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Sputtering Bears offense blows chance to take NFC North lead in loss to Saints

Jason Owens
·2-min read

The Chicago Bears defense came up with two big stops late on Sunday.

But their offense couldn’t capitalize in a 26-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

The Bears forced Saints punts on their last possession of the fourth quarter and the first possession of overtime. But a third-down overtime sack of Bears quarterback Nick Foles ended their last, best chance to win the game.

Given a second chance in the extra session, Drew Brees avoided a similar drive-killing sack and led the Saints into field goal range, where Wil Lutz connected from 35 yards to secure the win.

Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) is sacked by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (98) and defensive end Brent Urban (92) in the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) is sacked by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (98) and defensive end Brent Urban (92) in the first half of an NFL game in Chicago, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Bears blow chance to take NFC North lead

The Saints improved to 5-2 to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South. With the loss, the Bears dropped to 5-3 and missed a chance to take sole possession of the NFC North lead after a loss by the 5-2 Green Bay Packers earlier Sunday.

It’s a familiar story in Chicago, which has now lost two straight following a 5-1 start and has struggled on offense whether Foles or Mitchell Trubisky is under center.

Foles was effective at times on Sunday, throwing a pair of big second-quarter passes, including a 50-yarder to Darnell Mooney on a touchdown drive to take a 10-3 lead.

It was the first offensive touchdown for the Bears in six quarters. They would go on to score another on another Foles pass to Mooney, but too many mistakes on offense doomed the Bears.

Nick Foles under fire all day

Foles took five sacks on the day, including the overtime sack on third down when the Bears needed just a field goal to win. He also threw an interception as Chicago mounted 329 yards of total offense compared to 394 for the Saints. He finished completing 28 of 41 pass attempts for 272 yards.

Alvin Kamara led the charge for New Orleans with 67 rushing yards and 96 yards through the air on six catches. Meanwhile, Brees connected on 31 of 41 pass attempts for 280 with a pair of touchdowns.

It wasn’t a prolific day from Brees. But he took only one sack and didn’t turn the ball over in a stark contrast from Foles and Chicago’s offense.

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