Bears-Saints Prediction: Can Bagent lead the Bears in the road win?
Jamie Sabau - USA Today Sports

Bears-Saints Prediction: Can Bagent lead the Bears in the road win?

by - Senior Writer -

The official midway point of the NFL season is this weekend, and for the Chicago Bears, a miserable first half is about to come to a close. For a team that went into this season with so much hype, nothing has come easy for the Bears this season, and some may think they have taken a step backward after their worst season in franchise history last season.

Looking at the rest of the Bears schedule, it is tough to pick out more than three games where they theoretically have a good chance to win. However, this is one of the games the Bears could win, as the Saints aren't a great team despite being tied for first in the NFC South. At 4-4, you can see how poor the NFC South is, as the winner of that division will have nine if not eight, wins.

With the Bears not only struggling to win games, there continues to be some turmoil within the organization as not one but two coaches have been fired due to off-the-field issues. That brings questions as to whether or not Matt Eberflus has control of this team or if he even understands what his coaching staff is doing behind closed doors. Regardless of what is happening, things must change in a hurry if the Bears want to get back on track and end this rebuild.

Here are some things to look for ahead of Sunday's game (CBS-TV/12 PM CT):

Will Montez Sweat play?>

There were a lot of surprising trades that went down on the trade deadline, but none were more surprising than seeing Montez Sweat traded from Washington to Chicago in exchange for a second-round pick. The former first-round pick comes to Chicago with 6.5 sacks and will be added to a team that only has 10 sacks as a team.

For a team that is in desperate need of a pass rush, Sweat is certainly going to help with that, as he will be paired with Yannick Ngakoue on the defensive line. Not only that, but the Bears are interested in keeping him here long-term, as there are reports of both the Bears and Sweat's representatives starting to lay the groundwork for a long-term extension.

No one will learn an entire playbook in less than a week, but there are things you can do to get players on the field quicker. It will be curious to see if Sweat has specific packages put in place to get on the field to bring a much-needed pass rush to Chicago.

What's next at the QB position?

We are now three weeks into the Justin Fields injury, and still no sign of when Fields will be back. There was some good news this week as Fields has been practicing more, but once again, this will be Tyson Bagent's team as he will be making this second consecutive start with both coming on the road.

From a result side, Bagent lost his only other start, which came last week, but he did look pretty good. Yes, his two interceptions are not good, but for whatever reason, the offense seems to have more confidence with him under center, and they look different. Eberflus has insisted that Bagent is just a backup and that Fields will be the starter when he is ready, but at what point do you start to question that?

Should the Bears continue to look better with Bagent under center instead of Fields, Chicago at least needs to consider leaving Bagent in their long-term before reassessing their options next season. They have nothing to lose at this point.

The House of Horrors

When you talk about difficult places to play, the Superdome is one of those places for the Bears, as this has become a house of horrors for Chicago. Not only did they lose their previous meeting in New Orleans during the 2021 NFC Wild Card game, but the Bears have lost their last three meetings in the Superdome and haven't won a game there since 2005.

For whatever reason, Chicago struggles to win here, which shouldn't come as a surprise since many teams have struggled there in the past. One positive to take away from this situation is that the Bears are due for a win, and who said that win can't happen this weekend?

Prediction: Bears lose 20-14

At some point, the Bears need to decide whether they want to tank for the future or try to finish this season strong to build a strong base for the future. Regardless, they still own the Carolina first-round pick, which seems to be a top-three pick at worst. Considering where the Bears are sitting, no one would blame them if they tank the rest of the way, but they are mixed with a lot of teams that have roughly the same record.

The good news for the Bears is that most of the teams that share the same record as them or close to it also have the tie-breaker by beating Chicago, which gives the Bears a better chance at a better pick. If Fields were starting this game, I would've leaned Chicago's way to pull off an upset. However, with Bagent under center again, it will be difficult for the Bears to generate enough offense in this one as the Saints pick up the 20-14 victory.

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