The New Orleans Saints secured their fourth consecutive win in a 26-23 overtime thriller against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday, Nov. 1, All Saints Day.
A 35-yard field goal with 2:12 left in overtime by Saints kicker Wil Lutz sealed the victory, while running back Alvin Kamara had another stellar all-purpose performance. Lutz made three other field goals as well as the game-winner.
"AK (Alvin Kamara) is dynamic," tight end Jared Cook said Monday of Kamara's big-play capability. "He's definitely one of the best backs that I've ever played with. He can just do so many things and he's so versatile. Not only can he run the ball in between small gaps, but he can get out of the backfield. He can run, he can catch the ball, and he's a really good route runner with speed. So, he definitely brings an element to the game that we need in this offense."
Kamara led the team in rushing with 67 yards on 12 carries. He was also the team's leading receiver with nine catches for 96 yards, accounting for 163 total yards from scrimmage.
Kamara's 55 receptions are the most by a running back in NFL history through the first seven games of a season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau - putting him on pace for 126 on the season. His 556 receiving yards are the most of any running back since Lenny Moore in 1958.
Cook hauled in five catches for 51 yards and a score that came with .03 seconds remaining in the first half Sunday, providing a spark of momentum for New Orleans heading into the break, trailing 13-10.
"That look was a look that we did not expect them to give us," Cook said Monday when asked about the score before the half. "We knew the corner(back) was going to be a factor once I came out of my break, and we knew that that throw was going to be a tight throw with the corner on my back. We didn't necessarily anticipate the middle of the field being wide open like that, so when I came out of my route, I saw the field wide open."
The Saints have scored a touchdown in the final 15 seconds of the first half in each of their last three games. Drew Brees' numbers on those drives: 17-21, 175 yards, two passing TD, one rushing TD, 133.1 passer rating.
Defensively, New Orleans ranks 27th in the league in takeaways-per-game (0.9 per contest). Cornerback Marshon Lattimore came up with a crucial interception at the 8:34 mark in the third quarter with the score tied 13-13.
"We've got to build a habit," defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson said Monday. "We've got to build a habit of wanting to get to the ball, put your hands on the ball. Because the more you do that, it's going to fall your way during the game. I'm glad to see that we broke the ice. We got one in the game now, so let's keep rolling."
Gardner-Johnson declined to speak on Sunday's incident with Bears wideout Javon Wims, but did speak on his role with the team.
"I'm all in for the team," Gardner-Johnson said. "I'm here to win, just like everybody else is. Of course, I've been having a pretty good season or whatever, but my thing is improving, helping, and being the best teammate I can be."
Game action photos from the New Orleans Saints at Chicago Bears matchup in Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season.