For the 12-4 New Orleans Saints, it’s the end of an era. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees is expected to retire following the 2021 NFL post-season, ending a 15 year run with the team. The Saints are a deep, talented team that should be a favorite, along with the Green Bay Packers, to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Saints come into this game winners of 11 of their last 13 games. They are a top 5 team in points scored and points allowed, and a top 7 team in offensive turnovers and defensive turnovers. This Saints team can beat you running the ball or passing the ball, and they rarely beat themselves. Brees will get a big boost to the passing game today with the return of star receiver Michael Thomas, who had been sidelined with an ankle injury. If Brees is sufficiently recovered from hs own recent injuries, the Saints will be tough to beat.
The 8-8 Chicago Bears backed their way into the playoffs this year. After roaring out to a 5-1 start to the season, the Bears limped home, losing seven of their last 10 games. The Bears are severely handicapped on offense by their quarterbacks. Neither Nick Foles nor Mitchell Trubisky has played well this year. The Bears offense has suffered as a result, scoring 20 points or less in seven games this year, a terrible mark in a record setting year for NFL offenses. The Bears rely primarily on David Montgomery at running back and Allen Robinson at receiver to generate offense, but that isn’t enough against a good defense. For the Bears to have a shot in this game, the defense will need to come up big. But the Bears defense has been a shadow of itself this year, finishing the season ranked 14th in points allowed. With a middling defense and a bad offense, the Bears beat just one winning team all year. They will need a minor miracle to overcome a far deeper, more talented Saints team in New Orleans today.
It’s the Saints and the Bears in the second game of an NFL playoffs tripleheader. Enjoy the game everybody.