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Bears kick a big dent in Saints’ playoff hopes

associated press

Robbie Gould and the Chicago Bears handed Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints another devastating loss at Soldier Field.

Gould kicked the tying field goal at the end of regulation and booted a 35-yarder in overtime to lift the Chicago Bears to a 27-24 victory on Thursday night, giving their playoff hopes a boost.

After leaving Chicago with season-ending losses the last two years, the Saints looked as if they were ready to end that trend. Instead, their slim playoff hopes took another blow.

Brees connected with Marques Colston for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 3:05 left in regulation to give New Orleans its first lead at 24-21, but Gould’s 28-yard field goal as time expired sent the game into overtime.

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The Bears won the coin toss, and got another big break when the Saints’ Roman Harper bumped Devin Hester on a deep pass down the middle to set Chicago up at the 15.

After Orton put the ball in the middle of the field, Gould ended it with a 35-yarder.

The Bears still need plenty of help to reach the postseason.

The Bears (8-6) are half a game behind NFC North leader Minnesota, but the Vikings hold the tiebreaker. Chicago also is half a game out of a wild-card spot.

The last-place Saints (7-7) still have a shot at the wild card but can forget about catching NFC South leader Carolina.

Brees, challenging Dan Marino’s single-season passing yardage record, completed 24 of 43 passes for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He looked more like himself late in the game after a miserable first half. Harassed by the defense, Brees was only 10 of 24 for 93 yards and a 49.5 rating in the first two quarters as Chicago grabbed a 21-7 lead.


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