The Saints will try give their postseason hopes a boost when they visit Chicago tonight. It's a matchup between two of the league's most disappointing teams. They come in with identical records (5-8) and are trying to put a difficult week behind them.
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Everything starts with the defensive line.
The Saints defensive line wasn't able to get any sort of pressure on Cam Newton last week. As a result, he ran and threw his way to an NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award.
The Saints could struggle with that on Monday, as Junior Galette is dealing with a knee injury. Jay Cutler has been very hit or miss this season. Cutler is not a mobile quarterback, so the Saints won't have to contain the run.
The Saints began the week tied for the NFC South lead with Atlanta - their next opponent - despite dropping four of five. They allowed 497 yards and got pounded by a Carolina team that came in with six straight losses.
The Bears got hit with another round of turmoil, with offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer acknowledging he was a source behind a critical report by the NFL Network about quarterback Jay Cutler.
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For the Bears, this season has been one harsh reality check. They came in with visions of a playoff run, only to fall out of contention for the seventh time in eight years. The situation with Kromer was just another in a line of distractions.
26: Total meetings between the two teams in the regular season
18: Carries for Bears running back Matt Forte over the last two games
3: Receptions for Jimmy Graham during the last two games
2: Primetime games the Saints have won this season in four tries
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. CT on Monday at Soldier Field in Chicago
Coaches: Sean Payton (78-47 in eighth year with Saints and overall), Marc Trestman (13-16 in second year with the Bears and overall)
WHERE THEY RANK
Saints: 3-3-9 31-29-29
Bears: 18-11-26 28-30-16
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