Bears vs. Saints: NFC wild-card matchup set for Sunday afternoon

The Bears will meet New Orleans in the playoffs next weekend after sneaking in thanks to the Cardinals’ Week 17 loss.

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Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) is defended by New Orleans Saints cornerback P.J. Williams (26) during the second half of an NFL football game.

Kamil Krzaczynski/AP Photo

The Bears clinched their spot in the 2021 NFL postseason despite a 35-16 loss to the Packers on Sunday afternoon. As the NFC’s seventh seed in the playoff bracket, they’re set to face the second-seeded Saints in the Wild Card Round next Sunday.

The game will kick off at 3:40 p.m. CT at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

This year the NFL altered its postseason format as part of changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seven teams made the playoffs in each conference instead of six, while only the top seed in each conference will receive a first-round bye.

The extra spot ended up being crucial for the Bears, who would’ve fallen out without the seventh and final spot.

It wasn’t a guarantee that the Bears were going to make the playoffs entering Week 17. The team needed a win over the Packers or a loss to the Cardinals in order to seal a trip. They got the latter with a beat up Arizona team getting eliminated from contention with a 18-7 loss to the Rams.

This will be the third time in history that the Bears and Saints have met in the playoffs. The Bears won the last two matchups: a 1990 Wild Card Round game and the 2007 NFC Championship.

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