Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson has been a beacon in the darkness of the offense — his 31 receptions and 377 yards this season are more than the rest of the Bears’ wide receiver corps combined (25-266). Robinson has been a go-to, comfort receiver for Mitch Trubisky since training camp.
But Robinson faces a mighty challenge vs. Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore. The third-year pro from Ohio State has quickly established himself as one of the best shutdown corners in the league. He helped hold the Cowboys’ Amari Cooper to five receptions for 48 yards in Week 4 (Cooper had 11 receptions for 226 yards vs. the Packers the following week). Jaguars up-and-comer DJ Chark had his lowest production of the season against the Saints and Lattimore — three receptions for 43 yards and no touchdowns — a week after Chark had eight receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers.
“He’s one of those guys that’ll will match with your top receiver, so you understand that,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “It’s our players’ job to study techniques and see what are his strengths and what are his weaknesses and how we’re gonna attack that. But [he’s a] really good player and he’s in the top echelon of DBs — we know that.”
The Saints’ defense has stepped it up with Drew Brees out with a hand injury. The Saints have allowed an average of 245 yards and 13.3 points in their last three games — and that includes a 78-yard touchdown drive in garbage time agains the Buccaneers in Week 5.
Four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Jordan is again the ring-leader, with five sacks in six games this season. The Saints have 18 sacks in six games and rank sixth in the NFL in sacks per pass play.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Bears rookie running back David Montgomery is averaging 3.3 yards per carry (69-225). Regardless of whether Mitch Trubisky is rusty in his return from a shoulder injury, any Bears’ offensive recovery likely starts with the run game — and Montgomery’s production behind an offensive line with Rashaad Coward likely starting for injured right guard Kyle Long figures to be the key indictor.
The Bears are coming off a bye, following their upset loss to the Raiders in London. (In Matt Nagy’s first post-bye game last season, the Bears lost to the Dolphins 34-31 in overtime in Miami.)
Much of the off week was spent in self-examination of their disappointing offense. Did Nagy discover a counter to what opposing defensive coordinators are doing against him?
“The only thing I can say to that question is we’ll have to see,” Nagy said.
But you feel good about the bye-week process in that regard?
Yeah, I do,” he said.