WILD CARD PREVIEW 5: CHICAGO BEARS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

BY ADAM GREENE

Considering there’s a 7-9 team in the playoffs, this one might actually be the worst match up on paper as the Chicago Bears travel to the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints in the second game of Wild Card Sunday triple feature.

CHICAGO BEARS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-10, O/U: 47)

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.

Kickoff: Jan. 10, 4:40 p.m. EST

Broadcast: CBS

THE HISTORY

The Bears and Saints played their first game in New Orleans’ second season as an NFL franchise in 1968 but never made a habit of it in the 51 years since. This will just be the 33rd overall meeting between the franchises and the Saints hold a 17-15 advantage thanks to a six game win streak going back to 2011.

They last met up on Nov. 1 with the Saints eking out a 26-23 victory in overtime. Drew Brees threw for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Alvin Kamara had 67 yards on the ground and 96 receiving. Nick Foles was good for 272 yards, two touchdowns and a pick for the Bears. David Montgomery rushed for 89 yards. Allen Robinson caught six passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.

Barring an injury or meltdown by Mitchell Trubisky, Foles will not play in this game.

CHICAGO BEARS (8-8)

Thanks to a three game win streak heading into Week 17, the Bears were in the playoff mix. In spite of a 35-16 beat down at the hands of the Green Bay Packers, they were able to close the deal after the Los Angeles Rams knocked off the Arizona Cardinals. Mitchell Trubisky passed for 252 yards and an interception in the loss. Montgomery had 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Darnell Mooney caught 11 passes for 93 yards.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (12-4)

The Saints capped their regular season and the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a 33-7 win over the Carolina Panthers. Drew Brees threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns. With every other running back on the COVID-19 list, Ty Montgomery rushed for 105 yards. Emmanuel Sanders caught nine passes for 63 yards and a score.

THE PICK

While this one might look ugly on paper, New Orleans is in a similar position last season when the were upset by the Kirk Cousins-led Minnesota Vikings in overtime. The Saints have lost their last two home playoff games in OT and it took the extra period to knock off this Chicago team two months ago. Kamara says he will play in this game and I think that makes all the difference. I like the Saints, but I don’t like the points. They are too prone to underperform in January and a big Khalil Mack hit could change this game’s complexion in a hurry. Saints 24, Bears 17

LAST WEEK

Straight up: 13-3

Against the spread: 11-5

SEASON

Straight up: 170-85-1

Against the spread: 131-125

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