Bad bounce

The Bears jumped out to a 20-point lead against the Saints and looked to be well on their way to starting the season 3-0. However, a misplayed kickoff seemed to turn around the game and the rest of the year.

Following touchdown catches by Dez White and Marty Booker, Paul Edinger's second field extended the Bears lead to 20-0 early in the fourth quarter.

Even after New Orleans got on the board with a TD catch by Jerome Pathon from Aaron Brooks the Bears had everything under control, but on the ensuing kickoff the game and the rest of the season changed.

In a bright sun Leon Johnson had the ball hit him in the facemask and bounce forward eventually coming to rest in the hands of the Saints. With great field position New Orleans punched the ball in on a Brooks touchdown run.

Despite being outplayed the majority of the first half New Orleans only trailed by six points and took the lead in the third quarter. Another Brooks TD pass put his team up by one-point heading into the final period.

The Bears regained the lead on Edinger's third field goal of the game, but that was short lived. Chicago had a chance to run out the clock, but failed to convert a 3rd and one on a wide receiver screen that went for no gain. The Bears had to punt the ball back to the Saints.

New Orleans took advantage of the miscue and drove 73 yards to take the lead for good. A missed tackle by Reggie Austin allowed Donte Stallworth to reach the end zone.

Trailing 29-23 with just over a minute remaining in the game the Bears tried for another dramatic comeback. The offense moved deep into Saints territory, but Jim Miller was intercepted in the end zone that ended the chances of a win.

The Bears went on to lose another seven straight games and quickly dropped out of postseason contention.


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