One week after being virtual spectators in a victory against the Panthers dominated by the defense, the Bears’ offense is preparing itself for a shootout. At least wide receiver Josh Bellamy is.
“We can’t wait,” Bellamy said before the Bears headed to New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the Saints on Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. “We’re in the dome this week. We know they have a high-powered offense. They’re going to put up points.
“Hopefully they don’t. But Drew Brees and those guys are a great offense. They’ve got a great scheme. We know on offense we’re gonna have to put up points.”
The Bears beat the Panthers last week with Mitch Trubisky completing four passes and the offense producing three points. Now they face Brees and the Saints at the Superdome, where three offensive points likely won’t cut it. The Saints are averaging 32.2 points there the last three seasons, with a low of 13 against the Lions last season. In the Saints’ previous home game, the Lions scored 38 points — and lost by two touchdowns (52-38) on Oct. 15.
If the Bears need 53 points to win, they’re in big trouble. Their defense is good but not that good. In the Bears’ last two games, the defense has scored 21 points, and the offense has scored 23. It’s the offense that has to pick up the pace, and coach John Fox expects that to happen.
“You win as a team,” Fox said when asked if it’s ever awkward when one phase contributes to a victory so much more than another. “Everybody is pretty excited after a win. You hope they’re not thinking about their own personal stats or that one side of the ball did this or did that because it changes.
“Every one of these is different. There will be a day where it’ll be the other way, and I wouldn’t expect the other side to look at that group sideways.”
It’s a team game, but the Bears’ offense is feeling a little bit of the onus to carry its share of the load.
“I hope the defense does the same thing they did last week,” Bellamy said. “But we want to do our thing, too.”
“We know the snaps last week were [lopsided],” guard Kyle Long said, “where the defense had , and we had . So we know we have to keep them off the field for a little bit. Hopefully they can watch us play a little bit this week.”
For the record, the fewest completed passes in a victory at the Superdome in the Brees era is 10 — by the Browns in a 30-17 victory against the Saints in 2010. The next-fewest is 11, by Fox’s Panthers in a 16-13 victory in 2007. No team has won at the Superdome with fewer points than that. In fact, of the three teams to win at the Superdome with 20 or fewer passes during the Brees era, two have been coached by Fox.
It seems like every “fewest-passes” feat in the NFL involves Fox. The last time Fox won with four completed passes (with Chris Weinke at Carolina in 2006), he also went to the Superdome the following week and all but lit it up — but with a different quarterback. Jake Delhomme was 23-for-27 for 205 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-21 victory against the Saints.
The Bears aren’t changing quarterbacks, but they still have a chance at an upgrade. That’s part of the Trubisky Experience. He can be Weinke one week and Delhomme the next.
Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.