For just the third time in the combined history of the teams, the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints will meet in the playoffs, as the seventh-seeded Bears will head to the Big Easy to take on the second-seeded Saints.
The two teams met earlier this season, with the Saints taking down the first matchup between the clubs. The Saints are coming off a 12-4 regular season that they capped off with an emphatic win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, while the Bears barely made the playoffs, scraping in at 8-8 after a loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Here are five fast facts about the Bears and Saints heading into their postseason rematch.
Saints Triumphed in First Meeting This Season
The first game between the teams this season went the way of New Orleans, as they sent the Bears to a 26-23 overtime defeat at Soldier Field.
Drew Brees threw for 280 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and Will Lutz knocked through four field goals, including the game-winner in overtime.
Alvin Kamara led the Saints with nine catches for 96 yards, and he also added 67 rushing yards for good measure. David Montgomery had 21 carries for 89 yards for Chicago, while Anthony Miller led the team with eight catches.
(Oh, we probably should mention that Mitchell Trubisky was on the field for exactly one snap in the game and injured his shoulder in the process).
Could Alvin Kamara Be Out?
One of the biggest factors in the first meeting between the two teams was running back Alvin Kamara, who racked up 163 all-purpose yards for the Saints in the victory.
Now, his status for the game is in serious doubt. Kamara tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, and under NFL rules he cannot return to the team until next Sunday, meaning that he could miss the critical game against Chicago.
The Trubisky Factor
Bears fans will have to prepare themselves to hear about this storyline all week long, but the fact is this: Mitchell Trubisky was not the Bears’ starter in that loss to the Saints, with Nick Foles still serving as the starter in that contest.
Foles didn’t have a bad game, completing 28-of-41 passes for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he was sacked five times and struggled badly on the team’s final possession, tacking two sacks and throwing three incomplete passes as the Saints finished off the victory.
Previous Playoff Matchups
The Saints and Bears have met twice previously in the playoffs, with the Bears taking both matchups. The Bears triumphed over the Saints in the Wild Card Round in the 1991 playoffs, beating the Saints 16-6 at Soldier Field.
In the more recent meeting at Soldier Field, the Bears knocked off the Saints 39-14 in the 2007 NFC Championship Game, earning their first Super Bowl berth since 1986.
Speaking of that…..
The Big Easy is Kind to the Bears
The only time the Bears have played a playoff game in New Orleans came on Jan. 26, 1986. That game was Super Bowl XX, and the Bears throttled the New England Patriots 46-10.