METAIRIE, La. (BRPROUD) — The New Orleans defense hasn’t been good to begin games for three straight weeks now. That’s three consecutive games where the Saints played with a double-digit deficit in the first half. 

Saints head coach Dennis Allen said the slow starts are caused by a combination of things, including allowing too many explosive plays. Bottom line, it’s an area the Saints are working to fix.

“I’ve got to do a better job of getting our guys ready to play to start the game because it’s three straight weeks that we’ve started off slowly, giving up explosive plays and allowed points,” Allen said. “I’ve got to kind of look at what I’m doing, what I’m calling, how I’m getting the guys prepared. But that certainly is unacceptable in terms of the way that we played in the first half.”

“Starts off at practice, keep preparing, just come out faster, more physical,” said, Carl Granderson, Saints defensive lineman. “We just got to be on this upcoming week and for the rest of the season. Hold them to three points, field goal, or no points. So, if we do that, first half, the second half, we’re gonna have a dominant performance. “

The Saints’ defense will face Chicago’s rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent Sunday. Bears head coach Matt Eberflus announced Monday. It will be the third straight start for an undrafted free agent out of Division II Shepherd University while quarterback Justin Fields recovers from a dislocated thumb injury.