The New Orleans Saints beat the Chicago Bears 21-9 in Sunday’s afternoon wild card game.
Although it was a close game in score, the stats tell a different story. The Saints dominated both sides of the ball for almost the entirety of the game. New Orleans finished the game with 38:58 time of possession and 27 first downs to the Bears 21:02 and 11 first downs. The Bears also were only able to convert one 3rd down attempt all game, meaning that even though the Bears defense had been able to stop the Saints, it was only a matter of time before they were going to wear down. The Saints were able to hold onto the ball for a total of 16 minutes and 20 seconds on their first two drives of the second half, both ending in touchdowns.
Chicago finished with only a total of 9 points, 6 of those coming off a touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham as time expired in the fourth. Mitchell Trubisky made some decent throws throughout the game including a dropped touchdown pass to Javon Wims in the first quarter. Trubisky finished 19 for 29 with 199 yards and a touchdown. The Bears were also missing some key pieces from today’s game with Darnell Mooney, Jaylon Johnson, and Roquan Smith out. Anthony Miller did the team no favors, getting ejected for throwing a punch at C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Allen Robinson II was the only wideout with some consistency, catching 6 balls for 55 yards. David Montgomery had a quiet night for Chicago, being bottled up for only 31 yards on 12 carries.
The Saints on the other hand were closer to full strength for the first time in a while, getting Alvin Kamara back from the COVID-19 list and Michael Thomas from an ankle injury. Kamara finished with 23 carries, 99 yards and a touchdown, while Thomas finished with 5 receptions, 73 yards and a touchdown. In what could have been Drew Brees’ final game, he balled out, going 28/39 with 265 yards and 2 touchdowns. His favorite target of the day was Deonte Harris pulling in 7 catches for 83 yards.
With the first week of the NFL playoffs finishing up the Saints look towards next week when they face Mr. Playoff himself, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This matchup between Brees and Brady will be must-watch television for any football fan of the last 10 years. The Chicago Bears will begin their offseason with a bunch of questions facing their organization, such as the fate of Trubisky, Head Coach Matt Nagy and General Manager Ryan Pace. Earlier in the season it was rumoured that the President of the Bears, Ted Phillips, was also looking at retiring. What direction will the Bears go? It is very unclear but it will most likely be a bumpy road and the team will definitely look different next season.
Featured photo courtesy of Chris Graythen / NFL Network
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