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Sunday, September 18, 2011
Wrap-up: Saints 30, Bears 13

By Pat Yasinskas

Thoughts on the New Orleans Saints’ victory against the Chicago Bears at the Superdome.

What it means: The Saints are 1-1 after facing two NFC North powerhouses. That’s not a bad spot to be in, because the schedule appears to get easier going forward. No matter what happens with Atlanta’s game Sunday night, the Saints will at least be tied for first place in the division.

What I liked: Drew Brees and Sean Payton usually do a nice job of spreading the ball around among their receivers, tight ends and running backs. With No. 1 receiver Marques Colston out with an injury, that didn’t change anything. The Saints simply got guys like tight end Jimmy Graham and Adrian Arrington more involved and the offense didn’t miss a beat.

What else I liked: The defense got some redemption after a horrible performance in the opener against Green Bay. The Saints were very aggressive against the Bears. They didn’t completely shut them down, but they stopped some drives by a good offense. That’s all you have to do when you have Brees and the New Orleans offense.

Unsung hero: Defensive end Turk McBride might have made the play of the game when he had a sack and forced fumble midway through the third quarter. At that point, the Saints had a 16-13 lead, but Jonathan Vilma recovered the fumble and Brees and the offense quickly punched the ball in for a touchdown and took control of the game.

Upgrade of the year: Running back Darren Sproles is what Reggie Bush always was supposed to be. Sproles can do a little bit of everything and he does it all very well.

Good news on the horizon: Defensive end Will Smith was suspended for the first two games. He’s eligible to return in Week 3.

What’s next: The Saints host the Houston Texans next Sunday.