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|New Orleans Saints||-10
No doubt, it is the Saints all the way in this one, with the Bears’ 26th ranked offense not having much of a chance against the superior forces of New Orleans, even with the spread.
Saints -10 (-107)
|Bears vs Saints Information|
|What||Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints|
|Where||Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA|
|When||Sunday, January 10, 2020; 4:40 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
Somehow head coach Matt Nagy’s 8-8 Chicago Bears barely squeaked into the Wild Card round of the playoffs as the seventh seed, so with the shaky QB play of Mitchell Trubisky under center, they are hoping to take down the Super Bowl hungry Saints’ and their future Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees.
Despite the cracked ribs and other injuries that kept him out for a few games, veteran Brees and his 12-4 New Orleans Saints are on a roll, and now they face the .500 underdog Bears who do not seem to have much of an offensive bite, nothing Drew and that fourth-ranked Saints defense shouldn’t be able to handle.
These two NFC rivals have played each other 32 prior times (including 2 postseason games), with the New Orleans Saints winning 17 of those games and the Chicago Bears winning 15 of the games.
Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky continues to be on the hot seat after a .500 season where he looked lost at times, but he has the chance to get some postseason game film to showcase his talents for whichever next team might be interested in his up and down services.
Benched a few times by head coach Matt Nagy, Trubisky understands that he is under a microscope, and despite that under his leadership the team ended the season on a 3-1 run which was good enough to snag the last NFC Wild Card spot in the playoffs.
With only 16 TD passes compared with 8 interceptions on the season, Trubisky is more accurate than you would think, his completion percentage of 67.0 on the regular season a career-high for the fourth-year quarterback.
There are a lot of injuries going around New Orleans these days, but with the news that RB Alvin Kamara (illness) will play and maybe even WR Michael Thomas (ankle), QB Drew Brees has no time to complain about the cracked ribs and punctured lung he suffered earlier in the season.
Instead, Brees the old vet will tough it out like he always has, the future Hall of Famer having yet another knockout season with a 9-3 record as the starter and 275 completions for 2,942 yards and 24 touchdowns with 6 interceptions and a completion percentage of 70.5.
Brees can and has played hurt, so it will shock nobody if he doesn’t appear sore or affected by his injuries, but he is definitely still healing, so a decent run game for the day would help against this 15th ranked Bears rushing defense.
To win this game, the Bears will have to figure out a way to neutralize Saints QB Brees and force him to rush, and there is nobody better than putting the fear of sack into football hurlers than Bears star linebacker Khalil Mack.
This year, Mack leads the Bears in sacks with 9, plus he has 13 quarterback hits, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, an interception, 3 passes defended, and 50 total tackles with 11 of those behind the line of scrimmage.
Mack will be one of the keys to an improbable upset, with a huge game from him and the defense the only way his Bears’ 26th ranked offense has even a chance of outscoring these Saints.
The Saints have told the media that chances are, star RB Alvin Kamara will play this weekend, but after dealing with an undisclosed illness he might not be prepared to take as many snaps as he typically does.
That means RB Latavius Murray will have to step up on Sunday afternoon, something he has been doing all season, so far with 146 carries for 656 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 23 catches for 176 yards and 1 more touchdown.
The Saints always have Brees and his passing attack to fall back on, but a solid rushing game in the first half sets that up, so expect Murray to become one of the keys to that game plan as the team most likely waltzes their way past these Bears.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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