The Chicago Bears are back in the playoffs, but they’re certainly going to be tested when they face the No. 2-seeded New Orleans Saints, a team that has been rolling and will get back a couple of key playmakers in the process.
Simply put, the Bears face an uphill battle when it comes to keeping their postseason journey alive.
This wild-card game will be a rematch from earlier this season, where the Saints ultimately prevailed 26-23 in overtime. But a lot has changed since Week 8. New Orleans has gotten better while Chicago’s defense has played progressively worse.
The Bears will have to contend with a talented group of players on the Saints, including quarterback Drew Brees, running back Alvin Kamara and receiver Michael Thomas, which is what’s going to make it difficult for the Bears to pull off the upset.
As Chicago prepares to face New Orleans, which Saints players would you want on the Bears?
The Chicago Bears should feel good about their wild-card-round game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, considering they went into overtime in the Week 8 meeting with Nick Foles at quarterback.
The Saints, however, were without their top-two wide receivers, Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, in their 26-23 victory in which the Bears rallied for 10 points late in the fourth quarter to force overtime at Soldier Field.
Now the Bears have to go on the road, and 41-year-old quarterback Drew Brees is gearing up for what could be a final postseason run with close to a full complement of weapons. That’s assuming running back Alvin Kamara is cleared from the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, reportedly the first day he would be eligible.
The Bears are much better on the offensive line than during the first meeting, and the offense has made some gains in the eight games since then. On the other hand, the Bears defense has regressed and is not nearly as good in the red zone or on third down as it was in the first half of the season. Missing linebacker Roquan Smith, who isn’t expected to play after suffering a left elbow injury in the Week 17 loss to the Green Bay Packers, complicates matters for coordinator Chuck Pagano.