Chicago - A wild first half that saw all kinds of unusual plays ended in fairly conventional fashion with the New Orleans Saints leading the Chicago Bears 12-10 on Sunday at Soldier Field.
The oddball activity started immediately as Saints special teams ace J.T. Gray blocked Chicago's punt only to see it illegally batted out of the end zone by punter Pat O'Donnell, which equals a safety. The Saints increased their lead to 9-0 after safety Vonn Bell forced and recovered a fumble in Bears territory, leading to a 7-yard touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to tight end Josh Hill.
The fumble recovery by Bell was his fourth of the season, the most by a Saints since safety Sammy Knight had four in 2001.
But the Bears struck right back with a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Cordarelle Patterson, the seventh of his career.
The teams then traded field goals with Saints kicker Wil Lutz setting an NFL record as his 39-yard field goal was the 35th consecutive road field goal he has made. Lutz had a chance to increase his record and grow the Saints lead but his 42-yard attempt missed to the right with 2:17 to play in the half.
Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan sacked Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the second quarter, his sixth sack of the season and No. 77.5 in his career, which moved him out of a tie with legendary Saints linebacker Pat Swilling for third all-time in franchise history.
With star running back Alvin Kamara inactive, the Saints relied on receiver Michael Thomas and running back Latavius Murray to move the ball. Thomas had seven catches for 87 yards and Murray ran the ball nine times for 30 yards.
In addition to the blocked punt for a safety, the Saints tipped another punt and had a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown by Deonte Harris wiped out by a holding penalty.
The Saints lost reserve cornerback Patrick Robinson to a hamstring injury. He is questionable to return.
For first half stats, click here.
Check out photos of the on-field action between the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears in Week 7 of the 2019 NFL season.