Saints vs. Bears 2014 final score: 3 things we learned from New Orleans’ 31-15 win
The New Orleans Saints are back on top in the NFC South after a win over the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football.
The New Orleans Saints took down the Chicago Bears in an ugly game on Monday Night Football, winning 31-15. New Orleans jumped out to an early 24-0 lead, on the back of three Drew Brees touchdowns and three Jay Cutler interceptions, and didn’t look back. Chicago finally put up points in the fourth quarter, but the game was over at that point.
With the victory, the Saints now take back over first place in the NFC South with a 6-8 record. They had briefly lost the lead to the Carolina Panthers, who sit at 5-8-1. They also moved ahead of the Atlanta Falcons, who had been tied with the Saints but who lost on Sunday. It’s still the worst division in football, but the Saints remain a dangerous offensive team, as evidenced by early dominance on Monday.
This game was a wreck from the start. Cutler was picked off on the first drive of the game, and the Saints answered in kind with a goal-line fumble. After a Chicago punt, the Saints botched a field goal attempt, but were saved by penalties and got another crack at it. Of course, in keeping with the theme of the game, they missed that field goal.
The game cleaned up a little bit from a “colossal mistake” perspective from there, but not by a whole lot. The Saints managed to put points on the board, despite not looking especially great on the offensive side of the ball. Chicago simply looked worse, allowing two touchdowns in the second quarter, and then a touchdown and a field goal in the third quarter.
Chicago did finally get on the board in the fourth quarter, when Jay Cutler threw a touchdown (by this point, he already had three interceptions). They also managed to convert the two-point conversation to keep them in line to catch up with New Orleans, but the rally came too late, and the Saints held on with little issue.
Three things we learned:
1) Jay Cutler might just be on the decline … maybe … possibly
Say what you want about bobbled passes or things just going the other way, but Cutler is having a poor season overall. He’s always been one to throw plenty of interceptions, and he came into the game on Monday with 15 of them. He added another three of those picks against the Saints, with several throws that were nowhere close to being completed to a player in a Bears uniform. Keep in mind, Cutler signed a huge contract extension recently, and has an awful lot of money coming his way in the future.
That’s one of his picks above. It’s not the worst throw, but he’s clearly overthrown his man, who had little chance to do something positive on that play.
2) The Saints are the best bad team
Brees has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league for as long as he’s been starting for the Saints. He’s always capable of putting up big numbers, and has a Super Bowl to his name for a reason. Any team with Brees at quarterback is dangerous, even if they’re losing the majority of their games. Of all the bad teams in the NFC South, the Saints are probably the most dangerous, and would likely stand the best chance of upsetting the other teams in the playoffs. They’re now back in control of the NFC South.
3) So, about that focus on offense …
Many of the reports surrounding head coach Marc Trestman have suggested that one of his biggest issues is that he’s too focused on the offensive side of the ball and does not give the defense enough attention. Despite this, the Bears rank 26th in the league in rushing offense and 10th in the league in passing offense. The defense is suffering, as expected, and on Sunday, it didn’t exactly improve. The Bears have allowed 51, 55, 34 and 41 points in their last four losses, and Brees made short work of Chicago’s defense again on Monday, completing 29-of-36 passes for 375 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Chicago’s offense put up fewer than 300 total yards, averaged 4.8 yards per play and just 4.0 yards per pass attempt.