From an offensive perspective, Sunday’s game between the New Orleans Saints and the Chicago Bears might easily be billed as Star Wars vs. Stonehenge.
The 4-2 Saints have won four consecutive games for the first time since 2013, placing them atop the NFC South, and they have done it with textbook, run-pass balance on offense and a young, opportunistic defense rankled by being ridiculed for the last three seasons as the team’s collective ball-and-chain.
The 3-4 Bears have won back-to-back games relying on a suffocating defense, but their offense seems like a throwback to the black-and-white newsreels of the 1940s — if only the forward pass were involved.
In beating the Carolina Panthers 17-3 last week, the Bears scored both touchdowns on defense — an interception and a fumble return — and rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky completed just four passes while throwing only seven times.
The Bears ran 37 plays against Carolina and accounted for a mere five first downs and 153 yards of total offense. Trubisky, 2-1 as a starter, is the first NFL quarterback to win a game completing fewer than five passes since Tim Tebow went 2 of 8 in a 17-10 victory over Kansas City in 2011.
Bears coach John Fox just so happened to be the head coach in both of those offensively challenged victories. Fox said his players are just happy to get wins any way they can.
It’s a 16-team league and almost everyone in the league talks to players and coaches every day as part of their job. So it’s super competitive, it’s 16 teams and I’m just the guy with some nerdy stats. Because I’m the fantasy guy, I’m always the big target in every league I play in, so to win that league, against super-smart people who are great, plugged-in players that I have so much respect for? That was awesome.
“Offense, defense, special teams, everybody is just feeding off each other, that’s how you win a lot of games in this league,” Donald said of the Rams’ performance. “The sky is the limit.”