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The Bear’s Den, January 7, 2021

Not all injury news in Chicago is bad... but a whole lot of it sure is

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Walter Payton Breaking Jim Brown’s Record
Walter Payton Breaking Jim Brown’s Record

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

BEARRRSSSS

Chicago Bears Shrug Off Heavy Underdog Status - Sports Illustrated - As a seventh-seeded team against the second-seeded New Orleans Saints, the Chicago Bears know they’ll get little respect outside of their own locker room and say they really don’t care.

It’s a Rough Time for Chicago Bears to Rely on Inexperience - Sports Illustrated - The loss at a critical time of Jaylon Johnson, Buster Skrine and now possibly Roquan Smith have highlighted how little the Chicago Bears did to bring in experienced backup help in the offseason at key defensive positions. Ken’s Note: So the Bears are being blamed because the FIFTH cornerback is a second year player? Really? Harsh.

Similarities between 1994, 2020 Chicago Bears - Playoff teams, wild card berths - ChicagoBears.com - Just like the 1994 Bears, the 2020 Bears earned the NFC’s third and final wild card berth and will open the playoffs in a dome against a division champion they lost to in overtime during the regular season.

Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky sees opportunity in playoff matchup with Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints - ChciagoBears.com - Facing off against one of his childhood heroes, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky sees an opportunity to change the Bears’ narrative.

Trubisky has one last chance to define himself before FA - 670 The Score - Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky must walk a fine line as he attempts to lead his team to an upset victory against the Saints, as he has been tasked with creating big plays for his offense while avoiding critical mistakes against a stout defense.

Bears’ Smith, Mooney miss practice, but Johnson returns - 670 The Score - The Bears are still seeking more clarity on injuries to linebacker Roquan Smith (elbow) and receiver Darnell Mooney (ankle), coach Matt Nagy said Wednesday, four days before Chicago is set to play at New Orleans in the wild-card round.

Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith injury hurts effort on defense - Chicago Tribune - The Chicago Bears are likely to play without linebacker Roquan Smith this week against the New Orleans Saints. How will that affect the effort on defense on Sunday?

Chicago Bears: Defense unrecognizable entering playoffs - Chicago Tribune - The evidence has been mounting all season to suggest the Chicago Bears defense no longer is the dominant, championship-fueling force it once was. What does that mean for the playoffs and beyond?

Chicago Bears: Keys to playoff game vs. New Orleans Saints - Chicago Tribune - The Chicago Bears are big underdogs for their NFC playoff game Sunday against the Saints in New Orleans. Here are three potential keys for them to pull off the upset against Drew Brees and company.

Chicago Bears: 4 questions before their NFC playoff game - Chicago Tribune - Whenever the Chicago Bears season ends, whether it’s Sunday against the New Orleans Saints or later, they face critical decisions about the future direction of the franchise. With an eye on both the NFC wild-card game and beyond, our team of Bears writers weighs in on four timely topics.

Chicago Bears Q&A: Did Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy secure their future by making the playoffs? - Chicago Tribune - As the Chicago Bears prepare for a playoff game against the New Orleans Saints, readers have questions for the Tribune’s Brad Biggs about the team’s future — starting with who will be the general manager, coach and quarterback next season.

Why David Montgomery gives the Bears a shot in the playoffs – The Athletic - Is David Montgomery key to the Bears' success against the Saints?

What would George Halas think about the state of the Bears? – The Athletic - Dan Pompei visits the final resting place of "Papa Bear" George Halas to talk about the state of the Bears.

NFL Playoffs: Why Bears' key to beating Saints could be David Montgomery - RSN - No one said it would be easy.

NFL QB Power Rankings Week 17: Mitch Trubisky, Aaron Rodgers play well - RSN - Just like that, it’s all over. Finishing the NFL season was a monumental task due to COVID-19, and the virus led to some crazy footnotes this season (remember when a practice squad wide receiver played quarterback for the Broncos?!?). Ken's Note: Hey look, Mitch made it all the way to the top two-thirds! Of course, that's till well below average but hey, at least he's not dead last any more, right?

Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears Claim They're Playoff-Ready - Sports Illustrated - The 2018 playoff loss to Philadelphia and a wild 2020 ride have brought Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears to a point where they say they're ready for anything the playoffs can throw at them.

Bears can’t afford to marginalize WR Allen Robinson in game plan vs. Saints - Chicago Sun-Times - Robinson is the team’s best offensive player by far, and the Bears need to make sure he’s getting 10-15 targets in their playoff game Sunday.

Drew Brees’ Saints empire is rooted at Soldier Field; will it end Sunday? - Chicago Sun-Times - Before Drew Brees could win the Super Bowl — or its MVP trophy — he had to lose at Soldier Field.

Bears QB Mitch Trubisky eager to go for it vs. Saints - Chicago Sun-Times - With “nothing to lose” as 10-point underdogs, Trubisky wants to let it all hang out in the Bears’ playoff game Sunday at the Superdome. “I think we definitely need to open it up a little bit,” he said.

Wishing the Bears had tanked rather than followed a road of mediocrity - Chicago Sun-Times - There’s no “sanctity of the game’’ anymore, not with championships and Trevor Lawrence at stake.

Bears LB Roquan Smith, WR Darnell Mooney miss practice - Chicago Sun-Times - All signs point toward the Bears needing to plan on going without those two for their playoff game at the Saints on Sunday.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence announces intention to enter 2021 NFL Draft - NFL.com - Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is moving on to the NFL.

KNOW THINE ENEMY

Drew Brees: Alvin Kamara will be fine without practicing - ProFootballTalk - Saints running back Alvin Kamara is on the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list. He is eligible to return to the active roster before the Saints’ playoff game against the Bears — but only on game day, after isolating all week. Saints quarterback Drew Brees is OK with that.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Wiltfong's Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2020: Week 17 vs the Green Bay Packers - Windy City Gridiron - We wrap up the 2020 edition of Sackwatch with only one sack allowed!

Salo: Roquan Smith Will Miss Saints Game With Dislocated Elbow - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears could be without Roquan Smith in New Orleans on Wild Card Weekend.

Wiltfong: Bears place 3 on the PFF All-Pro Teams - Windy City Gridiron - Pro Football Focus has revealed their All-Pro first and second teams, and the Chicago Bears had three players make the grade. Khalil Mack and Cordarrelle Patterson made their first team while Allen...

Silverstein: The day the Bears beat the Saints in the NFC championship - Windy City Gridiron - On January 21, 2007, the Bears punched the Saints in the mouth and punched a ticket to Super Bowl XLI.

THE RULES

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