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Bearing Down

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You have to wonder what all those people that picked the Cowboys in yesterday's SBN group discussion are thinking now? The Saints are indeed for real. Drew Brees looks like a man possessed, and they're firing on all cylinders.

As for the former Saints head coach, Jim Haslett, well he did build the team after all didn't he? Nope. According to the TV peeps in last night's game, the Saints have 30+ new people on the roster from last year, so, no, Haslett didn't really build that team.

He's got his next big challenge tonight, along with head coach Scott Linehan, in the visiting Bears. Haslett's much maligned running defense draws the Bears at an interesting time in their season, in the midst of an QB crisis. Per SBN brother site, Windy City Gridiron, Grossman can feel the hook around his neck as he's on a half-by-half evaluation basis. But he might not have to worry about it against the Rams, as much of his job will be handing it off to Thomas Jones.

If the Rams can contain the run (if, if, if) the game could get real interesting as pressure on Grossman could easily result in some turnovers.

I still advise switching to the 3-4 defense to hold the Bears. See this post from earlier in the week for the full case on moving to the 3-4.

The challenge for the Rams offense is herculean to say the least. The Bears defense ranks among the best in the league in all aspects, yeailding just 12.5 points a game. The secondary allows opponents just slightly more than 160 yards per game through the air, and the pass rush isn't exactly dragging the team down with 30 sacks on the season. If there is a weak - using the term loosely - spot, besides Tommie Harris' absence from the game, it's the run defense, which gives up an average of 105 ayrds per game. Remember, Miami's Ronnie Brown posted 157 yards in their early November upset. That opened up the field just enough for Joey Harrington to throw 3 TDs (and 2 INTs). Steven Jackson should feature prominently in the Rams game plan.

It could be an interesting game.