Saints 20, Bears 13

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NEW ORLEANS (AP)—The Chicago Bears had just what the New Orleans Saints needed—one of the NFL’s worst defenses.

Aaron Brooks threw two touchdown passes to lead the Saints to a 20-13 victory over the Bears on Sunday.

Brooks connected with Joe Horn on a 6-yard scoring pass with 7:18 left for the clinching score as the Saints won for the second time in six games. The Bears fell to 1-4.

The game was far from a gem, but Brooks said “the most important thing is we came out of here with a win.”

After playing the league’s toughest schedule in the first five games— against opponents who combined for a 17-5 record—New Orleans didn’t look great in managing just 283 total yards. But it was enough to turn back the Bears.

“We know what to do, but we’re not doing it,” Horn said. “We’re dropping the ball, making mistakes. It hurts us.”

Deuce McAllister did the bulk of the work for the Saints with 116 yards on 29 carries, while Brooks was 14-of-29 for 153 yards.

“It’s just one win,” McAllister said. “But at least it’s a win. Now we have to try to get a couple more.”

The Bears, ranked 28th on defense and 32nd and last on offense, scored their only touchdown—a 4-yard pass from Kordell Stewart to Dez White with 2:10 left in the game.

“I didn’t play up to my standards and we lost plain and simple,” Stewart said. “When you have an opportunity you have to seize it.”

Before that touchdown, Chicago had two field goals from Paul Edinger—a 28-yarder in the second quarter and a 31-yarder in the fourth.

“We’re obviously not where we want to be,” Bears coach Dick Jauron said. “Our margin of error is so small.”

Stewart, who had three fumbles and was sacked three times, was 10-of-21 for 152 yards. Anthony Thomas, coming off back-to-back 100-yard outings, had 96 yards on 21 carries.

New Orleans went up 13-3 on the opening series of the second half. Stewart was sacked and fumbled, giving the Saints the ball on the Chicago 12. After two runs by McAllister, Brooks found Ernie Conwell for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 13-3.

The Saints’ frustration early in the game continued. For a change, they moved the ball, but only close enough to set up a 38-yard field goal attempt by John Carney, which went wide left. On New Orleans’ second possession, Carney hit a 50-yarder to put the Saints up 3-0 with 7:53 left in the first quarter.

The Bears tied it on a 28-yard field goal with 7:40 left in the half.

New Orleans took a 6-3 lead into the halftime break. It looked as if they would end the first half tied, but a penalty on Chicago gave them just time enough for Carney to hit a 30-yard field goal.

Notes

It was the Saints’ 25th straight sellout in the Louisiana Superdome … It was the third straight game in which the Saints’ opponent started a Louisiana-born quarterback: Colts’ Peyton Manning, Panthers’ Jake Delhomme, Bears’ Kordell Stewart … Third-year New Orleans RB Deuce McAllister, who had just 16 carries in his rookie season, had his 11th career 100-yard rushing game and his third of this season … Saints C Jerry Fontenot started his 90th consecutive game since signing in 1997 as a free agent From Chicago, where he started 89 straight games … Chicago DE Phillip Daniels and New Orleans DECharles Grant are cousins.

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