By Matt Murphy ‘21
Many people wondered if the NFL would be able to provide a successful season during one of the worst pandemics in the world’s history. The NFL was able to put a well-structured plan together with strict protocols and certain guidelines, in hopes to keep their players and fans safe from this virus. Several teams took action and prohibited fans in their stadiums for the whole season.
The only thing the players wanted was to play football and have the opportunity to compete in a season, and they got exactly what they wanted.
The NFL was able to successfully get through all 17 weeks of the season without a whole lot of interruption from the virus. Several teams surprised many people with the success they had this season. There were new teams who made the playoffs, who hadn’t had a postseason appearance in a handful of years, if not decades. The Browns, Bills, and the Titans were all underdogs coming into this season, and all found themselves a playoff spot this year.
One team in particular, the Chicago Bears, who were also underdogs at the beginning of the season, had a long bumpy road this year, but were able to finish the season strong.
As Chicago Bear fans, being in the playoffs isn’t something we see every year. In fact, this was their second playoff appearance in the last 9 years. The Bears were able to finish this season 8-8 with the help of the Rams and sneak their way into a wild card game against the New Orleans Saints.
Many people weren’t too optimistic when they heard who the Bears would be playing in the first round, but Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears did everything they could to take down the second-seeded team in the NFC.
The seventh seeded Bears were nowhere near favored to win when the ball was kicked off in New Orleans on Jan. 10. Although the game stayed consistent throughout the first half, the Bears defense couldn’t stop the raging Saints offense as they had 123 yards on the ground compared to the Bears’ 48 yards. Drew Brees was able to connect with his receivers comfortably as he threw for 265 with 2 touchdowns.
On the other side, Mitch Trubisky was able to throw for 199 yards with a touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham as time expired in the 4th quarter. The Bears were only able to punch through for 11 first downs throughout the whole game, when the Saints were able to get 27.
The Bears only managed to get a field goal in the first three quarters and began to run out of gas towards the end of the game. They fell short to the Saints 21-9, ending their hopes of stamping a spot to Super Bowl LIV in Tampa.