Bear With Us

SportsFootballChicago BearsCrimeCrime, Law and JusticeAhmad MerrittR.W. McQuarters

The Bears try to ride their momentum of their first win of the year into the New Orleans Superdome for a game against the equally struggling Saints.

If memory serves, the Bears were up 20-0 last season against the Saints in Champaign and ended up losing 29-23. That was the first loss of eight straight. It's time to repay the favor.

We're in Chicago for this game, but we've got it on TV. I'm a bit spent just from watching the marathoners run by my house this morning, so I'll try to stay awake.

Football soon. Stay tuned.

First quarter

The Bears kick and Donte Stallworth returns it out to the 35. Aaron Brooks swings one to Deuce McAllister for 8. Tack on 15 more after Alfonso Boone was called for hitting Brooks in the head. McAllister runs straight up the middle for about 11. Not a good sign the Bears haven't been able to stop the run all year and didn't there. After an incompletion, McAllister picks up 8 more to the Bears' 23. After a timeout with the play clock running down, Brooks scrambles but doesn't get the first. Fourth and 1. John Carney's 38-yard kick is wide left. Ahmad Merritt, forced into action with Booker out, drops a short Stewart pass. And then Stewart is pressured backwards 20 yards before throwing it away. Maynard's punt rolls into the end zone.

The Bears take over at the Saints' 28 and Anthony Thomas runs left for maybe a yard. Make that 3 yards. An interesting exchange between Kordell Stewart and Thomas part hand-off, part pitch, but it gets 5 more. Stewart keeps it himself on an option, but is stuffed at the line. Punt.

The first of many "Joe Millionaire" commercials Fox will run this afternoon. Does anyone really want to watch this show again?

Brooks throws one deep to Jerome Pathon, who gets tangled up with rookie cornerback Charles Tillman and draws an interference call. The Saints make it clear they want to test the rookie, but that call was questionable. Tillman was in perfect position and was looking at the ball. It moves the Saints all the way down to the Bears' 34. An illegal procedure call stalls the Saints momentarily. The Bears blitz and Brian Urlacher gets his hand on the ball and it falls incomplete. Carney comes on and kicks a 50-yard field goal.

Saints 3, Bears 0

Thomas runs for a few and then Stewart hits Marty Booker on a quick hit for a first down. In order to do anything, the Bears need to--have to--find Booker more. Thomas picks up 4. Stewart fakes to Thomas, keeps it himself and slides for the first. Booker takes an end around and is yanked down near the line of scrimmage and he's not getting up. Booker injured his ribs last week. Not sure what they're looking at. After a commercial, Stewart hits tight end Desmond Clark to bring up third and 7. Still not sure about Booker's status. He's on the bench talking to the doctors. So third and 7 out of the shotgun the Bears borrow a play from the Saints' NFL Films blooper reel. The snap flies over Stewart's head and rolls backwards for about 20 yards. Punt.

McAllister runs for a few and then breaks a big one with a move that took out both R.W. McQuarters and Mike Green. First down at the Bears' 43. Brooks then finds tight end Boo Williams for a first down. Boo got away with a push off there on Green. But again the Saints fizzle with a dropped pass and go for it on fourth down. The defense shows up and the Bears will take the ball.

Second quarter

Booker was back in there for the first play but then took himself out. It looks like both a knee and ankle. The Bears can't do anything either. After an incompletion and a short run by Thomas, Stewart keeps it himself and it brought down at the line. Punt coming as Booker walks to the locker room. Oh, man, Adrian Peterson just got blasted by a block on the punt. Offsetting penalties and the Saints take over at the spot of their foul, where ever that is.

Then Brooks bobbles the exchange to McAllister but falls on the ball. Tillman is flagged for another foul. Joe Horn then makes Tillman bite on an inside move but Horn drops a perfect pass from Brooks. Big break there. The Saints are called for holding and will punt. Alex Brown got around the end and was dragged down on the hold.

Bears start at their own 22 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the half. Stewart throws deep to Dez White on the first play and White holds on for a 36-yard gain. Thomas takes it up the middle for 4. And then follows big ol' Aaron Gibson right close to the marker before fumbling the ball. White recovers for the Bears, if it was even a fumble. Thomas may have been down. But it's ruled a fumble and it gives the Bears a first. Tight end Dustin Lyman starts in motion and then settles in the backfield in the fullback spot to pave the way for Thomas, who picks up another first with a 15 yard gain. Thomas then cuts back inside and picks up another 4. He's rushed 10 times for 54 yards. With two straight 100-yard games, it's safe to say the old Thomas is back. Stewart under pressure can't find a wide-open Clark, bringing up third-and-6 at the 10. That should've been a touchdown there. Stewart is nearly sacked, scrambles and then throws a ridiculous pass into a crowd in the end zone that should've been intercepted by Fred Thomas. Edinger's 28-yard kick is good.

Bears 3, Saints 3

Bobby Gray put a lick on Stallworth on the kickoff return, forcing a fumble, but it looks like the Saints recovered.

