. That makes today’s game a very important game to win!
Chicago comes in to the dome looking to build a streak of their own. The Bears are riding back to back wins over the Ravens and the Panthers. They come in bringing a strong defense, an offense that tries to eliminate mistakes by relying on a rushing game that avoids putting their young quarterback in a place to have to win the game.
When they line-up the Saints will be heavy favorites (I prefer the underdog role) and our team will need to avoid the slow start they had last week at Green Bay. We cannot give the Bears any life in the dome. We need a fast, mistake free offensive start and we need the defense to play in the first quarter like they played the last week in the third.
Keys to the Game:
- Saints Rushing Defense vs Bears rushing attack: The Bears have the sixth best rushing attack in the league averaging over 126 yards per game. The Saint rank fifteenth against the run giving up 114 yards per game. If the Saints defense can start strong, stay disciplined and avoid big runs they can force the Bears to have to go to the air.
- Brees avoids mistakes: After starting the year mistake and turn-over free, the last two games have seen Brees throw two interceptions in each game. Giving the ball to the Bears defense will build their confidence and will bring silence to the dome. The Bears defensive backs are solid and opportunistic. Hopefully with Snead back, we will have a full complement of receivers and we can get the game tempo moving faster.
- Dome field advantage: There was a time the dome was one of the most feared places to play. The Saints were point machines and the crowd was deafening. With back to back home games on the schedule, this is the week to make the dome rock.
PREDICTION: I think the Saints are ready to avoid a letdown. They are happy to be home and ecstatic about the win streak, but they know how quickly it can turn. With an early two score lead, the Saints defense will turn-up the heat on Trubisky. Saints 31 Bears 10