The Chicago Bears travel to New Orleans this week to take on the Saints at Caesars Superdome. Chicago limps into the game with a 2-6 record. New Orleans holds a 4-4 record but is tied with Atlanta for first place in the weak NFC South.
New Orleans has not been friendly to the Bears. New Orleans was granted a franchise in the mid-sixties and began play in 1967. Their home field was Tulane Stadium until the Superdome was built in the 70s. They moved into the Superdome in 1975. The Bears have only won three games at the Superdome: in 1975, 1991 against the Saints, and when the Bears won Super Bowl XX in 1986.
New Orleans leads the series 17-13 and has won the last seven games.
There are two great games in this series. We review them in this article:
2006 NFC Championship
Chicago hosted the NFC title game on January 21, 2007. It was the first time since the Bears had advanced to the conference championship since 1988. The Bears defense was dominant early, and offensively, the Bears were moving the ball but failed to score touchdowns. After three Robbie Gould field goals, Thomas Jone scored the first touchdown of the game late in the second quater t the lead to extend the lead to 16-0, two minutes before halftime.
Drew Brees finally got the Saints offense moving and led the team on a 70-yard drive to cut the lead to 16-7 before the end of the second quarter.
The Bears received the opening kick of the second half but were forced to punt after just four plays. After a Saints penalty during the punt return, the Saints began their first drive of the third quarter, backed up on their own seven yard line. After gaining five yards on first dow, Drew Brees found Reggie Bush and he rambled 88 yards for a touchdown, cutting the Bears lead to just two points.
The Bears offense continued to sputter throughout the third quarter, The only scoring was a safety awarded to Chicago after Drew Brees was called for an intentional grounding penalty that occurred in the end zone with 5:32 left in the third period.
The Bears put the game away with three 4th quarter touchdowns. Res Grossman found Bernard Berrian for a 33 yard TD eaely in the quarter. On the Saints next possession Adewale Ogunleye sacked Brees for a 4-yard loss. Head coach Lovie Smith challenged the play and after review the play was ruled a fumble which was recovered by Ogunleye. Five plays later Cedric Benson scored on a 12-yard run, to make the score 32-14.
After a Nathan Vasher interception, Thomas Jones scored on a 15-yard run to make the final score 39-14.
October 7, 1984: Walter Payton eclipses Jim Brown’s rushing record.
Just before halftime, Walter Payton scored a 1-yard TD, giving him 64 yards on the day, just two yards shy of Jim Brown’s all-time rushing record of 12,312 yards. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house as the third quarter began. The Bears were set to receive the second half kickoff. On second play Payton took a pitchout from Jim McMahon and ran around left end for a 7-yard gain that gave him the rushing title.
Payton would finish the day with 154 yards on the ground, and the game ended with the Bears winning, 20-7.
News and Notes
Tyson Bagent makes his third consecutive start at QB. Justin Fields has not practiced this week.
Braxton Jones is in the second week of his 3-week window after being designated to return from the injured list. The Bears hope to have him in the game to shore up the left side of the offensive line.