I always enjoy playing the Bears because it gives me a chance to interact with my buddy "ChicagoBearJew". We keep in touch throughout the season on twitter even when our teams don't play, but he's my go to source for information on the Bears. Of course I had to get his take on a number of things pertaining to this matchup. He's a must follow on twitter, so be sure to check out ChicagoBearJew. Thanks to CBJ for taking the time, here's my Q&A with him below:
Saints Nation: I saw Brandon Marshall was out of practice with a foot issue. Please tell me there's a 1% chance he won't suit up Sunday. If he doesn't play does Cutler even know what to do? He seems to stare him down each week.
Chicago Bear Jew: I think Marshall will play. You could see he aggravated something last week against the Lions, so I am guessing it's his foot. He seems to have these issues and suits up on Sundays. My guess is that he plays. If Marshall misses Sunday, Cutler seems to have other respectable targets in Alshon Jeffrey and Martellus Bennett. Earl Bennett may also get some extended looks. And get ready for a strong dose of Matt Forte and some Michael Bush as well. Let's face it, Marshall is an elite receiver. You can't replace him. But the Bears have guys that will try and fill the void. There are other guys, but that being said, none are Brandon Marshall.
SN: Saints fans have been giving me grief this week for picking the Bears, but I just have a bad feeling. The Saints' o-line has been poor, they can't run the ball, and that is always even worse on the road. Plus the Bears are pissed after the Detroit game. Do you agree with my line of thinking or are you down on your team too this week?
CBJ: I am siding with you. This is almost a must-win for the Bears and I think they'll rise to the occasion. It won't be easy, but I think in the end the Bears will find a way at home.
SN: I've always had a hard time taking Jay Cutler seriously. He just goes on these turnover binges where he plays shockingly horrible football, and as hot as he can get I think he's just not consistent enough to be an elite quarterback over a 16 game season. Are you hoping for the second coming of Jim McMahon, or do you think Cutler is just an above average QB in the Matt Schaub, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco category? Or worse?
CBJ: Jim McMahon was an overrated quarterback. Good not great, but could be bad as well. I think Cutler took a few steps backwards in the last game. He looked so poised the first three games, and got back to his bad habits of holding onto the football WAAAYYYY too long as well as throwing off his heels. That being said, quarterbacks minus Peyton Manning will have bad games. We'll see if Marc Trestman can keep him on a steady course. I go back-and-forth on his status. I do not think he's elite, but I think he can be elite. Things always seem to get in his way. So I will say the jury is still out on him. I will say this, Cutler does take a lot of flack nationally. Quite honestly, some of it is certainly warranted but some seems purely out of hate.
SN: On the flip side, how underrated is Matt Forte? Is he still loved in Chicago? He's a Tulane product, I'll remind you.
CBJ: Matt Forte is a very loved player in Chicago. After his contract BS passed, everything is all good with Matt.
SN: How's Aaron Kromer working out? Seems like you guys love him?
CBJ: Kromer isn't Mike Tice or Mike Martz, that gives him immediate credibility. The offensive line is playing better, so we like that. Like Cutler, it's way too early to tell anything.
SN: How's Jermon Bushrod working out at left tackle? And Kyle Long, your first round pick at guard, seems very promising too, no? To piggyback off the Kromer question, the Bears' O-line isn't a league laughing stock anymore, right?
CBJ: Bushrod is doing fine. He's Orlando Pace compared to J'Marcus Webb. Bushrod may be a little bit overpaid, but he's playing well. I took a lot of crap about Kyle Long. I loved the pick and am being proven right week-in and week-out. The offensive line is playing very well. Last week was more of a product of Cutler holding onto the football and less about jailbreaks. I think this unit will continue to get better. Kromer is doing well.
SN: Do you have anymore info on Sedrick Ellis besides the story that he just didn't show the first day of camp and retired? He was good for about three years and fell off the face of the earth with the Saints. Overnight he went from really promising and close to taking that next step, to positively sucking. I'm guessing it was so short lived you guys moved on and this was mostly a "whatever" thing?
CBJ: The same as you're hearing. Showed up and retired.
SN: How big of a blow is losing Henry Melton for the season? Will this help our anemic running game against you?
CBJ: Well it's not unbig. But it's early enough in the season that you can recover from it. That being said, the run defense wasn't exactly good before he got hurt, and your old pal Reggie Bush had a field day against the beloved. Maybe things will change, so Sunday should be a good test.
SN: What do the Saints need to do to exploit any Bear weaknesses? How do they win this game?
CBJ: The Bears special teams really belong on the short bus. It is brutal how awful things are with this team. That is one area of concern. The other is Cutler. Is last week out of his system or will we see more of it. Bears can score points, but so can the Saints. A shootout favors your gang I'm afraid.
SN: Score prediction?
CBJ: Bears 27 Saints 19