The New Orleans Saints (6-1) have been winning in many different ways since their Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees was injured in week two. Today in Chicago, the Saints were facing their toughest challenge since Brees has been sidelined, a rested Chicago Bears (3-3) team coming off its bye.
IN THE FIRST HALF: The Saints started with a bang, blocking a punt on Chicago’s first possession, although they would settle for a safety. Minutes into the game, New Orleans led 2-0. The Saints’ defense would keep its incredible play going and safety Vonn Bell would cause and recover a fumble, a play that the Saints would quickly convert into a touchdown to take a 9-0 lead. In the blink of an eye however, the lead would be reduced to two once again, as Cordarrelle Patterson would return the ensuing kickoff 102 yard for a touchdown and a 9-7 Saints lead.
After a quick three-and-out by New Orleans, the Bears would finally mount a short field goal drive to take a 10-9 lead in the second quarter. The Saint would respond in kind, driving for a Wil Lutz 39-yard field goal and retaking a two point lead at 12-10. Following another Chicago punt, New Orleans would drive at the edge of the red zone but a Wil Lutz’s missed field goal would return the ball to Chicago. But the Saints’ defense would once again flex its muscles, holding the Bears offense without a touchdown in the first half. On the Bears last punt before the half, Deonte Harris would return the punt for a touchdown, but the play would be called back becaue of a hold by fullback Zach Line. The Saints would go into halftime with a 12-10 lead and a lot of points left on the field.
IN THE SECOND HALF: The Saints would start with the ball, having deferred their coin toss win to the second half. New Orleans would then go 75 yards for a touchdown, in a drive highlighted by a 44-yard pass from Bridgewater to Ted Ginn Jr. that put New Orleans at the doorstep. Latavius Murray would punctuate the drive with a running touchdown to give the Saints a 19-10 lead after Wil Lutz’s extra point.
After an exchange of punts by both teams, a fumble by Chicago and a turnover on downs by the Saints following a 52-yard field goal miss by Wil Lutz, the Saints would again take the ball and drive 76 yards on a masterful drive that would culminate in a Bridgewater lateral touchdown pass to backup quarterback Taysom Hill, giving New Orleans a 26-10 lead.
The Saints’ defense would continue to make life miserable for newly-returned Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and Chicago’s offense, giving New Orleans’ offense the ball back time and time again. Early into the fourth quarter, the Saints would extend their lead to 29-10 via a Wil Lutz 30-yard field goal.
The defense would continue its mauling ways, forcing the Bears to turn the ball over on downs after a failed 4th-and-3 play at New Orleans’ 44-yard line. The Saints would then drive the length of the field, with Latavius Murray scoring his second rushing touchdown of the day and extending the Saints lead to 36-10.
Leading by 26, the Saints defense would relax, allowing the Bears to drive for a touchdown from Mitchell Trubisky to Allen Robinson, reducing the Saints lead to 36-18 after a Bears two-point conversion. Chicago would then recover an onside kick, the first recovered this entire season. Chicago would get the ball at their own 43-yard line and drive into the Saints’ end zone again, but on the touchdown play, cornerback Eli Apple would get hurt, the only dark mark on the game for New Orleans. The Bears would kick an extra point to make the score 36-25, which looks much more respectable.
The Saints win the game 36-25 and are now 6-1 on the season and 5-0 since Brees’ injury. New Orleans finished the game a bit sloppily on defense, something you can be sure Sean Payton and the coaching staff will harp on during the week.
Here is how the game unfolded drive-by-drive
- Saints win the toss and defer to the second half and the Bears return the kickoff to their 20-yard line and go three-and-out and punt. J. T. Gray blocks the punt and the Bears bat the ball out of the end zone for a safety.
- NO: 2 - CHI: 0
- Bears punt from their 20-yard line and the Saints have the ball at their own 41-yard line and get near midfield but go three-and-out and punt as well.
- Bears take over at their 12-yard line and gain one first down, but Mitchell Trubisky misses a wide open Taylor Gabriel on 3rd-and-5 and Chicago punts again.
- Saints take over at their 27-yard line and move near midfield. A holding penalty on center Erik McCoy and a delay of game on Teddy Bridgewater pushes New Orleans back. Saints once again are forced to punt.
- Bears take over at their 21-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Vonn Bell forces a fumble and recover the ball at the Bears’ 24-yard line.
- Saints take over at the Bears’ 24 and get into the red zone on a pass from Bridgewater to Michael Thomas. Bridgewater finds tight end Josh Hill for a touchdown.
- NO: 9 - CHI: 0
- On the kickoff, Cordarrelle Patterson returns the short kick by Wil Lutz 102-yard for a touchdown
- NO: 9 - CHI: 7
- On the kickoff, Saints take over at their own 11-yard line and quickly go three-and-out and punt
- Bears have the ball at their 32-yard line and get to midfield as the quarter ends
- Bears get into Saints’ territory on a pass from Trubisky to Allen Robinson. The Bears are setback by a sack of Mitch Trubisky by Cameron Jordan. On a long third down, the Bears stall and settle for a 46-yard attempt converted by Eddie Pineiro.
