Despite an ugly first half, the New Orleans Saints defeat the Chicago Bears 21-9 in the NFC Wild Card round. An ugly win is a win. The Saints (2) will now advance to the Divisional round of the NFL playoffs to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5).
Initially, this game appeared like it could be a Chicago upset; Sean Payton and the Brees-led Saints quickly found their footing on offense. This was always New Orleans game to lose. As we learned through the Wild Card round, nothing is guaranteed in the playoffs — particularly in the NFC.
Heading into this weekend, the presumed opponent, should the Saints advance to the Divisional round, was the Seattle Seahawks (3). The Los Angeles Rams (6), sans Aaron Donald, and a mid-game quarterback switch, managed an upset. While the Buccaneers eventually pulled away from the Washington Football Team, the 7-9 No. 4 seed — led partially by Taylor Heinicke, until the team’s third QB left with an injury — didn’t make it easy.
All that to say, we should ultimately be grateful for a win, stumbles aside. And how ‘bout that defense.
The Saints beat the Bears 21-9. The 9 points are the fewest allowed by the Saints in a playoff game in club history. Previous low was 14.— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) January 11, 2021
NFC Divisional Round: New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There are two camps of fans — the more optimistic camp is staring at that 38-3 score and licking their chops; the latter camp, of which I fall into, does not want to meet Tom Brady for a third time this season. A Revenge-Tour Brady at that.
Say what you want about Brady this season, but his playoff record speaks for itself. With 31 wins, he holds the NFL record for playoff wins. That is not someone I prefer to face over Jared Goff, or Russell Wilson at that. Moreover, the fanbase will likely have a collective heart attack over the calls that will inevitably go Tampa Bay’s way.
That all said, this is exactly where the Saints want to be. Underdogs. There’s palpable sense of Déjà vu of the Week 9 narrative where no one gave New Orleans and Drew Brees a shot against the Immortal Brady. Here’s their shot to prove it for the first time ever on the postseason stage.
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