PFF Preview: Saints @ Bears, Week 15
Drew Brees & Co. fly into Soldier Field to take on Jay Cutler and the Brandon Marshall-less Chicago Bears (5-8) in this Week 15 Monday Night Football matchup. The New Orleans Saints (5-8) are coming off one of their worst home defeats in recent memory but are still alive for a division title while the Bears are guaranteed a draft pick in the Top 20 at the Auditorium Theatre on the last weekend of April.
These two teams have both struggled this year, finding similar ways to lose, but the quarterback play couldn’t be any more different. Drew Brees (last week aside) is having a fantastic year. It’s not out of this world (see 2011), but it is on par or better than all of his other seasons in a Saints’ uniform. We’ve graded him at +28.9 so far for the year, second-best behind Aaron Rodgers. His 96.8 PFF adjusted QB Rating is second (also to Rodgers) while his 2,261 yards in air is fourth-highest. His 81.3 Accuracy Percentage is tops in the NFL, he completes 54.7% of his Deep Passes (second in NFL), and is also the most accurate Under Pressure (75.4%).
Jay Cutler, on the other hand, is doing the opposite. His -14.9 grade is 32nd of 40 quarterbacks who have played significant time this season. Cutler’s PFF QB Rating is 83.5 (24th) while his 1,611 yards in air is 16th. Cutler’s 75.3 Accuracy Percentage is respectable, but his Deep Passing accuracy is at 35.7% (20th in NFL). He surprisingly has fared well under pressure at 70.0% accurate (fith in NFL). His inconsistencies have resulted in inconsistent performances by the offense and hasn’t helped his defense any either.
Drew Brees consistently puts his team in positions to succeed, but Jay Cutler has shown in the past (see Week 6 vs Atlanta) that he can as well.
New Orleans Saints
Jimmy Graham – Graham was having a solid season until Week 12 where he now has three straight negative games including last week’s head-scratcher that saw him drop three passes. His -6.2 the past three weeks is the worst three-week stretch of his career.
Cameron Jordan – A roller coaster year is the only way to describe Jordan’s highs (+3.5 twice) and his lows (-4.5, -3.8). His season total comes to a slightly above average +1.8.
Kenny Vaccaro – Not all was bad last week as Vaccaro posted just his second green grade of the season. It was his best at +2.1 allowing just two passes for 5 yards and one PD, good for 0.17 Yards Per Cover Snap.
Kyle Long – Long is holding his name to high esteem with solid play from the right guard spot. With a +8.8 grade for the season, he is our No. 1 Bears’ offensive lineman and has yet to allow a sack in 591 pass block snaps.
Kyle Fuller – The first month of the season seems so distant because his +5.9 start has dropped to -11.2, allowing 1.62 Yards Per Cover Snap, ranking 66th out of 75 cornerbacks.
Lance Briggs – Briggs is a bright spot on the Bears’ defense. His +7.6 grade is second-best on the defense and eighth-best in the NFL.
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