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Saints 7, Bears 3 at halftime of wild-card playoff game as defense comes through

The Bears’ offense has been a mess, but their defense has made key stops to keep them in the game.

Drew Brees and the Saints scored first with a touchdown catch by Michael Thomas 10 minutes into the game.

NEW ORLEANS — The Bears went into halftime trailing the Saints 7-3 in their wild-card game Sunday.

While the Bears’ offense has fallen flat, their defense has come through at pivotal times to bail them out. They forced the Saints into a 50-yard field goal, which missed wide right, and came up with a big takeaway that led to points.

The Bears’ biggest play of the game came early in the second quarter when Taysom Hill dropped back for a pass and safety Tashaun Gipson hit his arm as he readied to throw. Gipson forced a fumble at the Saints’ 20-yard line, and defensive lineman John Jenkins recovered it at the 24.

The Bears got to the New Orleans 10-yard line before stalling and getting backed up to the 24 before Cairo Santos kicked a 36-yard field goal. Including the playoffs, Santos is now 31 of 33 for the season.

Other than fresh off the takeaway, the Bears haven’t gotten past the Saints’ 34-yard line.

The Bears managed just 53 yards of total offense in the first quarter and 50 in the second. They are 0 for 6 on third downs.

Mitch Trubisky has completed 7 of 12 passes for 68 yards and a 74.3 passer rating, while Drew Brees is 14 for 23 for 120 yards, a touchdown and an 89.0 rating.

Javon Wims has been the Bears’ most productive wide receiver with 28 yards, all of which came on a beautiful play up the right sideline late in the first quarter. Wims followed by dropping a 40-yard would-be touchdown on the next play as the ball went through his arms in the end zone.

Running back David Montgomery has 10 carries for 31 yards.