After a tumultuous season, the New Orleans Saints hold the Chicago Bears on Wildcard Weekend. Yet, in the midst of the NFL’s expanded playoff slate, the Saints find themselves in an enviable position. Despite winning twelve games, New Orleans quietly enters the contest, the quietest two seed in the field. However, what this team lacks in national fanfare, they compensate for it in numerous storylines, sure to captivate viewers, listeners, and readers
As of this writing, reports surfaced regarding Drew Brees’ impending retirement. If this postseason serves as his swan song, what can fans expect from him? First, you know that Brees will test any defense, regardless of secondary or pass rush. Passivity never found its way onto his palette. With that is that cliched, but completely accurate gunslinger mindset. Even in his twentieth season, Brees finds a way to light up the scoreboard routinely. The Bears’ defense, when right will test his resolve with blitzes and seemingly endless press. However, Brees knows this, expects it, and remembers only contacting the ground twice.
Yesterday, the Saints called upon Ty Montgomery to shoulder the rushing load. With Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray on the COVID list, the team turned to the versatile veteran. Montgomery responded with 105 yards on eighteen carries. Now, if you spin this forward, when/if the lead backs return, Montgomery could still see a role in the offense. With a full complement in the backfield, Sean Payton can rely on the run to open things up downfield.
Speaking of Kamara, the Sunday game could actually benefit him. By playing six days from now and if he is asymptomatic, the dynamic back could return to the field. While his status isn’t readily known, you’d think the Bears need to gameplan for him. Plus, missing the last game versus Carolina saved excess wear and tear on the Saints’ most dangerous weapon.
While the New Orleans Saints aren’t grasping national attention, they look to make a deep run that leads to a championship. With players returning from COVID/injury, this franchise can strike within any NFC team.