The New Orleans Saints defeated the Chicago Bears 24-17 on Sunday afternoon inside the Caesars Superdome. The victory gets the Saints back above .500 at 5-4 for the year as they look to build momentum in the second half of the season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
The Bears won the toss and elected to receive, sending their rookie quarterback Tyson Bagent out first. The young signal caller did not seem phased by the Superdome allure, as he drove Chicago down the field in nine plays and 75 yards, capped with a touchdown pass with a difficult catch made by Cole Kmet. That gave the Bears a 7-0 lead early on.
Derek Carr and the Saints’ offense started quick with a first down connection to Chris Olave. However, that was the only first down of the drive and New Orleans was forced to punt quickly thereafter.
The next drive started off well for Chicago, but a holding penalty put them behind the chains. Then, Paulson Adebo was able to bait Bagent into a bad throw and intercepted it to set the Saints up with the ball in plus territory.
Carr was faced with a tough third down early in the drive, but he converted on a pass to Olave. The drive continued into the red zone, but the Saints once again faced a difficult third down, this one third and goal from the eight yard-line. However, Carr to Olave was the connection once again, this time going for a touchdown. The extra point tied the score 7-7.
Bagent and the Bears’ offense had a response ready. They navigated down the field in six plays and 75 yards, including a 3rd and 12 conversion by Bagent on the ground. His second touchdown connection with Kmet gave the Bears a 14-7 lead.
The Saints’ offense continued to respond in the first half of this game. On an 11 play, 75-yard drive, Carr converted three third downs on pass plays, including a third and goal touchdown pass to Taysom Hill. That score allowed New Orleans to draw even once again, this time at 14-14.
The Bears got into field goal range towards the end of the half, largely thanks to more impressive running by Bagent. The Saints got a stop on 3rd and 12, and Cairo Santos missed a 40-yard field goal, keeping the score 14-14 heading into the half.
The Saints started the second half with a three and out. Bagent connected with DJ Moore on the ensuing drive, but Adebo forced and recovered a fumble to give New Orleans the ball. They could not advance the ball much, but rookie kicker Blake Grupe nailed a 55-yard field goal to give the Saints a 17-14 lead.
The Bears’ rookie continued to be up for the challenge into the second half. This time, Bagent led them on a 13 play, 62-yard drive. The defense did force a stop on third and long, and that resulted in a 31 yarder by Santos to tie the score at 17.
Despite a long screen pass to Kendre Miller that put New Orleans in Bears’ territory, their drive stalled out. They passed on a 56-yard field goal attempt, and instead punted it back to Chicago. This decision worked out, however, The Bears went three and out, giving the Saints good field position. This time, they converted on the opportunity, going five plays and 47 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown. Taysom Hill threw to Juwan Johnson for the score. That made it 24-17 Saints.
On the next series, the Saints’ defense came through with another turnover. Marcus Maye dove in front of Bagent’s pass, giving New Orleans the ball with great field position again. The Saints moved into the red zone but did not take advantage. A 4th and inches quarterback sneak attempt was stuffed, and Chicago took over only down by seven.
Paulson Adebo’s big day was not over. On third and long on the ensuing Bears’ possession, he intercepted Bagent for the second time, giving the Saints the ball back with a 24-17 lead and just over five minutes to play.
That, however, was not enough to seal the game. The Saints went three and out in a hurry, giving the rookie another chance with the ball. The defense for New Orleans held up again, forcing a quick punt. After a 15-yard penalty on the return to help the Saints, they took over at the Bears’ 36 yardline.
The offense was unable to convert a first down but forced the Bears to use all three of their timeouts. A 47-yard field goal from Grupe hit the left upright, however, and gave the Bears one final chance with the ball. A strip-sack by Demario Davis finally secured the victory, however, with the Saints escaping 24-17.
BIG NUMBER: 5
The Saints defense forced five turnovers, including three interceptions thrown by Bagent. He had great moments, but the turnovers were enough to help New Orleans secure a win.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Paulson Adebo
Adebo had two interceptions, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery for New Orleans. He was the difference on a day where the Saints struggled plenty in the first half defensively.
UP NEXT: The Saints will travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings next Sunday, November 12th, at noon.