Leave a comment

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — When Malcolm Jenkins flattened Jay Cutler from behind, he arrived a moment too late to register a sack.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — When Malcolm Jenkins flattened Jay Cutler from behind, he arrived a moment too late to register a sack.

He wasn’t too late to force an errant throw, though, or to give Cutler something to think about for the rest of what wound up being a brutal game for the Chicago quarterback.

“We wanted to come out and be physical,” said Jenkins, whose first-half hit left Cutler briefly crouched on his knees with his hands on his helmet. “A lot of people try to mark us as a finesse team, but we were out there hitting. It was a good, physical game.”

Before New Orleans’ 30-13 triumph was over on Sunday, the Saints had sacked Cutler six times and consistently stuffed Chicago’s running game, providing a measure of redemption for a unit that looked sloppy 10 days earlier in a season-opening 42-34 loss at Green Bay.

“We wanted to bounce back from last week, not really getting too much pressure on (Packers quarterback) Aaron Rodgers,” said linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who sacked Cutler once. “We outhit them, and that was our goal, so it feels good.”

While New Orleans’ defense bounced back, Drew Brees kept the offense rolling. Brees completed 70.3 percent of his passes (26 for 37) for 270 yards and three touchdowns, including a 79-yard scoring pass deep over the middle to Devery Henderson.

Brees later hit Robert Meachem with a clutch 4-yard scoring pass on third-and-goal and then found Darren Sproles on a swing pass that produced a 12-yard score as New Orleans (1-1) won for the first time this season.

Facing heavy blitzing and without injured receiver Roy Williams, Cutler passed for 244 yards and a score, but completed only 42 percent of his passes (19 of 45) and fumbled once on a sack and by Turk McBride. Jonathan Vilma recovered on the Bears 29, setting up Meachem’s score, which gave New Orleans a 23-13 lead in the third quarter.

“It was a long day out there,” Cutler said. “I had to throw a lot of balls before I wanted to. … The Saints were the better team today. They rushed me hard and forced our offense to do things we didn’t want to do.”

Running back Matt Forte had 117 yards receiving to go with 49 yards rushing for Chicago (1-1), which lost guard Gabe Carimi and safety Major Wright to injuries after entering the game without several other injured starters.

New Orleans brought relentless pressure against a Bears offensive line that started the game without injured guard Lance Louis and then lost Carimi, their other starting guard, to a right knee injury.

Roman Harper and Junior Gallette each had two sacks.

The Saints also held Chicago to 60 yards rushing, with 12 of those yards on Cutler’s scramble.

Brees completed passes to eight targets, including three to Henderson for 103 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham had six catches for 79 yards, ending one reception with a forceful head-on collision that shook up Wright.

Sproles caught eight passes for 43 yards. The Saints had 118 yards rushing, with rookie Mark Ingram gaining a team-leading 51.

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, who spent part of the past week away from his team following the sudden death of his mother, said returning to the field was an emotional struggle, but added that was not to blame for his unit’s inability to sustain its dominance of a week ago against Atlanta.

“This was a real tough game to play today, but I went out there and gave it my all,” Urlacher said. “That’s a high-powered offense we were playing against. We were on a real high last week after winning against Atlanta. We don’t have the same feeling now.”

The Bears scored first on Dane Sanzenbacher’s 8-yard catch, capping a drive highlighted by Forte’s 42-yard run.

New Orleans cut it to 7-3 on John Kasay’s 31-yard field goal, then vaulted into the lead on Brees’ heave to Henderson.

Kasay added field goals of 29 and 53 yards in the first half.

Robbie Gould pulled Chicago to 16-10 with a 42-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half, then added a 38-yarder in the third quarter for Chicago’s final points.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

(AP Photo/Bill Feig)

Also On The Chicago Defender:
comments – add yours