Three days after suffering their first loss of the season following a 3-0 start, the Bears return to the practice field Wednesday to prepare for Sunday's home game against the Saints.
The Bears (3-1) are tied with the Lions (3-1) atop the NFC North after losing to Detroit 40-32 last Sunday at Ford Field. Chicago committed four turnovers and allowed 27 points in the second quarter, including three touchdowns in a 3:26 span.
The Bears rank third in the NFL in points per game (31.8) and tops in takeaways (14). The 127 points they've scored are their most in the first four games of a season since 1989 (129).
The Bears lead the all-time series over the Saints 15-12. The home team has won five of the last six meetings, with the Bears' 20-17 victory in Baton Rouge, La., in 2005 being the only exception.
There are several notable connections between the teams. Saints coach Sean Payton played quarterback for the Bears' strike replacement team in 1987 after growing up in Naperville, attending Eastern Illinois University and coaching at Illinois.
Bears offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer was a Saints assistant from 2008-12, while left tackle Jermon Bushrod played for New Orleans from 2007-12. Bears quarterback Josh McCown is the brother of Saints quarterback Luke McCown.
The Bears lost the last meeting between the teams 30-13 on Sept. 18, 2011 in New Orleans. Drew Brees passed for 270 yards and three touchdowns, including a 79-yarder to Devery Henderson.
Jay Cutler completed 19 of 45 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown and was sacked six times, with five coming after the Saints had increased their lead to 30-13 early in the fourth quarter. Matt Forte caught 10 passes for 117 yards.
In two career starts against New Orleans, Cutler has connected on 40 of 79 passes for 508 yards with three TDs, one interception and a 78.5 passer rating. In two games, Forte has rushed for 83 yards and 1 TD on 21 carries and caught 15 passes for 146 yards.
In total yards, the Bears offense is tied for 13th in the NFL (16th rushing and tied for 19th passing), while the Saints defense ranks 6th (22nd against the run and 5th versus the pass). The Bears defense is 20th overall (15th against the run and 23rd versus the pass, while the Saints offense is 4th (25th rushing and 2nd passing).
Brees has completed 66.9 percent of his passes for 1,434 yards with 10 TDs, four interceptions and a 103.8 passer rating that ranks fifth in the NFL. In four games he has thrown for 357, 322, 342 and 413 yards and has tied his own league record with nine straight 300-yard passing games.
ChicagoBears.com will provide all the latest Bears news throughout the week from Halas Hall. Coach Marc Trestman is scheduled to address the media Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker and special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis will be available Wednesday, while Cutler and Kromer will speak Thursday.