1:00 PM ET, December 30, 2007
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
CHICAGO (AP) -- Hoping to win, hop on a plane and get good news when they arrived back in New Orleans, the Saints instead headed home Sunday knowing their season was over.Kick returner extraordinaire Devin Hester raced for a pair of TDs -- one on a 64-yard punt return, another on a 55-yard pass -- and the Chicago Bears beat the Saints 33-25, erasing New Orleans' slim chances for the playoffs.
Devin Hester, who broke his own record for kick return touchdowns in a season with six, moved within two scores of the top spot on the all-time list for combined kick and punt touchdowns.
Saints receiver Marques Colston, who did not play the second half against the Bears due to injury, did enough damage in the first half with eight catches to finish with the most receptions by any player in their first two seasons.
Orton, hoping to have a shot at the No. 1 spot next season after starting the final three games this year, was 12-for-27 for 190 yards with two TDs and an interception. ... Two unnecessary roughness penalties on the Saints aided two Bears' scoring drives in the first half.
Why do teams continue to kick to Devin Hester? He made New Orleans look foolish with yet another punt return for a touchdown, and New Orleans made a decidedly non-explosive Chicago offense (with QB Kyle Orton at the helm) look like a juggernaut. Offensive coordinator Ron Turnerís game plan was to rely on RB Adrian Peterson to set up the play-action attack, and Orton was able to take advantage of a Saints secondary that gave up explosive downfield plays to the receiving corps of Mark Bradley, Bernard Berrin and Hester.
-- Keith Kidd, Scouts Inc.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.0||4.8|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|FG||12:00||Robbie Gould 39 Yd||0||3|
|TD||06:26||Mark Bradley 19 Yd Pass From Kyle Orton (Robbie Gould Kick)||0||10|
|TD||08:35||Marques Colston 3 Yd Pass From Drew Brees (Martin Gramatica Kick)||7||10|
|TD||05:45||Bernard Berrian 9 Yd Pass From Adrian Peterson (Robbie Gould Kick)||7||17|
|TD||02:07||Marques Colston 21 Yd Pass From Drew Brees (Martin Gramatica Kick)||14||17|
|TD||01:48||Devin Hester 55 Yd Pass From Kyle Orton (Robbie Gould Kick)||14||24|
|FG||00:00||Martin Gramatica 48 Yd||17||24|
|TD||12:31||Devin Hester 64 Yd Punt Return (Robbie Gould Kick)||17||31|
|SF||05:14||Penalty On Jahri Evans In End Zone||17||33|
|TD||00:07||Pierre Thomas 11 Yd Pass From Drew Brees (Pierre Thomas Run For Two-Point Conversion)||25||33|