The Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints have both had a tough ending to the 2018-19 season, but which fan base had it worse?
The 2018-19 season as we know, ended in bitter pain for the Chicago Bears. It also ended in a rather brutal fashion for the New Orleans Saints. First of all, the ugly reminder of how it ended for the Bears. It ended with Tarik Cohen, Mitchell Trubisky, and the rest of the offense putting them in position to win the game via a game-winning field goal attempt.
Well then Bears kicker Cody Parkey missed the game-winning field goal on the second attempt after being iced on his first attempt by a timeout. The ball hit the goal post and the crossbar as the clock struck zero and the Bears were sent packing.
The New Orleans Saints, like the Bears, had themselves a very successful season. They cruised through the regular season and put themselves in position to have the one seed in the NFC. The road to the Super Bowl would go through New Orleans. That is exactly where they found themselves on Championship Sunday versus the Los Angeles Rams.
Like the Bears game a couple weeks prior, it ended in a very painful way for the Saints and their fans. The game’s turning point was while the ball was in the air on a pass by Drew Brees to receiver Tommylee Lewis. Lewis, a former Northern Illinois University Huskie, was blatantly interfered with by Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman on the play. The proper call of pass interference would have given the Saints a first down and the opportunity to run the clock down and kick a game-winning field goal.
Instead of that, they had to kick the field goal right away, giving time for the Rams to run the two-minute drill and tie the game themselves and force overtime. In overtime, the Rams would win on a game-winning field goal by Greg Zuerlein. A very heartbreaking and completely maddening turn of events for the Saints. If there was better officiating or at the very least better rules for situations like that, the Saints would likely be headed to Atlanta to play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53.
So who had it worse? Bears fans or Saints fans? It is a subjective question and both fan bases would tell you they have it worse. But the answer is clearly Bears fans. Although the counterargument from Saints fans would be that the Bears had control of the outcome. However, at the end of the day so did the Saints. They could have stopped the Rams after being forced to kick the late field goal a little earlier. The Saints also won the coin toss in overtime, before Drew Brees threw an interception, setting up a game-winning field goal for Los Angeles.
The Bears had control of the game, and their guy could have made the kick. With that said, they did not have two chances to right the ship after their mistake. The clock was at zero and the Bears lost right then and there. There was no chance after that.
The thing that made it even more unbearable as a fan of the team is the fact that it was so obvious that it could happen this way. Cody Parkey missed many field goals throughout the season and even more ironic is how many times he missed by way of hitting the upright or the crossbar. This time he hit both! Everyone was begging for them to bring someone new in and it just simply did not happen.
The thing both fan bases have in common to be annoyed about following the tough loss are the reminders in the following days. Cody Parkey thought it would be a good idea to go on a morning talk show and try to make the whole country try to feel sorry for him.
Meanwhile, folks keep bringing up the idea of the Saints and the Rams redoing the final two minutes of the NFC championship game. Then, the stories start to come out about the referees in that game having ties to southern California as if they are not paid professionals who just made a high profile mistake.
The positive thing for the Bears is that a good portion of the team is signed long term and the quarterback is still on his entry-level deal. The future is bright in Chicago, while in New Orleans things could be different. Brees could play at an elite level for the next few years or he could fall off of a cliff. Their future is a little bleaker but they still have a chance to be good for a while.
After Super Bowl 53 is over both teams will begin looking forward to the 2019-20 season, as their rosters suggest that they will both be elite teams in the NFC once again. They also play each other next season but the date of that contest is to be determined. The game will be played at Soldier Field in Chicago. Although the loss stings for both teams quite a bit, the Bears did not have a chance after the ugly part of their game so it is the more painful of the two.