The Bears and Saints go toe-to-toe Thursday night in Chicago, and while both teams will be fighting to remain in the playoff hunt, the story of the night will be the Windy City weather.
Forecasters are calling for temperatures to dip to the lower teens with wind gusts as high as 20 mph. That’s not good news for Saints quarterback Drew Brees, whose passer efficiency rating at Soldier Field is 16 points below his career average. Bears linebacker Lance Briggs thinks Brees may be a bit too soft to play in the Chicago cold after Brees has spent his pro career playing in a warm city and indoors.
"Drew Brees has been in San Diego and in New Orleans in a dome,” Briggs said. "So when he comes out here, and he's got his hand-warmer fanny pack, it's a whole different ballgame. He's freezing; his blood is real thin."
In their past two trips to Chicago, the Saints have moved the ball well, but also have committed seven turnovers. The Bears defense also sacked the QB six times.
Last week, Chicago defeated Jacksonville 23-10 in 19-degree temperatures – minus 1 degree if you factor in wind chill. It was the coldest game ever in Jaguars history.
“If you talk to teams that aren’t from Chicago, believe me, they don’t want to come to Chicago this time of the year to play football,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “For us, it’s a part of our everyday life. It’s no issue with us.”