Final/OT

Saints 24

(7-7, 1-6 away)

Bears 27

(8-6, 5-2 home)

Coverage: NFL

8:15 PM ET, December 11, 2008

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 

1 2 3 4 OT T
NO 0 7 7 10 024
CHI 7 14 0 3 327

Top Performers

Passing: D. Brees (NO) - 232 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: P. Thomas (NO) - 22 CAR, 87 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Colston (NO) - 6 REC, 84 YDS, 1 TD

Brees, Saints suffer devastating loss in overtime

Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Robbie Gould raced over to his tee on the Chicago Bears sideline after the New Orleans Saints tried to ice him with a timeout in overtime Thursday night.

Fast Facts

• The Saints outscored the Bears 17-3 in the second half to force overtime but never saw the ball in the extra period. Robbie Gould's 35-yard field goal on the first drive of overtime won it for Chicago.

• Including the postseason, the Bears have won their last nine home games with a kickoff temperature below 32 degrees.

• The Saints fall to 1-6 on the road this season.

• Drew Brees now has 4,332 passing yards through 14 games, and needs 752 over his final two game to tie Dan Marino's single-season record (5,084).

-- ESPN research

• Rapid Reaction

After a practice kick, Gould walked back onto the field and booted the Saints out of Soldier Field with another devastating loss. He connected from 35 yards on Chicago's first possession of overtime, lifting the Bears to a 27-24 victory that boosted their playoff hopes.

"I like it," Gould said. "I get an opportunity to get a warmup kick in but also see and judge exactly how the wind is blowing. For me, I wish every coach would do that and give me the opportunity. They say ice, but I don't think it really works."

Catch A Fire

With his five receptions against the Saints, running back Matt Forte broke the Bears record for most catches by a rookie. Here's a look at the list:


Most Receptions by a Rookie in Bears History
Year Player Catches
2008 Matt Forte 58
1961 Mike Ditka 56
1954 Harlan Hill 45
1983 Willie Gault 40

After leaving Chicago with season-ending losses the past two years, the Saints looked as if they were ready to end their frustration. Instead, their slim playoff hopes took another blow thanks to Gould, who also converted a 28-yarder on the final play of regulation.

Drew Brees hit Marques Colston for an 11-yard touchdown pass with just over 3 minutes left in regulation to give New Orleans its first lead at 24-21.

Kyle Orton responded by leading the Bears on a tying drive, setting up overtime between the 7-6 teams.

The Bears won the coin toss, and got another big break when the Saints' Roman Harper interfered with Devin Hester on a deep pass down the middle to set Chicago up at the 15. After Orton stumbled back and put the ball in the middle of the field, Gould knocked the kick through the uprights.

Just Bear-ley

Thursday's victory over the Saints marked the second time this year the Bears have played an extra period. The first, a 27-24 loss to the Bucs in Week 3, was just as close. Here's a look:


Chicago Bears OT Games
This Season
Week 3 Week 15
Opponent Bucs Saints
Result Lost Won
Final 27-24 27-24

"You've got to know that Robbie is a Pro bowl kicker," Hester said. "That's what he was there for. In a situation like that you know that he is good for it. That pass interference was a big part of a victory. It set up the field goal in range and all we had to do was kind of keep the ball in the middle of the field and give Robbie a shot."

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

Chicago Bears New Orleans Saints

NFL.com Video

Watch highlights from the Chicago Bears' 27-24 win over the New Orleans Saints.

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

It was another rough night in Chicago for New Orleans (7-7), which lost the NFC championship game here two years ago and saw its slim postseason hopes vanish with a loss on the final day last season at Soldier Field. The last-place Saints still have a shot at the wild card, but can forget about catching NFC South leader Carolina.

"Who makes the schedule?" tight end Billy Miller said. "Why can't they come down to the dome?"

Brees, challenging Dan Marino's single-season record for yards passing, was 24-of-43 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 just 10-of-24 with 93 yards and a 49.5 rating in the first two quarters as Chicago grabbed a 21-7 lead.

"Every time we've played them we've been in a similar situation," Brees said. "They've gotten the best of us."

Danieal Manning returned the opening kickoff 83 yards for a touchdown and helped set up Matt Forte's 1-yard TD run with a 52-yard return early in the second as the Bears grabbed a 14-7 lead. Forte's score came after Jason David grabbed Hester as he tried to catch a deep pass down the middle, putting the ball on the 5.

