Wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher got increased snaps after Earl Bennett sustained a knee injury, and the rookie from Ohio State caught three passes for 33 yards, including his first NFL TD, an 8-yard grab that gave the Chicago Bears a 7-0 lead.
"Obviously, at the time it feels good to get one in there," he said afterward, "but at the moment now, it doesn't seem like that big of a highlight, coming in a loss."
Sanzenbacher also took a vicious hit from Malcolm Jenkins on an overthrown pass. A welcome to the NFL moment?
"It's one of them," he said. "You know that's part of the game if you're going to go play in the middle. There's going to be guys flying around, and sometimes you have to take those."
--LB Brian Urlacher attended his mother's funeral in Lovington, New Mexico, on Saturday and was in his usual spot at middle linebacker Sunday.
The seven-time Pro Bowl player did not want to address personal questions after the game but acknowledged the support he received in the days since his mother's passing last Monday. He downplayed the difficulty of his situation.
"I've got great teammates," Urlacher said. "It was a football game, you know? I came to get ready, just like I normally do. Just a normal day. I went out there and played."
LB Brian Urlacher
Urlacher and the Bears' defense was riddled by Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns and had a passer rating of 118.1.
"He's a good quarterback," Urlacher said. "I'm sure there are some breakdowns on our end, which usually don't happen. But he's a good quarterback. They have a good scheme, and he knows where to go with the football. You're not going to trick them too much."
--WR Earl Bennett is expected out this week. He bruised his chest and sustained possible internal injuries when he took a helmet to the midsection in the second quarter and was unable to return.
--S Major Wright left the game after sustaining what coach Lovie Smith called head and neck injuries in a collision with Saints TE Jimmy Graham. It appeared as though Wright lost consciousness as he lay motionless, face down on the ground for several moments.
--WR Roy Williams (groin) is expected back at practice this week after missing Week 2.
--DE Corey Wootton (knee) is expected back for Week 3. He practiced all of last week but was inactive on Sunday, giving him some extra time to get back to 100 percent.
--RB Marion Barber (calf) should practice more this week. He was limited on Wednesday of last week but then suffered a setback and did not practice on Thursday or Friday. He did not play in either of the first two games.
Report Card vs. Saints
PASSING OFFENSE: D - Jay Cutler played OK in the first half before the Bears decided to abandon the run game and he wound up running for his life, getting sacked six times and completing just 19 of 45 passes. Many of his passes were hurried, even when he wasn't sacked. Johnny Knox wasn't bad (two catches, 45 yards), but he didn't play well enough to take his starting job back from injured Roy Williams, who was out. Rookie Dane Sanzenbacher had the Bears' only TD, but he also had a drop, as did Devin Hester, who was mostly invisible. RB Matt Forte supplied most of the firepower with 117 yards on 10 receptions.
RUSHING OFFENSE: C - Maybe Matt Forte could have helped the Bears make it a game, if he got a few more carries, but he had just 10 rushing attempts for 49 yards, although he did have a 42-yard run that set up the only TD. The Bears had just 12 rushing plays, including one scramble by QB Jay Cutler.
PASS DEFENSE: D - Drew Brees was rarely pressured, and even when he was, he always seemed to get the ball off before getting touched. Julius Peppers never really showed up and Israel Idonije had the only sack. The safeties were horrible. Injured SS Chris Harris can't get back soon enough. As usual, cornerback Charles Tillman forced a fumble, and he recovered it, too. Can anybody else make a play on the ball?
RUSH DEFENSE: C - The defensive line wasn't much of a factor against the run either. LB Lance Briggs had a team-best 11 tackles but there were few big plays, although LB Nick Roach had a tackle for loss.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B - Robbie Gould made both FG attempts, from 42 and 38 yards. Adam Podlesh punted very well, and he and coverage teams permitted explosive Darren Sproles just 1 return yard on eight boots. Returns were average.
COACHING: D - As a team, the Bears looked unprepared, especially on offense, where Mike Martz called 11 run plays, including just two in the second half and none in the fourth quarter. Blitz pickup was horrendous, but at least they threw the ball to Matt Forte, who was essentially the entire offense.
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