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Ups and downs from Saints vs. Bears

Which players are on the rise and who is falling?

Chicago Bears v New Orleans Saints Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday 24-17. With Sunday’s win, New Orleans got above .500 and took the lead in the NFC South.

Up: Paulson Adebo

Cornerback Paulson Adebo had what many consider a “sophomore slump” in 2022—creating a lot of questions about who the cornerback would be lining up on the opposite side of Marshon Lattimore in 2023. On Sunday, Adebo showed why he deserves that spot. The third-year cornerback had 7 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 passes defended, and a forced fumble that he also recovered. All three of Adebo’s forced turnovers set the Saints’ offense up on the Bears' side of the field. The offense would turn Adebo’s efforts into 10 points.

Up: Taysom Hill

The Saints' biggest secret has been out for a few years now. Taysom Hill is good at football. On Sunday, Hill became the first player since hall-of-famer Frank Gifford to record 10 receiving, passing, and rushing touchdowns in their career. The 33-year-old veteran continues to be one of New Orleans’ biggest X-factors extending his record to 18-1 when he carries the ball seven or more times in a game.

Hill’s biggest impact has come in the running game. New Orleans has been struggling to run the football with their running backs this season and that continued on Sunday. New Orleans got a total of 32 rushing yards on 13 attempts from their running backs against Chicago. Hill, however, is coming off his second straight game with over 50 yards rushing.

Hill recorded 11 carries for 52 yards, one passing touchdown, and 4 receptions for 13 yards and a receiving touchdown vs the Bears.

Down: Containing the QB

New Orleans’ run defense has struggled so far this season and that extends to limiting the quarterback. Bears’ undrafted free-agent quarterback Tyson Bagent ran for 70 yards on 8 attempts against a Saints defense that had no answers on how to stop him. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence had a similar game rushing against the Saints on Thursday Night Football when he ran for 59 yards on 8 attempts.

Quarterbacks finding success running the ball is a product of the Saints’ pass rush failing to finish. The Saints’ defense ranks bottom five in the league in sacks and it's prominent in real time. Opposing quarterbacks will have “all day” to throw, but with good coverage by the secondary, quarterbacks would opt to the run ball.

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