Brooks has forever back there and finds Stallworth for 21 yards as they continue to pick on Tillman. The Bears and Saints trade timeouts. Very weird. OK, back to football. McAllister picks up a first down, but it's erased by a holding penalty. First and 20 from the 29, Brooks' pass goes right through the hands of Ernie Conwell. That's about the third dropped pass for the Saints so far. Brooks guns one to Horn for an 18-yard gain. McAllister runs for the first. The fake to McAllister fakes out rookie linebacker Lance Briggs so much that he takes out McAllister in the back field. Instead Brooks completes it for 7. Brooks then takes a shot deep to the end zone for Horn, but R.W. McQuarters leaps and knocks it down. The play clock gets close and the Saints burn their last timeout. On third down, Brooks is pressured by Phillip Daniels and has to throw it out of bounds.

The Bears will start at their own 14 after a McQuarters fair catch. Thomas runs for a few and the Bears let the clock run down to the two-minute warning. Stewart keeps it and picks up the first, but then is sacked and fumbles the ball. The Saints recover at the 23. Not good.

McAllister runs for a couple, followed by a first-down scramble by Brooks. Brooks then finds Pathon at the 2. With no timeouts, Brooks spikes the ball. Mike Brown blitzes but it picked up and flipped in the backfield by McAllister. Brooks throws it away. The Saints are flagged for false start on the next play. Third and goal from the 7 now. Brooks hits fullback Terrelle Smith at the 3 and he's stacked up by about four Bears defenders. The Saints are called for illegal shift and the half ends. Wait. Ed Hochuli, the buffest ref in the league, asks for 1 second to be put on the clock. Interesting. Carney's kick gives the Saints the lead and Dick Jauron would like to have a talk with Hochuli.

Saints 6, Bears 3

Third quarter

Interesting stat by Fox: In four NLCS games the Cubs have out-scored the Bears in their four games 33-29.

Thomas is dropped at the line and then Stewart is hit and fumbles again and again the Saints recover. This time at the 11.

McAllister runs for a yard. I think we're approaching Grossman time, folks. Outside of a quarter against the Raiders, Stewart hasn't done anything all year. Touchdown Saints. Of course there's a flag, so you never know. Illegal man down field. Repeat third down. That's left tackle Wayne Gandy's second penalty of the day, both killers. Very Mike Gandy-esque. Scratch that. Call is reversed and it's a touchdown.

Saints 13, Bears 3

Thomas continues his sharp running, moving the Bears across midfield on a couple of nice efforts. Ahmad Merritt, forced into action with Booker out, drops a short Stewart pass. And then Stewart is pressured backwards 20 yards before throwing it away. Maynard's punt rolls into the end zone.

But the Saints fail to do anything themselves and punt the ball right back.

From their own 30, Stewart runs for 9. Steve Edwards then jumps and that moves them back 5. Nine steps forward, five back. It's been like this all year. Thomas is tripped up at the line, but Stewart finds White for a first down on the next play. Stewart looks for White again, this time for 18. Thomas and Stewart pick up consecutive firsts on the ground. First and 10 from the 24, Stanley Pritchett gets the ball for the first time and picks up about 5. Thomas gets close to the marker as the third quarter ends.

Fourth quarter

Thomas rumbles up the middle for the first and the Bears are in good shape. They're moving the ball nicely and they're in the red zone. Thomas stumbles at the line and then Stewart takes two shots at the end zone. A lob to White is broken up by Fred Thomas and a pass to David Terrell in the other corner is out of bounds. Edinger kicks a field goal.

Saints 13, Bears 6

Brooks and McAllister move the Saints past midfield. Brooks scrambles for a first at the Bears' 38. McAllister is then dropped in the backfield by rookie linebacker Joe Odom, playing for the injured Warrick Holdman. Brooks comes back and hits Pathon, covered by Tillman, at the 25. Brooks pass is tipped but no Bear defender can get there before it falls to the turf. Brooks throws another bad ball, the Saints are flagged for jumping, but Brooks hits Pathon on third down at the 7. McAllister falls foward for maybe a yard and then Brooks has to throw it away. Third and goal. Brooks fires it to Horn in the end zone for the touch down.

Saints 20, Bears 6

The Bears' offense wakes up, perhaps too late. Stewart hits White for 20 yards and then finds Merritt down to the Saints' 20. Stewart is flushed, flags fly and Stewart throws it aways. Holding against the Bears. They go backwards again. Stewart throws it high to Terrell then picks up 7 yards on the ground. A field goal is worthless here. Third and 14. The play clock runs down and the Bears use their first timeout. This is the game right here. Stewart hits Clark for a 17-yard gain and a first down. They're down 14 and they're walking back to the huddle. Let's hustle up, people. Stewart throws another one to the corner for Terrell and he's out of bounds again. Terrell has caught three balls today on the wrong side of the sideline. Stewart scrambles and does a whole lot of running for a one-yard gain. Fourth and goal. The Bears let 25 seconds run off the clock and then call timeout. The Saints come with the blitz and Stewart hits a leaping White in the end zone. If I'm Jim Haslett I challenge that. The ball was moving around in there. I'm not Jim Haslett. The play stands as the Bears kick the PAT.

Saints 20, Bears 13

The Bears line up for an on-side kick and the Saints call timeout. The rarely seen icing of the kicker on the kickoff. The kick bounces out of bounds and with the new rule, the Bears will not get another shot at that. Saints' ball with 2:09 remaining.

The Saints snap it directly to McAllister and he picks up the first. That should do it. A couple of knees by Brooks and that officially does it.

The Bears return to their losing ways, while the Saints are happy to get just their second win of the season. If it's any consolation, Bears fans, the Cubs are a game away from the Series.

Next week we'll be on the road in Seattle. See you there.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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