CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears (8-8) dwell to combat one other day.
Regardless of struggling one more lopsided 35-16 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the archrival Green Bay Packers, the Bears backed into the seventh and last NFC playoff spot by advantage of the Los Angeles Rams knocking off the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The Bears journey to No. 2 seed New Orleans for the opening spherical of the playoffs. The Saints beat the Bears 26-23 on Nov. 1 at Soldier Subject.
The Bears would have most well-liked to punch their very own postseason ticket, however getting there alone carries with it a sure diploma of significance.
Chicago has now reached the playoffs two of three years underneath coach Matt Nagy, which is not any small feat when you think about the group’s spotty postseason historical past. The Bears have just one playoff victory since 2006, and previous to Nagy’s arrival in 2018, the Bears spent 4 consecutive years within the basement of the NFC North.
Nagy’s job might be secure. Basic supervisor Ryan Tempo can most likely breathe a little simpler.
The destiny of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is unknown. Trubisky managed Chicago’s comparatively conservative and balanced offensive assault pretty nicely versus Inexperienced Bay, however the former second total decide is clearly in a category manner decrease than the sport’s elite quarterbacks.
The Bears are certain to be heavy underdogs in opposition to New Orleans, however they’ve received three of their previous 4 and battled Inexperienced Bay till the wheels fell off late in Week 17.
It is perhaps a stretch to name the Bears harmful, however Nagy’s group has performed largely resilient soccer since snapping a six-game shedding streak.
On the very least, the Bears ought to make it considerably fascinating.
QB breakdown: Trubisky performed a largely mistake-free sport till a late interception. His greatest throw got here when he heaved a 53-yard bomb to Darnell Mooney. The Bears want extra of these deep strikes in the event that they hope to upset the Saints — though Mooney’s standing for subsequent week is unsure after he suffered a fourth-quarter ankle damage.
Encouraging development: David Montgomery (22 carries, 69 yards and a landing) continues to run exhausting. The Bears had nowhere close to the quantity of dashing yards as in earlier weeks, however the dedication to the run saved Rodgers off the sphere for lengthy stretches. Actually, the one solution to get better of Rodgers is to maintain him on the sidelines.
Discouraging development: The place is the move rush? The Bears had one sack (Khalil Mack) in opposition to Rodgers, a recipe for catastrophe. The Bears higher have a couple of sack in the event that they need to beat Drew Brees subsequent weekend. Chicago remains to be ready on veteran Robert Quinn. The high-priced ($30 million assured) offseason decide up completed the common season with one sack.
Harm alert: Inside linebacker Roquan Smith left the sport due to an elbow damage. Smith is without doubt one of the Bears’ greatest defenders, they usually missed him sorely in move protection. Not having Smith could be an enormous blow in opposition to the Saints.