Today is National Draft Day:

Game Scout: Saints at Bears

The SportsXchange

New Orleans Saints (4-0) at Chicago Bears (3-1)

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, at Soldier Field, Chicago - TV: FOX

*TV announcers: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver

*Keys to the game: Jimmy Graham's evolution from promising playmaker was short-lived as he evolves into a one-man gang. The tight end lines up all across the formation and is essentially a 6-foot-7, 260-pound wide receiver who can win with his speed, body position, arm length and vertical leap depending on the route. Teams haven't shifted to the Antonio Gates treatment -- using a cornerback and safety to hem him in rather than embarrassing a linebacker downfield -- but RCB Charles Tillman of the Bears dropped that hint. If Tillman is assigned Graham, the speed disparity, not to mention height, makes it a mismatch and would beg the question: who covers 6-4 WR Marques Colston? Chicago has liberally used the blitz as an equalizer when it doesn't have many matchups in its favor. Saints QB Drew Brees leans on RBs Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas as receivers but combined they average only 12.5 carries per game. The Bears are equipped for a shootout but want to protect their defense with RB Matt Forte, who has 102 touches in four games. QB Jay Cutler was wild high and low Week 4 at Detroit. With the Saints dialing up pressure, it's vital Cutler gets the ball where big receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and TE Martellus Bennett can bring it in.

*Matchup to watch - Bears LT Jermon Bushrod vs. Saints DE Junior Galette: Galette and Cameron Jordan combined for seven sacks in the first four games. Bushrod doesn't need a scouting report on either player -- the former Saints Pro Bowler is familiar with most of the New Orleans defenders.

*Player spotlight - Bears S Major Wright: Better in run support than as a center fielder, Wright is a compact 5-10, 205 pounds. The Bears will need him to play big to slow the Saints' dynamic offense.

*Fast facts: The Bears scored more than 30 points in three straight games for the first time since 1965. ... Brees has been sacked 14 times in his past five regular-season starts.

WHO WILL WIN AND WHY

The Bears need to win two of three -- time of possession, field position or takeaways -- to stand a chance. QB Drew Brees uses his many weapons to take advantage of mismatches to propel the Saints to 5-0.

*Our pick: Saints 29-23

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League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 30 9:00 am
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