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.
by Ed Staton
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