Cold and Breesy

Drew Brees doesn't seem to enjoy a chill. The Saints quarterback extended his winless record in weather under 45 degrees with the overtime loss to the Bears in Chicago. Here's a look:

Brees under 45 degrees,
since 2005 (incl. playoffs)
Record 0-5
Comp. pct. 58.2
TD-Int. 9-6
Rating 79.0

Orton's 6-yard scramble in the closing minute of the half made it a 14-point game.

With their second straight win and third in four games, the Bears finally appear to be hitting their stride after a 23-10 win over Jacksonville on Sunday. They'll try to make it three in a row -- something they haven't done since the 2006 Super Bowl season -- at Green Bay a week from Monday.

Chicago native and Illinois product Pierre Thomas started the Saints' comeback with a 42-yard touchdown run that made it 21-14 with 3:44 left in the third. Josh Bullucks set up the score, intercepting an Orton pass when it deflected off wide receiver Rashied Davis.

Glenn Pakulak kicked a 30-yard field goal with just over 9 minutes left to set the stage for Brees' go-ahead pass to Colston.

Thomas finished with 87 yards rushing and 59 receiving.

Chicago got a scare early when Forte limped to the sideline with a toe injury after his first attempt -- a run for no gain on the left side. He finished with 34 yards rushing and 29 receiving.

Orton was 24-of-40 with 172 yards and two interceptions.

The Saints got some good news before the game when a judge in Minnesota extended his injunction against the suspensions of Will Smith, Deuce McAllister and Charles Grant along with the Vikings' Kevin Williams and Pat Williams for violating the NFL's anti-doping policy.

Smith started at defensive end. McAllister was inactive and Grant (torn triceps) is on injured reserve.

But in the end, the Saints had another rough stay in Chicago -- a place where they've experienced their share of frustration in recent years.

"It's frustrating for everybody," said Reggie Bush, who sprained his knee in the first half and sat out the second even though he said he was fine.

Game notes


Saints starting LT Jammal Brown sat out with an ankle injury. ... Chicago was without veteran WR Marty Booker, who injured his ribs in Sunday's game against Jacksonville and has been bothered by knee and hamstring problems.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
NO
CHI
1st Downs2216
Passing 1st downs
149
Rushing 1st downs
75
1st downs from penalties
12
3rd down efficiency
7-175-12
4th down efficiency
1-20-1
Total Plays7662
Total Yards345226
Yards per play4.53.6
Total Drives1315
Passing226171
Comp-Att
24-4324-41
Yards per pass
5.14.1
Interceptions thrown
22
Sacks-Yards Lost
1-61-1
Rushing11955
Rushing Attempts
3220
Yards per rush
3.72.8
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-42-4
Penalties5-974-24
Turnovers23
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
22
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession36:3226:14

Passing Leaders

NOC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brees24/432325.4221-6
CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Orton24/401724.3021-1
Maynard0/100.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

NOCARYDSAVGTDLG
Thomas22874.0142
Bush6305.0013
CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Forte11343.118
Peterson5153.009

Receiving Leaders

NORECYDSAVGTDLG
Colston68414.0124
Thomas7598.4114
CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Hester44611.5020
Olsen8455.6010

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERNOCHI
chiTD15:00Danieal Manning 83 Yard Kickoff Return (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 83 yds, 0:00
07
SECOND QUARTERNOCHI
noTD9:58Pierre Thomas 2 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 1 yds, 0:42
77
chiTD7:46Matt Forte 1 Yard Run (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 41 yds, 2:10
714
chiTD0:55Kyle Orton 6 Yard Run (Robbie Gould Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 42 yds, 2:23
721
THIRD QUARTERNOCHI
noTD3:53Pierre Thomas 42 Yard Run (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 45 yds, 0:42
1421
FOURTH QUARTERNOCHI
noFG9:11Garrett Hartley 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, 63 yds, 7:43
1721
noTD3:10Marques Colston 11 Yard Pass From Drew Brees (Garrett Hartley Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 31 yds, 2:12
2421
chiFG0:02Robbie Gould 28 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 60 yds, 3:05
2424
OVERTIMENOCHI
chiFG12:19Robbie Gould 35 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 52 yds, 2:46
2427