CLUTCH LUTZ: Saints Escape Bears in Wild Windy City Showdown

It took extra football, but the Saints are 5-2 after surviving the Bears in Chicago.
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CHICAGO -- The New Orleans Saints are 5-2 after having to play extra time against the Bears on Sunday. Sean Payton's squad escaped with a hard-fought road win after knocking off the Bears late in overtime 26-23. They've now won six straight against the Bears, dating back to 2011.

Game Recap

The Saints took their opening drive after losing the coin toss and having Chicago defer 55 yards in 12 plays that took 6:47 off the clock. The drive saw some heavy doses of Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray, but it stalled out near the red zone after three rough plays. Drew Brees didn't target a single wide receiver on the drive, but New Orleans jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after a 38-yard Wil Lutz field goal.

Chicago would put together a scoring drive of their own, taking 7 minutes off the clock on a 14-play, 49-yard drive to tie things up a 3-3 after a 44-yard field goal from Cairo Santos. The big play on the Bears drive saw David Montgomery take an innocent toss play on a 3rd and 7 and get a first down for Chicago. There were plenty of guilty Saints defenders who missed tackles.

New Orleans had put together another good drive, especially after a big hookup to Alvin Kamara out of the backfield. They were poised to answer, however their 9-play, 79-yard drive would not see any points after Lutz missed his first field goal of the season after 27-yard attempt dinged the upright. It was a drive that the Saints started at their own 12-yard line after a personal foul wedge penalty was called on the kickoff. 

The Bears would capitalize after the missed field goal, and it took just 4 plays for them to move 80 yards. Nick Foles hooked up with Darnell Mooney for a big 50-yard pass play, and would find Allen Robinson from 24 yards out to take a 10-3 lead. Both Janoris Jenkins and Marshon Lattimore were beat in coverage on the plays.

Both teams would trade 3-and-outs on the ensuing possessions, with the Saints actually turning in two of them. Chicago would get a field goal right before halftime after a 7-play, 50-yard drive. David Montgomery had a big run of 38 on the drive. On the play, Sheldon Rankins would get hurt after a left leg injury. He'd make it to the sidelines under his own power, but would eventually go to the locker room after getting treatment in the injury tent. Santos converted a 29-yard field goal to put the Bears up 13-3 with under two minutes to play in the half.

The Saints went to work with their two-minute offense, going 68 yards in 9 plays. However, it was the 3rd down play and 4th down gamble that kept it alive. On 3rd and 13, Alvin Kamara took an innocent looking pass play near the line of scrimmage for 12 yards, and the Saints went for it on 4th and 1 with 34 seconds left. A big pass interference penalty on Kyle Fuller put the Saints inside the Bears' 20-yard line, and Brees find Jared Cook from 16 yards out to cut the lead to 13-10 to go into halftime.

The New Orleans defense would get a big stop to start the second half after several plays, which led to a big 42-yard Deonte Harris punt return to get down to the Bears' 16-yard line. Unfortunately, the Saints couldn't do anything with their series, and settled on a 27-yard field goal from Lutz to tie the game at 13-13 with 9:19 left in the 3rd quarter.

The ensuing Bears offensive possession was weird, because Javon Wims decided to go after and punch C.J. Gardner-Johnson twice, getting disqualified in the process. On the very next play, Foles threw an interception to Marshon Lattimore. The Saints would gain some traction, even converting a 4th down attempt on the short drive, but would stall out. However, they'd take the lead 16-13 with 5:04 left in the quarter.

After another Saints defensive stop, New Orleans looked to make good use of the field position, but went backwards on the first play while Brees and Kamara couldn't hook up on the next play. It set up a 3rd and 13, where Brees found Tre'Quan Smith for a gain of 12. The Saints gambled for it on 4th down, but would come up short on the toss to Kamara. 

The Bears wouldn't be able to take advantage of the short field, even going for it on 4th down themselves. Marshon Lattimore dropped a sure pick, which ended up being a good thing for field position's sake. This time, New Orleans would cash in. They drove down the field, going 64 yards in 7 plays that was capped off by Brees connecting with a wide open Taysom Hill for a 20-yard touchdown. It put the Saints up 23-13 with 9:57 left in the game.

Chicago would answer with a touchdown drive of their own, marching down the field 75 yards in 11 plays on a drive that took 6:25. A big Demario Davis pass interference penalty in the end zone on 3rd and 12 set the Bears up with a goal-to-go situation. The Saints defense would look good on the first two downs, but Foles would find Darnell Mooney on 3rd and Goal for the score to cut the Saints lead to 3 with 3:32 left.

New Orleans would run things down to the two-minute warning after going three-and-out. It looked like the game would be put away after Demario Davis made a great individual play to force a fumble, but the officials ruled that the forward progress of Cole Kmet was stopped and gave the ball back to Chicago. The Bears got two key fourth down conversions, while New Orleans got a big sack from Cam Jordan to force a 3rd and 18 from the Saints' 48-yard line with 23 seconds to go. However, Chicago did enough to get into field goal range, as Cairo Santos converted on a 51-yard field goal with 13 seconds to tie the game.

Overtime

The Saints won the overtime coin toss, as Malcolm Jenkins called tails. Brees hit Austin Carr on the first play to pickup a first down, and then connected with Jared Cook for 9 on the next play. New Orleans would get into Bears territory, but faced a 4th and 2 and tried to draw Chicago offsides. They'd end up punting, with the Bears taking over at their 19-yard line.

The Bears would face a 3rd and 15 after a big David Onyemata sack on the drive, and looked to force a punt. However, C.J. Gardner-Johnson was called for a defensive holding penalty, which gave the Bears some new life. It was short-lived after Foles couldn't connect with his receivers on the first two downs, and Trey Hendrickson would come up with a sack of his own to force a punt and give the Saints back the ball with 3:48 left.

New Orleans would move the football pretty well to start, which included a big Taysom Hill 10-yard rush and 14-yard hookup from Brees to Tre'Quan Smith. By the two-minute warning, the Saints had a 1st and 10 from the Bears' 38 yard-line. A big run on the right side with Kamara put the Saints at the Bears' 11-yard line, and then Wil Lutz was call 'game' after knocking through the game-winning 35-yard field goal.

Next up for the Saints is a Week 9 primetime NFC South showdown rematch against Tom Brady and the Bucs on Sunday Night Football.