An inspired, ferocious defense that sacked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler six times buried Chicago 30-14 in front of a record crowd at the Superdome on Sunday.
The Saints improved their record to 1-1 and the Bears dropped to 1-1.
Drew Brees tossed three touchdown passes, completing 26-of-37 for 270 yards (118.1) passer rating). He threw touchdown strikes to WRs Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and RB Darren Sharper. The Saints totaled 382 net offensive yards while the Bears had 246.
Rookie Mark Ingram led the Saints in rushing with 51 yards on 14 carries.
"He runs like Emmitt Smith, but he's faster, "judged former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, who handed off to the NFL's all-time rushing leader.
Sunday's crowd of 73,019 was the largest ever to see a Saints regular-season game in the Superdome. The Dome's capacity was increased by about 3,000 this offseason.
"It was an important win, but we have a lot to clean up," was Saints coach Sean Payton's take on the game. "We will look to work on our mistakes this week heading into the Texans game, but I was proud of the way our guys played today."
Former Tulane star Matt Forte couldn't do it all for the Bears offense, but he tried. The Slidell native didn't disappoint his 30 family and friends in attendance with 166 total yards, including 10 catches for 117yards.
Cutler had a raspy voice after the game. He said he was kicked in the throat and said it was difficult to call signals amid the din of the noisy Who Dats crowd.
"They really got after us blitz-wise," said the Bears quarterback. "It's not fun, makes my job more difficult. We need to stay out of those positions."
Sunday's win was the 50th regular season victory for Payton. He joins Jim Mora as the only coaches in franchise history to reach the 50-win mark.
It was the 50th win for Brees as well in a Saints uniform, which makes him the winningest starting quarterback in Saints history. He was tied with Bobby Hebert at 49 wins.
For the second straight week, Henderson recorded 100-plus yards. He had three catches for 103 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Sproles led the team in receptions with eight for 43 yards, including a 12-yard score in the fourth quarter. .
S Roman Harper and DE Junior Galette each had two sacks. Harper led the team seven tackles.
Jonathan Casillas and Turk McBride also took down Cutler to put the Saints total at six, the most by New Orleans since 2008.
"They played better than us, simple as that," aid Bears coach Lovie Smith. "There were a couple of critical moments where we just didn't get the job done, but this is just one game."
Veteran kicked John Kasay kicked field goals of 31, 29 and 53 yards, which was his 41st career field goal from beyond 50 yards.
This was Payton's first victory over the Bears as Saints coach. The Bears entered the game with a 15-11 advantage over the Saints. The Bears had won four straight. The Saints were coming off a season-opening loss to the Packers. They host the Texans Sunday.
Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item. He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director. He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.
Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure
Rarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy.
Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.
On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments. Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.
Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.
Some protectors of the Confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument.
At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee. The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".