Saints vs. Bears: A First-Half Analysis

A first-half analysis of the key plays, stats, and moments in the Saints at Bears battle at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Author:
Publish date:

A first-half analysis of the key plays, stats, and moments in the Saints at Bears battle at Soldier Field in Chicago.

USATSI_15143714_168388561_lowres

FIRST QUARTER

  • Saints come out with two runs to Murray and Kamara in their first two plays. Has Payton committed to run the ball in this drive?  
  • QB Taysom Hill picked up the first down on a 9-yard rush. 
  • Kamara added 20 yards as he slipped past Bears defenders. Nice blocking from Peat, Armstead, and McCoy.  
  • The drive stalled after 3 consecutive screen passes failed to pick up the first down.
  • Placekicker Wil Lutz kicked for 38 yards to put New Orleans on the board early, 3-0 over the Bears.  

THE DRIVE: 12 Plays, 55 yards

TIME: 6:47

KEY PLAYERS: Drew Brees was 5/5 for 17 yards, Kamara gained 24 yards.

Bears RB Montgomery makes Saints Williams Miss a Tackle
  • The Bears took to the air and had quarterback Nick Foles on rollout plays. 
  • Nagy mixed-up the plays on this drive to keep the Saints' pass rush off-guard. 
  • Three missed tackles by DE Cam Jordan, DE Trey Hendrickson, and DB P.J. Williams gave RB Montgomery enough space to gain a first down close to the red zone.
  • DE Marcus Davenport sacked Foles on a twist for 10 yards and created a 3rd and 20.
  • New Orleans defense holds, and Santos kicked a 44 yarder down the center of the goalposts. 
  • Chicago evens the score at 3 with 1:13 left in the first quarter. 

THE DRIVE:  14 Plays, 49 yards 

TIME: 7:00

KEY PLAYERS: Foles was 5/7 for 39 yards, and Montgomery had 4 carries for 16 yards on the drive. 

Kamara's 47 yards reception to the Bears 39-yard line ended the first quarter. Drew Brees was perfect in passing 6/6 for 64 yards, with a QBR of 111.1.  The Saints found success on the ground, but the Bears defenders diagnosed Payton's decision to throw screen passes. Their linebackers are fast enough to cover Kamara and Hill on screenplays.  New Orleans is not picking up yardage running into the middle.  Hicks' presence is being felt against Ruiz in those run plays.

New Orleans Saints Kicker Lutz Missed FG

SECOND QUARTER

  • Drew Brees found Kamara for an 11-yard first down for New Orleans. Hill rushes for 12 yards with a great block from fullback Burton. 
  • The Bears' Mingo sniffed out a reverse play for Deonte Harris and caused a loss of 2 yards. 
  • Brees to RB Murray was stopped short of the first down. 
  • Lutz hit the right-upright of the goal post. He has been perfect in his NFL career within 30 yards.  First miss of the season for Wil Lutz.  The score remains 3-3 in the second quarter.
WR Robinson scores TD over Saints

Bears take over and come out running for five yards.  CB Janoris Jenkins gave-up a big 50-yard play to former Tulane's WR Darnell Mooney. CB Lattimore allowed WR Allen Robinson to get behind him, and Nick Foles floated a pass for a touchdown towards the back of the endzone.  Touchdown.  New Orleans' secondary continues to get victimized in 2020.

THE DRIVE: Foles led a 4 play, 80 yards

TIME: 2:28

KEY PLAYERS:  WR Darnell Mooney and WR Allen Robinson.  How did the Saints let Mooney leave New Orleans from Tulane?  He was their backyard and Saints Asst. Coach/WR CJ Johnson recruited him.  

The Saints and Bears traded punts.  News gave-up a huge play in the running game, and it appeared Chicago was about to increase their lead over New Orleans.  But, the Saints defense gave Brees another chance before halftime.

  • New Orleans goes three and out. Brees attempt a long pass play to Tre'Quan Smith was incomplete. The Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller was covering Smith. 
  • After CB Lattimore squashed a screen pass to WR Cordelle Patterson, the Bears also go three and out and punt to the Saints.
  • Another three and out for the New Orleans offense. Morstead punts.
  • On 3rd and 1, David Montgomery found daylight. He ran for 38 yards and put the Bears into the red zone at New Orleans' 14 yard-line.  
Saints sack Foles

2:00 Warning

  • The New Orleans defense clamped down when Foles passed-up a high probability touchdown to Jimmy Graham and then threw an incompletion.   Graham's revenge game was a dud.  He caught 2 passes on 7 targets for 13 yards.  The longest was 11 yards.
  • Santos kicked his second field goal to extend the Bears lead before halftime to 13-3 over the Saints. 
  • Chicago left 1:43 left on the clock for Sean Payton and Drew Brees to cook-up another "before the half" drive for points.  
  • New Orleans starts their drive at their 32-yard line after the kickoff by Santos.
  • Saints RB Alvin Kamara picks-up a critical 1st down on a 4th & 1 call with 34 seconds left in the first half. Video Credit: WWL in New Orleans, LA; Announcer Zach Strief with the call.
  • Brees tossed a pass behind TE Jared Cook in the endzone with 12 seconds on the clock.
  • The next play, Brees connected with Cook for a Saints touchdown. 
  •  Lutz's extra point inches the Saints closer.  13-10 is the score, with New Orleans trailing by 3 points at halftime.
  • The touchdown gave New Orleans the momentum before the and after the half.
  • In 5 straight games in 2020, New Orleans has scored touchdowns before closing out the half.  

THE TOUCHDOWN

THE DRIVE: 9 plays, 68 yards

TIME: 1:36

KEY PLAYERS:  Brees, Kamara, and Cook

END OF THE FIRST HALF

SCORE: Saints - 10, Bears - 13

_____________________________________________________________

Saints News Halftime Report - Week 8 (Bears Game)

KEY FIRST-HALF STATS FOR NEW ORLEANS

  • Drew Brees:  16/18 for 148 yards; 116.7 QBR
  • Alvin Kamara: Rushing - 6 attempts, 35 yards, 5.8 yd/carry; Receiving - 7 receptions, 86 yards, 12.3 yards/rec.
  • Marshon Lattimore - 4 tackles
  • Sacks: 0
  • TFL: 2
  • First Downs:  11
  • Third Down Efficiency: 2-7 for 29%
  • Red Zone Efficiency: 1-2-50%
  • Time of Possession: 17:15

SIDENOTES FROM THE NFL ON ALVIN KAMARA

New Orleans running back ALVIN KAMARA had nine receptions and 163 scrimmage yards (96 receiving, 67 rushing) in the Saints' 26-23 overtime win at Chicago.

Kamara has 55 receptions this season and joins MATT FORTE (2008-11) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (2001-04) as the only running backs with at least 50 receptions in each of their first four seasons in league annals.