Turning Point: Offense Produces in the Clutch

The Bears had chances to put the Saints away in the second half, but struggled to take advantage of opportunities. However, when it counted the offense did just enough to come away with the win.

Heading into the matchup with New Orleans, Thomas Jones accounted for 43.0 percent of the teams' total offense through seven games. In the fist half against the Saints, he had 40 yards rushing on 11 carries, but didn't play in the final 30 minuets because he reinjured his ribs.

Adrian Peterson and Cedric Benson combined for 137 yards and a touchdown in place of Jones. They also combined for three runs of at least 26 yards.

On a six play, 94-yard drive Peterson accounted for 51 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown run that put the Bears ahead 17-10 midway through the third quarter.

Benson led the team in rushing with 79 yards on 14 carries. He showed the ability to turn nothing into something, as he ran into a wall of defenders at the line of scrimmage the rookie broke away from the group and turned up field for a career long 36-yard gain. On the game winning drive, the rookie sparked the offense with a 26-yard run to move the ball in New Orleans territory.

As the Saints defense started to crowd the line of scrimmage, Kyle Orton threw a touch pass to Muhsin Muhammad for a 22-yard completion on third and five.

The fresh set of downs allowed the offense to run down the clock and Robbie Gould to kick game—winning field goal.

In two road loses, the offense had the ball with a chance to tie or win the game in the closing minutes. Both opportunities resulted in turnovers, but the third time proved to be the charm for the Bears.

While the team wasn't trailing when they took the ball with 4:08 on the clock, putting together a drive to keep the game from going to overtime for a second straight week should be something to build on for the rest of the season.

The defense didn't have a great effort against New Orleans, especially in the first half when New Orleans ran for 104 yards. Still the unit forced four turnovers and three sacks.

Being able to win a game without Jones on the field in crunch time is also a step forward. There's a chance he will not play against San Francisco in an effort to get him healthy for a tough portion of the schedule following the meeting with the 49ers, who are 2-6.

Although the offense is far from perfect, different players are starting to contribute on a weekly basis. Muhammad and Jones are the only true playmakers on the unit, but Benson, Peterson and Orton came up with big plays at crucial parts of the game.


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