- NO: 9 - CHI: 10
- Deonte Harris returns the kickoff to the Saints’ 28-yard line. Saints convert a first down with Bridgewater running the ball. Bridgewater finds Michael Thomas to get the Saints into Bears’ territory. Saints get into the red zone on a swing pass to newly-acquired running back Zach Zenner. Bridgewater misses a wide open Austin Carr and the Saints settle for a Wil Lutz 39-yard field goal.
- NO: 12 - CHI: 10
- Bears take over at their 25-yard line and go three-and-out on an inaccurate pass by Trubisky intended for Anthony Miller. Bears punt and Zach line partially blocks the punt, the second punt affected by the Saints in the game.
- Saints take over at their 33-yard line and Bridgewater finds Josh Hill at midfield. Bridgewater then finds Michael Thomas into Bears territory. Bridgewater then finds Ted Ginn Jr. for a would-be touchdown that is dropped. Saints eventually stall at the edge of the red zone and Wil Lutz misses a 45-yard field goal wide right.
- Bears take over at their 32-yard line and gain 8 yards at the two-minute warning. Following the 2-minute warning, the Saints stop the Bears on the two ensuing plays and force them into another punt.
- Deonte Harris returns the punt to the Saints’ 37-yard line. New Orleans goes three-and-out after gaining five yards followed by two incomplete passes by Bridgewater . Saints have to punt.
- Bears have the ball at their 17-yard line and go three-and-out as well and have to punt with 32 seconds left.
- Deonte Harris returns the punt for a touchdown, but it is called back because of a hold on Zach Line. Saints have left a lot of points on the field in this first half.
- Halftime score: NO: 12 - CHI: 10
- Bears kickoff for a touchback and Saints start at their 25-yard line. Saints gain a first down on a run by Teddy Bridgewater ,then Latavius Murray runs for 18 yards into Bears territory, his best run of the day. Bridgewater then finds Ted Ginn Jr. for a 44-yard gain to the Bears 3-yard line. Latavius Murray then runs into the end zone for a touchdown.
- NO: 19 - CHI: 10
- Bears take over at their 25-yard line and Marcus Davenport forces a fumble by Bears running back David Montgomery. A.J. Klein recovers the fumble for New Orleans
- Saints take over at Chicago’s 29-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Bridgewater is sacked by Abdullah Anderson. Wil Lutz misses a 52-yard field goal short, his second miss of the day.
- Bears take over at their 42-yard line. Mitchell Trubisky is sacked on 3rd-and-4 by Saints’ safety Vonn Bell, forcing Chicago to punt again.
- Deonte Harris returns the punt to the Saints’ 24-yard line. Saints gain first downs via the running game and Sean Payton uses some razzle-dazzle with Zach Line finding Taysom Hill on an option play for 23 yards into Bears territory. Saints get near the Bears red zone on a pass to Michael Thomas. Latavius Murray gets to the Bears five-yard line on a run by Murray. Bridgewater finds Taysom Hill for a touchdown
- NO: 26 - CHI: 10
- Bears return the kickoff to their 19-yard line. and go three-and-out again after a two-yard run and two incomplete passes by Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears punt.
- Deonte Harris returns the punt up to midfield and get ino Bears territory on a run by Murray. On third down, Bridgewater finds Josh Hill for a big gain deep into Bears territory. Saints are in the red zone and driving as the quarter ends.
- Latavius Murray gets inside the Bears’ 10-yard line on a swing pass, but a holding penalty on Josh Hill blocking Khalil Mack sets them back. Saints eventually stall. Wil Lutz makes a 30-yard field goal.
- NO: 29 - CHI: 10
- Bears take over at their 25-yard line after the touchback by Wil Lutz. Chicago drives near midfield and have to go for it on 4th-and-3 at the Saints’ 44-yard line. Trubisky throws incomplete and the Saints take over on downs.
- Saints gain six yards on first and second-down with Murray and on third down, Teddy Bridgewater finds Michael Thomas for a beautiful 34-yard pass putting the Saints in the red zone. Latavius Murray runs hard to the doorstep of the end zone. Murray runs into the end zone for a touchdown.
- NO: 36 - CHI: 10
- Bears take over at their 25-yard line and move easily into Saints territory with the Saints starting to play loose on defense. Bears get into the red zone, their first trip into the red zone. On fourth-and goal from the Saints’ seven-yard line, Trubisky finds Allen Robinson for a touchdown. Chicago goes for two and converts.
- NO: 36 - CHI: 18
- Bears take an onside kick and recover the ball , Chicago takes over at their 43-yard line. Chicago drives into Saints’ territory as the two-minute warning hits. Chicago drives inside the red zone again. Trubisky finds Javon Wims for a touchdown, on the play, Eli Apple is hurt.
- Bears attempt another onside kick and recover again, but are out of bounds. Saints take over at their 39-yard line and end the game.
- Final Score: NO: 36 - CHI: 25
- Saints Win! Saints Win!
Who get your Saints’ game ball after today’s game?
This poll is closed
D-Fence! D-Fence! This is becoming beautifully redundant!
Latavius Murray, who clearly only needed opportunities
Steady Teddy, doing his job!
The offensive line, who nullified the great Khalil Mack
Sean Payton who to this point, is the clear cut coach of the year!