NFL Wild Card Playoffs: Bears-Saints preview, schedule, how to watch

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Arun Srinivasan
·Writer
·5 min read
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Note: NFL playoff games on DAZN are available to stream only in Canada.

The NFL’s decision to expand its playoff format ahead of the 2020 season has paid dividends for the league, both in terms of revenue and quality of play. The disparity between the league’s elite teams and bottom-feeders has never been wider, and although numerous COVID-19 cases threatened to uproot the season, the NFL trudged through the pandemic into a new and improved 14-team playoff format.

[Watch the NFL Playoffs on DAZN Canada: Get DAZN free for 30 days and stream the game live]

The juggernaut Kansas City Chiefs emerged as the AFC’s top seed, with Patrick Mahomes engineering a star-studded offense that seemingly scores at will, while Aaron Rodgers submitted an MVP-caliber season to lead the Green Bay Packers to the NFC’s No. 1 position. There are now six games in the wild-card round as a result of the expanded playoffs and four games in the divisional round, before the AFC and NFC championships decide which teams will play for Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay.

The New Orleans Saints host the Chicago Bears, pitting a preseason Super Bowl contender against a team that snuck into the playoffs on the final day of the season. Alvin Kamara continues to star in his unique hybrid running back-receiver role, Drew Brees rarely turned the ball over and the Saints are looking for their second Super Bowl in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bears have served as the NFL’s roller coaster ride, with tremendous peaks and valleys, overcoming a six-game losing streak to rally back into the playoffs.

Wild Card Preview: Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints

Chicago Bears' Mitchell Trubisky and teammate walk off the field after an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Chicago. The Packers won 35-16. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky enters Wild Card weekend still with lots to prove. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Date: January 10 at 4:40 p.m. ET
How to watch: Live on DAZN Canada

Kamara has been the fulcrum of the Saints’ offense, leading the team in rushing (932 yards, 16 TD) and receiving (83 receptions, 756 yards, 5 TD) and the team hasn’t missed a beat, even with injury-related absences from Drew Brees and Michael Thomas. Thomas, the reigning Offensive Player of the Year may be activated off injured reserve for the game, while Kamara is expected to be cleared from COVID-19 protocol.

New Orleans’ ferocious front seven will make like difficult for Mitchell Trubisky, with Trey Hendrickson (13.5 sacks) and Cameron Jordan (7.5 sacks) wreaking havoc on quarterbacks all season long. Demario Davis remains criminally underrated while Pro Bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore remains among the best at his position. This is a well-balanced unit that finished fifth in scoring defense and won’t give up anything easy.

Trubisky enters this postseason with an opportunity for referendum, a chance to silence his critics, both externally and within the organization. Trubisky and Nick Foles were forced to compete for the starting job, where Trubisky won out, was benched for Foles in Week 3, then was renamed the starter in Week 12 and hasn’t looked back. Chicago didn’t extend Trubisky’s fifth-year option prior to the 2020 season. Can he make the Bears pay for their internal evaluation, once again?

Saints vs. Bears: Tale of the Tape

Category

NO

CHI

Record

12-4

8-8

Head-to-Head

1-0 (26-23 OT win, Nov. 1)

0-1 (26-23 OT loss, Nov. 1)

Points For (per game)

30.1

23.3

Points Against (per game)

21.1

23.1

Saints will win because

They are the far superior team in every facet, Kamara is an unstoppable weapon that is only getting better as the season progresses, while Brees continues to fully recover from 11 fractured ribs. New Orleans’ defense is a nightmare for any opponent, least of all Trubisky’s Bears, who are in the big dance after the best four-game stretch of the young quarterback’s career.

Bears will win because...

Trubisky was a punchline for the vast majority of his career after being selected ahead of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in 2017, and he’s fed up, with his accuracy skyrocketing through the month of December. David Montgomery has quietly turned into an excellent all-around option, and if the Bears’ defensive stars — namely Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson — play their best game and force Brees and Kamara into a few turnovers, the Bears can pull the upset.

What’s the NFL Playoffs schedule in 2021?

  • Wild Card games: January 9-10

  • Divisional games: January 16-17

  • Conference championships: January 24

  • Super Bowl: February 7

NFL Wild Card Weekend Previews

NFL Wild Card Round Schedule

Saturday January 9

Time (ET)

Matchup

Stream in Canada

1:05 p.m.

Colts at Bills

DAZN

4:40 p.m.

Rams at Seahawks

DAZN

8:15 p.m.

Buccaneers at Washington

DAZN

NFL Wild Card Round Schedule

Sunday January 10

Time (ET)

Matchup

Stream in Canada

1:05 p.m.

Ravens at Titans

DAZN

4:40 p.m.

Bears at Saints

DAZN

8:15 p.m.

Browns at Steelers

DAZN

NFL Division Round Schedule

Saturday January 16

Time

Matchup

Stream in Canada

TBD

TBD

DAZN

TBD

TBD

DAZN

NFL Division Round Schedule

Sunday January 17

Time

Matchup

Stream in Canada

TBD

TBD

DAZN

TBD

TBD

DAZN

NFL AFC/NFC Conference Championship Schedule

Sunday January 24

Time

Matchup

Stream in Canada

TBD

TBD

DAZN

TBD

TBD

DAZN

NFL Super Bowl 55 Schedule

Sunday February 7

Time

Matchup

Stream in Canada

TBD

AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion

DAZN

More NFL Playoffs on Yahoo Sports