World news – Saints do not take outsider bears for granted

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NEW ORLEANS – Saints linebacker Demario Davis’ largely productive NFL career has also had some disappointing, educational moments .

Losing the season with the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns helped Davis appreciate recent postseason opportunities with New Orleans. And in the playoffs, Davis has suffered excruciating losses for the past three seasons – with the ultimate result being the final game of each game.

While four-time NFC South Champion Saints (12-4) starts another playoff run starting Sunday against the recently resurgent Chicago Bears (8-8) at the Superdome, Davis begs his teammates to do theirs Narrow focus and in the present.

« The only thing we’re promised is this moment. It’s the only watch you can look at, » said Davis. « It’s not that you as a team have that many options here, too be. The only moment we have is now and it’s what we’re doing with it right now. « 

There’s a lot at stake for the Saints as their quarterback is 41-year-old Drew Brees, who has become synonymous with New Orleans for the past 15 seasons. Brees brought the football-obsessed community the only major professional sports championship eleven seasons ago and became the NFL’s all-time leader at Yards Passing. Brees will turn 42 on January 15th and has made no commitments to play beyond this season. So every game could be his last.

When asked if he decided if this season would be his last, Brees said simply: « I decided to be the best I can be this week so that we can win this game and can continue playing.  »

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky is in his fourth NFL season for the second time in the playoffs after a tumultuous 2020.

Trubisky was benched earlier this season and has only started nine games. But the Bears went 6-3 in those games, with three wins in four games to end the regular season and sneak into the playoffs.

“We have nothing to lose. We know we are all overlooked, ”Trubisky said. « We have to play smart and play disciplined football, but that doesn’t mean we’re tense. » I think go in and play free.  »

While Brees has been the star of some prolific offenses, the veteran quarterback takes comfort in the fact that the Saints have been successful in the running game and in defense this season.
The Saints 2,265 yards are the largest since the beginning of the Sean Payton era in 2006. The defense ranks fourth and is tied at 18 for the NFL lead in interceptions.

« The best teams can play the football and play great defense, » said Brees. « Those are the two key points that you look at with perseverance in any team. »

The Bears will likely need dynamic performance from a defense that has been in the top 10 for much of the season if they are to take out the powerful Saints. The problem is, the group isn’t producing as much momentum changing pieces as they’d like.

The Bears finished 25th in the NFL at 18 and 17th in the league at 35.

Two-time Pro Bowl safety Eddie Jackson had no stoppages for the first time in his career after picking up 10 passes in his first three seasons. Khalil Mack, a three-time all-pro, had nine sacks – in the single digits for his second year running. And Robert Quinn only had two sacks, up from 11 1/2 for Dallas last season.

« It’s only one of those years, » said security Tashaun Gipson. « Sometimes you might have a year where everything clicks and every single pass that touches your palms catches you, and then there are years like this. »

Dynamic trio
Brees, receiver Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara could be back on the field together on Sunday – something that circumstances have largely prevented this season. Thomas has missed nine games, mostly due to an ankle injury. Brees has missed four games with rib and lung problems. Kamara was out last week because of Covid-19.
They haven’t all played together since Brees was injured in Week 10.
« It’s hard to believe, » said Brees. « I’m happy to have Mike back. Excited for Alvin with what he’s been through lately and just for our entire squad. »
While Thomas, the AP Offensive Player of the Year 2019, has returned to training, Kamara is not expected to return to the team until match day and will not train all week.
But Brees insisted, « Alvin will be fine. »
A-Rob in mind
Bears Star recipient Allen Robinson (Penn State) hit a career high in a win against Jacksonville last week with 10 receptions in a win over Jacksonville and two passes for 37 yards in the loss to Green Bay.
Given his dominant shape for much of the season, the bears want him to be more involved – when he’s healthy. The bears said Robinson missed some training time this week due to a hamstring injury.
Robinson’s 102 receptions this season were a career high. And his 1,250 yards were only second best after the 1,400 he had with Jacksonville in his 2015 Pro Bowl season – his sophomore year in the NFL.
« I trust the plan that they have and that they will put together, » said Robinson. « It’s just my job to do it. »

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Brees, receiver Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara could be back on the field together on Sunday – something that circumstances have largely prevented this season. Thomas has missed nine games, mostly due to an ankle injury. Brees has missed four games with rib and lung problems. Kamara was out last week because of Covid-19.

« That’s hard to believe, » said Brees. « I’m happy to have Mike back. Excited for Alvin with what he’s been through lately and just for our entire squad. »

While Thomas, the AP Offensive Player of the Year 2019, has returned to training, Kamara is not expected to return to the team until match day and will not train all week.

Bears Star recipient Allen Robinson (Penn State) made a career high in a win against Jacksonville last week with 10 receptions in a win against Jacksonville and two passes for 37 yards in the loss to Green Bay.

Given his dominant shape for much of the season, the bears want him to be more involved – when he’s healthy. The bears said Robinson missed some exercise time this week due to a hamstring injury.

Robinson’s 102 receptions this season were a career high. And his 1,250 yards were only second best after the 1,400 he had with Jacksonville in his 2015 Pro Bowl season – his sophomore year in the NFL.

« I trust the plan that you have and that you are going to put together, » said Robinson. « It’s just my job to do it. »

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