Saints’ defense dominates in 21-9 win over Bears in NFC Wild Card

Saints’ defense dominates in 21-9 win over Bears in NFC Wild Card
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (10) passes under pressure from New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Demario Davis (56) and defensive end Cam Jordan (94) in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (Source: Butch Dill)

NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The New Orleans Saints’ defense dominated the Chicago Bears in the NFC Wild Card in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday, Jan. 10, to move on to the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs.

The Saints (13-4) defended the dome with a 21-9 win over the Bears (8-9). The Bears were 1-for-10 on third down and gained less than 250 total yards. They were 0-for-9 with only 140 total yards before gaining chunks during “garbage time.”

Saints head coach Sean Payton made a promise Friday that he was willing to be “slimed” if the Saints beat the Bears because Nickelodeon was the other network besides CBS that showed the game. The Saints won and Payton kept his promise.

New Orleans will host Tampa Bay next week at 5:40 p.m. on FOX. The Saints are 2-0 against their NFC South rival this season. The Saints won 34-23 in the first matchup. They then dominated in a 38-3 rout in early November. The Saints are an early 3.5-point favorite.

Drew Brees was 28-of-39 for 265 yards and two touchdowns. He did not throw any interceptions.

In their return to the active roster, Deonte Harris and Michael Thomas combined for 12 catches for 156 yards. Thomas caught an 11-yard touchdown. It was the first of the game and his first this season.

Alvin Kamara had 23 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown. He now has 22 total touchdowns for the season, 17 of those on the ground.

His running back mate, Latavius Murray, wasn’t much of a factor in the ground game against the Bears but he showed his worth to the team. Murray fell to the ground trying to block linebacker Khalil Mack, who then put heavy pressure on Brees. But Murray was able to get back to his feet and present himself as an option to Brees, who checked it down to Murray, and the running back found his way to the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown to put the Saints up, 14-3, late in the third quarter.

Brees was unsuccessful on a quarterback sneak/leap with 2:19 remaining in the game, keeping the Saints’ lead at 21-3. The Bears then went 99 yards in 11 plays and reached paydirt on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell Trubisky to former Saints tight end Jimmy Graham as time expired.

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