By Lisa Johnson // @LJ1303
The Chicago Bears limped into the playoff with an 8-8 record, mostly due to back to back losses by the Arizona Cardinals. The Bears drew quarterback Drew Brees and the NFC South division champion New Orleans Saints.
Let’s face it, not many people had the Bears coming out on top in this week’s wildcard round. However, the Bears stayed around to make this a very winnable game for them going into the 3rd quarter, where they only trailed the Saints by 4 points.
The Bears failed to take advantage after receiving the ball in the second half. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the Bears offense could only muster up 27 total yards during their first drive of the second half, ultimately punting the ball back to the Saints.
It didn’t take long for Saints QB Drew Brees to have the Saints in scoring position. Brees led the Saints on a 12-play, 85-yard scoring drive that resulted in a six-yard touchdown pass to running back Latavius Murray. Going up by two scores, the New Orleans Saints defense went to work. Trubisky was under pressure all game long, while the Saints secondary held Bears star receiver Allen Robinson in check.
Andddd we get Tom Brady vs. Drew Brees for the third time next weekend… I can’t wait!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 11, 2021
While the Saints advance to the second round, the Bears are left with more questions than answers. Chicago ownership has clearly stood behind head coach Matt Nagy, so it seems like he’ll stay around for at least another year. That leaves the glaring question of the situation at quarterback. What will the Bears do with Trubisky? According to Spotrac, the Bears have 22 unrestricted free agents, two restricted free agents, and six exclusive rights free agents.
As for the Saints, while rumors are still circulating about Brees’s future with the Saints, and his probable retirement, there is still work to be done. New Orleans find themselves facing their familiar foe, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whose track record has favored heavily towards the Saints.
According to Buccaneers ESPN Staff Writer reporter Jenna Laine, “Head Coach, Bruce Arians, took over as head coach in 2019, the Bucs are 0-4 against the Saints, with New Orleans outscoring the Bucs by a combined 137-67. Even with Brady now as their quarterback, they’ve lost to the Saints this year by a combined 46 points — 34-23 in Week 1 and a 38-3 shellacking in Week 9.”
This will be more than a Brady vs Brees match-up. Both of these future Hall of Fame quarterbacks are going back and forth to who will hold the all-time passing touchdowns record, which is likely to be determined after one retires before the other.
Follow Lisa on Twitter // @LJ1303