Brees, Saints pull away late for 21-9 playoff win over Bears
Brees completed 28 of 39 passes for 265 yards, connecting with Michael Thomas and Latavius Murray for touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints defeated the Chicago Bears 21-9 in an NFC wild-card game Sunday. Brees' first touchdown pass in the opening quarter was 11-yards over the middle to Thomas, back from a three-game absence to help heal a nagging ankle injury. The 2019 Offensive Player of the Year missed nine games this season and had not caught a touchdown pass since December 2019. That marked the second time this season a Bears player was thrown out for action taken against Gardner-Johnson after the whistle. The Bears have reached the playoffs twice since Pace took over in 2015, both times under Nagy, who was hired in 2018.
Saints overcome Brees injury, beat 49ers 27-13
“When I came out in the second half and started throwing the ball (to warm up), it became really apparent that I wasn't going to be effective,” Brees said. Brees said he didn't expect the injury to be “a long-term thing," but added, ”it's just a matter of how long it's going to be. “We couldn’t get anything going in the second half and didn’t get much out of our running game," coach Kyle Shanahan said. Tight end Josh Hill also left the game with a concussion in the second half. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore left with an oblique injury, but could be seen standing on the sideline without his helmet in the second half, urging on teammates and even dancing at times.
Chiefs missing rushing power for key game at New England
The Patriots, who can extend their NFL record to 11 consecutive playoff berths with a win, will also be missing a key offensive cog. ___KANSAS CITY-NEW ENGLANDChiefs: RB Damien Williams, CB Rashad Fenton, CB Morris Claiborne, OL Jackson Barton, OL Nick Allegretti, TE Deon Yelder, QB Chad Henne. Patriots: C Ted Karras, DL Byron Cowart, CB Joejuan Williams, QB Cody Kessler, OL Korey Cunningham, TE Ryan Izzo, RB Damien Harris. Bills: RB T.J. Yeldon, S Dean Marlowe, OG Ike Boettger, RT Ty Nsekhe, WR Duke Williams, TE Tommy Sweeney, DT Vincent Taylor. Packers: WR Ryan Grant, CB Kevin King, RB Dexter Williams, CB Tony Brown, CB Ka'dar Hollman, G/T Adam Pankey, T Yosh Nijman.