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Bears Clash with Saints: Top Three Showdown Elements to Look Out for in Week 9


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Vince Carbonneau
November 3, 2023  (10:13)
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1. After witnessing a dramatic unraveling under the bright lights of Los Angeles, the Bears face a new test. The team has not only experienced on-field meltdowns before but also the rare midseason loss of an assistant coach—twice this season already. Yet, as NFL cornerbacks do, it's time to leave the past behind and zero in on the upcoming challenges. However, it remains uncertain if cornerback Jaylon Johnson can adopt this mindset amid his contract extension uncertainties with the Bears.

2. The spotlight now turns to backup quarterback Tyson Bagent as the Bears head to New Orleans to face the Saints. With a split record of 1-1 as a starter, Bagent showed potential with an expanded playbook. However, he faces a dual challenge: a formidable top 10 Saints defense and the roaring crowd of over 80,000 in the Caesar's Superdome—a stark contrast to the more subdued atmosphere at SoFi Stadium. Previous pressure has led to Bagent's two interceptions—narrowly avoiding four—casting doubt on his resilience. Moreover, the offense's dynamics hinge on DJ Moore's engagement, who'll be looking to rebound from a modest performance to being a double-digit target menace once again.
3. Attention also pivots to the Bears' latest defensive powerhouse, Montez Sweat. His entrance is nothing short of a necessity, given the team's meager tally of 10 sacks over eight games. Sweat's track record of 6.5 sacks is a beacon of hope against a backdrop where quarterbacks like Justin Herbert have breezed through the Bears' defenses. Sweat's presence is not just about this game's impact but also about the looming financial commitment from the Bears.
4. Lastly, the Bears' offensive strategy, particularly the ground game, is under scrutiny. An anomaly occurred last week when their rushing yards plummeted below 100 for only the second time this season. With injuries plaguing the right guard and tackle positions, the adaptability of the Bears' run game is in question, especially if they fall behind early. The distribution of carries between the seasoned D'Onta Foreman and the up-and-coming Roschon Johnson will also be a focal point.
These are the three (expanded to four for context and detail) critical elements to watch as the Bears square off against the Saints this Sunday at noon, in a game broadcasted on CBS.
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Bears Clash with Saints: Top Three Showdown Elements to Look Out for in Week 9

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