It’s the rivalry that has plagued Sean Payton, Drew Brees and the rest of the new-look Saints post-Katrina. Saints are winless against these Bears. 0-3. But it’s the first game between the two NFC heavy-weights since 2008 (oh how I remember losing that close Thursday night game…). The Saints defense has vastly improved since that time, they even have a ring to prove it. But if they play anything like they did last week against the Super Bowl champs with broken tackle after broken tackle (very remiscent of the Saints’ last game in the 2010 season against the Seahawks…), it’s going to be hard for New Orleans to win at home today.
After analyzing the Bears’ 30-12 rout over the Falcons last week in Chicago, one thing is clear, turnovers cost the Falcons the game. The Bears and Falcons were surprisingly even throughout the entire game in first downs, yards of offense and time of possession (except for the fourth quarter in that last category because the Bears ran the game out). The only glaring difference in the game between the two teams was in the turnover category. Through the third quarter, the Bears had none, while the Falcons had three. And the Bears capitalized on each of those turnovers.
So they key to today’s game? Turnovers. Drew Brees and the rest of that offense has to be extra careful not to make silly mistakes and let the Bears take advantage of them. Gregg Williams is telling his defense to make sure they’re the ones grabbing those loose balls as opposed to the other guys. Colston is out for a few weeks due to a broken collar bone (*tear*) but Lance Moore is active. Will Smith will be sitting out the game again (his second and last time) due to his suspension. Keep an eye out for Pierre Thomas to get more touches today, but with that quick Bears defense… who knows how many yards he’ll pick up. Former-Bear (last season) Olin Kreutz is now a center for the Saints and has been busy squeeling Bear secrets, so watch out! I hope Urlacher has a good game (no picks though please!) to honor his mum, but Saints will beat the Bears 31-23. Take that, Zara!
The rest of the games aren’t super-super appealing, but that’s even more reason why the winners will distance themselves from the rest of the league. Check out my picks below.
I took some big chances this week. I went a respectable 12-4 last week, and I might go 6-10 this week but who cares. I have good feelings about my picks.
The first game on the schedule that may get me a loss is Browns at Colts. Colts lost bad last week, but against a somewhat-good Texans team. This week, they play at home against a somewhat-crappy Browns team. My pick is based more on my secret love for Colt McCoy than being a prisoner of the moment. I’m not going to say the Colts are horrible, but I think Week 2 is too early for them to learn from their mistakes.
The second game that may get me into some major trouble, Cowboys at Niners. People are giving Romo a really difficult time, including me. I think he’s a good player, but I wouldn’t ever depend on the kid. The game’s at Candlestick today and Romo’s favorite receiver Dez Bryant is out. If you saw the game last week, you’ll know that the main reason the Cowboys looked good in the beginning of the game was because of Bryant. And the main reason the Cowboys looked horrible near the end of the game was because Bryant went out. Romo’s still got Miles Austin and his lover Jason Witten, but that Niner defense (and run game) will take over the game. It’ll be a close one, but Niners will win. And Dallas will implode.
The Sunday primetime game is one you definitely can’t miss. Michael Vick returning to Atlanta as an Eagles starter, the week after Matt Ryan laid an egg (TD throws) in Chicago. Will the Falcon fans root for Vick or Ryan? Who cares. I don’t believe in the Eagles that much (the Rams kept up with them step-for-step last week, but the main reason the Rams lost is because they chose field goals instead of touchdowns in the red zone) Unlike the Rams from last week, the Falcons have some offense, and also have a major running game (Rams would’ve won if Jackson didn’t get injured). Vick is ugly to watch and John Abraham will sack him twice. Michael Turner will run all over the Eagles and the Falcons will shut ‘em down tonight.
Is it an upset picking the Rams over the Giants? I may have just dissed the Rams’ offense in the last graph, but they’re still pretty good. I didn’t watch the Giants game, but if they lose by two TDs against the Redskins… how can you pick them to win? They’re at home, but I just like this Rams team. It’s a toss-up, but I’m picking the Rams.
And there you have it. There are a few other toss-ups this weekend, so don’t be surprised if I return next week under .500. All I care is that the Saints get their first win of the season, against the mid west team that I hate the most. I almost saw the game in Chicago, but plans changed, so beat ‘em up, Saints. GO SAINTS. Take care everyone. see u.