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NFL

Woz’s NFL Notebook: New Orleans Saints dominate the Chicago Bears

John Woz, Jr. | October 21st, 2019 

Week seven of the NFL emphasizes what we already knew about the 6-1 New Orleans Saints, they’re an outstanding football team. This week’s NFL Notebook features the Saints and two other NFC stalwarts, the 6-1 Green Bay Packers and the 6-0 San Francisco 49ers.

Saints are in safe hands with Teddy Bridgewater

We start in Illinois where the New Orleans Saints dominated the 3-3 Chicago Bears 36-25. The Saints are rolling without their franchise quarterback Drew Brees. Step forward Bridgewater, he hasn’t missed a beat since starting under center. Bridgewater was 23-38 with 281 yards and two touchdowns. The former Viking has played to a standard which has put him back on the football-map. The Saints are fortunate to have a backup who has completed 72.4 percent of his passes with an average quarterback rating of 104.6.

Sean Payton prepared his team without the prolific Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook. Michael Thomas had another 100-yard game, he had nine receptions for 139 yards receiving. The game ball deserves to go to Latavius Murray, who rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns. The Saints also impressed on the other side of the football, where their defense held the Bears to 252 total yards.

The Chicago offense was 2-12 on third downs, and they scored 15 points in garbage time. Allen Robinson was the only Bears offensive player to earn a high quality rating from Pro Football Focus. The Bears look nothing like the 13-3 team of 2018, but they had the play of the game, thanks to Cordarrelle Patterson. The veteran ran the kickoff back for 102 yards, it’s not a play you see every week.

NFC Contenders – 49ers and Packers

The 6-0 49ers and the 6-1 Packers are also in the hunt for the NFC Championship. The 49ers have the top-ranked defense going into week eight, but their schedule has been tepid. Take nothing away from Kyle Shanahan’s team, they are learning how to win ugly, as they did in Sunday’s 9-0 victory over the Redskins.

I favor the Packers to provide the biggest challenge to the Saints, but their 26th ranked defense is a concern. Mike Pettine’s unit didn’t register a single sack against Derek CarrAaron Rodgers threw his 350th career touchdown pass in the win over the 3-3 Oakland Raiders. Rodgers had 52 snaps in the game, 37 of which were passes. People still doubt the veteran, but Pro Football Focus ranks Rodgers as the number two quarterback in the league (89.1).

The Packers offensive line held firm, allowing one sack on their veteran quarterback. Aaron Jones is playing lights out. Jones scored the opening touchdown of the game, taking his total to eight touchdowns on the ground, with 512 total yards. The Green Bay players have mettle. Marquez Valdes-Scantling played with injuries to his knee and ankle. Sit down, because Valdes-Scantling’s numbers are crazy, he had two receptions for 133 yards receiving and a touchdown.

The NFC playoff picture is fascinating. The battle for the first and second seeds could go to the teams who can stay healthy. Elsewhere, there are teams with one eye on the 2020 draft.

NFL Notebook Two Minute Drill

There are additional runners in the race for the top overall draft pick. The Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins have both lost six games, but they are not the only teams playing badly. The 2-5 Los Angeles Chargers and the 1-6 Washington Redskins keep losing, and their respective fans are losing patience.

Kliff Kingsbury is enjoying victory Monday after the Arizona Cardinals ventured into East Rutherford to defeat the New York Giants 16-14. Chandler Jones racked up four sacks on Daniel Jones. The Cardinals move to 3-3-1 on the season.

While the Raiders didn’t win, Darren Waller is a fantasy owner’s dream. Waller is the fourth-ranked tight end in the league, and he’s scored 105.2 fantasy points. Jon Gruden has put a lot of trust in Waller who has had 342 snaps in 2019.

Staying with that position, Philadelphia Eagles’ tight end Dallas Goedert had 69 yards receiving and a touchdown. Goedert’s second touchdown of the season wasn’t enough as the Eagles lost 37-10 to the Dallas Cowboys. Jason Garrett coached his team to valuable win, keeping the 4-3 Cowboys at the top of the NFC East. Garrett is under the NFL spotlight, can he guide the Cowboys to the playoffs? The Cowboys travel to the Eagles in week 16.

The Last Word is for Kirk Cousins

The Minnesota Vikings moved to 5-2 after an important 42-30 victory over the Detroit Lions. Cousins, the seventh-ranked quarterback in the league was 24-34 with 337 yards and four touchdowns.

That’s all for this week’s NFL Notebook, I will see you all next week!

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