What History tells us between the Saints and Bears
Derick Hingle - USA Today Sports

What History tells us between the Saints and Bears

by - Senior Writer -

This week marks the official midway point of the NFL season, as there will be just nine weeks and eight games remaining for the Bears. Chicago is currently sitting at 2-6 on the season, but at this point, they occupy two of the first six picks in this year's upcoming NFL draft, so all might not be lost on a season that started with tons of optimism.

Standing in their way this week is another unfamiliar opponent, the New Orleans Saints, who continue to battle for the NFC South lead. Granted, this isn't an AFC team, so the Bears and Saints see each other more frequently as the Bears trail the all-time series 18-15. That is impressive when you consider Drew Brees was the QB for nearly two decades, but remember, he didn't see the Bears as often as some would think.

Going back in time, the Bears dominated the early part of history between the two, which shouldn't come as a surprise. Not only did Chicago win the first-ever meeting in 1968 23-17, but the Bears won the first three meetings and six of the first eight to grab control through the 1970s. Even with the Saints playing much better once the decade of the 1980s got going, you never felt that they had an advantage in this series as the Bears managed to match their success with more of their own and continued to pile up the wins.

Once the 1990s came about, it was the Saints that started to have more consistency against this team, which paved the way for an impressive run that we will touch on in a bit. The teams met eight times in the 90s, including twice in 1991, with the Bears winning both matchups as they split those eight games throughout that decade. The new millennium is where things began to take a turn for the worse for the Bears, especially the better part of the past 15 years, as Brees took over at the QB position, and that started a painful end in a lot of these games for the Bears.

Even before Brees got there, the new Millenium started differently than the Bears were hoping as the Saints took all three meetings from 2000-03 and tried to pull themselves closer in the all-time series. Their success against Chicago was shortlived, however, as the Bears would rip off four straight wins from 2005-08, including another playoff win against the Saints in 2007 39-14. The 2008 game is significant for the Bears as they not only found a way to win that game 27-24 in overtime, but it was the last win Chicago has had against this team as they are approaching 15 years without a victory against New Orleans.

Granted, they don't play each other every season, so it's not like they have lost 15 straight, but any time you go that long without a win against someone, it does start to weigh down on you. Going back to the 2008 OT victory, it has been the Saints who erased a 15-11 deficit in the series to take an 18-15 lead by winning seven straight games. All of those games came with Drew Brees under center, and many of the scores are evidence of that, as the Bears have been competitive in most of those games but have allowed far too many points.

Going further, this game will be played in the Superdome, which has been a house of horrors for the Bears over the years. Not only has Chicago lost three straight in New Orleans, but they have also lost four of the past five, with their lone win coming in 2005. Chicago also only has four wins all-time in the Superdome, with just one win coming since 1995, so to say they are due would be an understatement.

This is a different Saints team than it was with Brees under center, but they are still a team capable of winning their division and could give someone problems in the playoffs. They have a great defense that they will continue to rely on, a veteran QB who, although he isn't playing well right now, has played very well over the past decade and has the offensive pieces to make plays. If the Bears want to give themselves confidence for the second half of the season, now would be the time to do that.

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