PRO FOOTBALL

Saints hand Bears 2nd loss in row

2013-10-06T18:00:00Z 2013-10-08T00:12:08Z Saints hand Bears 2nd loss in rowAl Hamnik al.hamnik@nwi.com, (219) 933-4154 nwitimes.com
October 06, 2013 6:00 pm  • 

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Anyone knowing the difference between a football and a meatball knows the New Orleans Saints take a pass-first, ask-questions-later approach to each game.

Sunday's 26-18 win over the Bears, which wasn't that close, saw Drew Brees throw for 288 yards and two touchdowns — both to T.F. South grad Thomas — and the Saints run for only 66 yards.

Brees targeted eight different receivers and six caught passes.

The Bears' Jay Cutler passed for 358 yards, 218 of it going to Alshon Jeffery, and touchdowns to Jeffery and Brandon Marshall.

The bigger story was a Bears' defense that had 14 takeaways leading to 55 points in its first four games, both league bests, but was shut out by the Saints.

"We played OK," said right end Julius Peppers, who did not have a tackle and has just seven this season. "It wasn't a great performance but it wasn't horrible.

"Yeah, it's frustrating but we're gonna work through it."

How, he was asked.

"I don't have a lot of time to sit here and explain to you what goes into pressures and how we pass rush and do different things," Peppers said, getting a bit testy. "I'll just say it hasn't been good enough.

"We're not gonna make excuses for it. We're gonna work this week and try to get it corrected. We can't sit around and wait for someone to rescue us. We gotta play with the guys we have."

The Bears (3-2) have only eight sacks this season.

"It was tough," Peppers said. "They try to get you with big plays and that's what they did today. They do a good job of it."

New Orleans (5-0) never trailed and held a comfortable 26-10 lead until a Bears' garbage TD — Cutler's short toss to Marshall — with 2:11 remaining.

Robbie Gould then failed to retrieve the football on an onside kick, leaving him 0-for-11 in his career.

Marshall had four catches for 30 yards and was not happy afterward but chose to bite his tongue rather than go off on anyone.

"They (Saints defense) weren't going to let him have a good day," Cutler said. "They were doubling him in the slot and in the red zone they were doubling him up over the top.

"They decided 'Hey, it's not going to happen.' They were going to take him out of the ballgame. He might be frustrated but we have to keep getting better and he understands that."

The Bears have a quick turnaround with the Giants coming to town Thursday night and some insiders fear a third straight loss could threaten team morale.

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