It's New Orleans this week. Home of paper-bag-wearing fans, the Neville and Marsalis clans, crawfish Po' Boys, Girls Gone Wild and Super Bowl XX. Bears 46, Patriots 10. Grab your beignets and café au lait. Aiee!
This game's in Champaign, I'm told. Never mind.
The Saints' John Carney, no relation to Art, kicks off and Rabih Abdullah takes it out to the 22. ... Anthony Thomas runs right for 3 yards on first down. ... Miller throws two short passes to Marty Booker, not on the same play, of course, and the Bears are short and forced to punt on their first possession.
After a Deuce McAllister run for a loss, Aaron Brooks thows to Joe Horn close but short of the first-down marker. ... On third and short McAllister catches a screen pass but fumbles and the Bears recover. Mike Brown was cut down, got up and stipped the ball. Highlight-reel stuff there.
First and 10 on their own 49, Anthony Thomas runs up the middle for a gain of 2. ... Jim Miller throws to tight end John Davis for a gain of 14. ... The dreaded wide-receiver screen works as Dez White follows his blockers to another first down. ... By the way, Big Cat Williams is playing today, his 121st start in a row. ... Thomas runs again and Miller, under pressure, throws incomplete on second down. ... Miller throws to fullback Stanley Pritchett and Prichett bulls his way to another Bears first down, at the Saints' 15. ... Miller pass is tipped and cornerback Fred Thomas, who nearly catches the ball on the run. He would've been gone. Oh, boy, the Bears dodged disaster there. Terrell was open in the end zone. ... Third down and Miller goes for it but it's incomplete. ... Paul Edinger hits a 31-yard field goal and the Bears lead.
Bears 3, Saints 0
I don't know if I can take these horrible Coors Light commercials for the next few hours. You know the ones. Watching my team win ... with the twins. They are pandering just a bit too much to the 18-34 dem., don't you think?
After the kickoff, the Saints start from their own 33. McAllister runs twice, once backwards and then for a gain of 4. ... On third and 6, Brooks' pass is picked off by Reggie Austin, who gets up and returns the ball about 20 yards. ... New Orleans challenges whether Austin was down by contact. Looks like he was. Either way, Austin, making his first NFL start, comes up with a great interception. ... Review is taking forever.
While we wait, just asking: Ever go to McDonald's after the breakfast deadline and beg them to make you an Egg McMuffin? Me neither. Let's move on.
Austin is ruled down and the Bears start at their own 48. ... As usual, Thomas runs up the middle on first down, picking up 7. ... You guessed it, Thomas runs up the middle and picks up the first down. The line is opening up more holes early than they did in the first two games. ... Big Cat makes a great block and Thomas busts one into the open field and is finally tackled at the 16. A 24-yard run, Thomas' longest of the year... A short gain by Thomas and a short pass to tight end Fred Baxter brings up third and 5 from the 10. ... Miller has a lot of time, waits and hits Dez White for the touchdown. Unlike last week, Dez hangs on to this one. ... The Bears go for two as Chris Chandler comes in at QB with Brian Urlacher lines up wide. This could be interesting. And, it's not. The Bears take a delay-of-game penalty and Edinger comes on to kick.
Bears 10, Saints 0
Just asking: Ever go to McDonald's after the breakfast deadline, beg them to make you an Egg McMuffin and get a Kennedy half dollar and a Sacagawea as change? Is this legal tender? Again, let's move on.
Taking a page out of the Bears' book last week, the Saints are called for a personal foul on the kickoff and have to start from the 10. ... Brooks throws incomplete and then linebacker Warrick Holdman breaks up a pass to the tight end. ... Another dink to the tight end and Urlacher just eats him up. ... The Saints punt and can't even do this right. Illegal formation on the punt and the Bears make them kick it again and it almost backfires. Leon Johnson bobbles the kick but dives on it.
On second and 14 after a false start penalty and a short run from Thomas, Miller hits Booker for 14. The Bears are picking on cornerback Michael Hawthorne. Booker was wide open there. ... Another nice run by Thomas and the quarter ends.
The Bears are really moving. The line is making holes, Thomas is finding them and the passing game is working.
It's nice to see the McDonald's bobblehead doll recall isn't affecting Thomas or Urlacher. Urlacher hit that tight end so hard that his helmet popped off and Thomas is having his best game of the year.