Welcome everyone to the latest edition of #4Downs where I break down what went right and what went wrong for the New Orleans Saints! This week, we look at the Saints win over the Chicago Bears!
1st Down: Taking Advantage of Early Opportunities
One of the big things that the Saints offense did in the win on Sunday was because they took advantage of some early opportunities. The biggest one had to be one of the Bears defensive players lining up offside on a field goal attempt. That wound up leading to an eight-yard run into the endzone from Alvin Kamara.
When you look into the data, the Bears have been able to get wins on the board when they get out in front. Putting up 14 points in the first half may not have been the most ideal way to do things, being up against a lackluster Chicago offense was a big positive
2nd Down: Fumble-laya
Here we go again with Mark Ingram having some ball security issues. On two consecutive drives, Ingram wound up stopping the offense from putting the final nail in the coffin with a pair of fumbles. Thankfully, both of these were a good ways into Bears territory.
If not for that, the Bears defense that has shown an ability to get points off of turnovers on their own could’ve taken the game out of the Saints hands. Ingram had been looking good during the last four games and if they want to keep the win streak going, Ingram will have to work overtime on ball security
3rd Down: Defense Continues to Be Clutch
While the Saints defense isn’t nearly as opportunistic with their turnovers, they can show up right when you need them to make some huge stops. A key stop for the Saints defense was on a 4th and 1, forcing an incompletion from Mitchell Trubisky. They also came up huge with an interception in the final minute from Marshon Lattimore.
While the overall numbers for the Saints defense are still good, the ability to come up clutch late in ballgames has been the key in the last couple of matchups.
4th Down: Lutz Looking More Consistent
The special teams has been a mixed bag for quite some time with a revolving door of kickers with the only real consistent part of the third phase has been Thomas Morstead. However, it’s safe to say that Wil Lutz has made this part of the game consistent.
Have some of his kicks been iffy? Of course, just look at the kick that bounced off the left goalpost. At the end of the day, he’s gotten results and hasn’t had as many low kicks.