NFC North: Steve Maricucci

This is Bears football

December, 11, 2008
12/11/08
9:59
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert

A few thoughts at halftime as Chicago leads New Orleans, 21-7:

  • This game has played out in a fashion that is relatively predictable when an indoor/warm-weather team plays outside in cold temperatures and on a ragged field. The Saints look overwhelmed and, frankly, shocked that this game actually is being played outdoors. They have committed four penalties for 59 yards, given up two long kickoff returns to Danieal Manning and are getting dominated by Chicago's defensive line.
  • The Bears have made one crucial mistake, a botched snap between center Olin Kreutz and quarterback Kyle Orton that led to the Saints' touchdown. Otherwise, they've played conservative and mostly error-free football. NFL Network coach Steve Mariucci just called this a "vanilla game," and that's exactly the kind of game the Bears need it to be.
  • Was it me, or did Orton's sprained ankle look awfully healthy on his 6-yard touchdown run just before half?
  • I'll be back with you in the second half if news warrants. Otherwise, check back afterwards for a wrap-up of postgame implications.

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