NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Taysom Hill caught a touchdown pass and threw for another, Paulson Adebo intercepted two passes and also forced a fumble that he recovered, and the New Orleans Saints beat the Chicago Bears 24-17 on Sunday.
The Saints (5-4) forced five turnovers, intercepting rookie QB Tyson Bagent three times and recovering two fumbles. Those plays tipped the balance of a game in which the undrafted Bagent and the Bears (2-7) often had the Saints' defense off balance, outgaining New Orleans 368-301 in total yards and possessing the ball for just more than half the game.
The final turnover — a fumble caused by Demario Davis' sack and recovered by fellow linebacker Pete Werner — all but sealed it with 2:05 left. New Orleans needed only one first down — and got it — to run out the clock.
Bagent passed for two touchdowns to tight end Cole Kmet. He finished with 220 yards passing and 70 yards rushing to keep Chicago within one score the whole way despite the Bears being minus-5 in turnovers.
The Saints had a chance to take a 10-point lead on rookie kicker Blake Grupe's 47-yard field goal attempt with 2:30 left, but the ball hit the left upright.
That gave the Bears the ball with a chance to drive for a late tying score — until Davis' pivotal sack and strip.
The dynamic Hill's receiving TD made him the first NFL player since Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who retired after the 1964 season, to score 10 or more times each as a passer (11), runner (26) and receiver (10).
Derek Carr passed for 211 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints, the first scoring pass going to Chris Olave and the second to Hill.
Hill hit tight end Juwan Johnson in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
The Saints didn't take their first lead until DJ Moore's fumble — caused and recovered by Adebo — moments after what would have been a first-down catch to the Chicago 40 in the third quarter. That set up Grupe's 55-yard field goal to put New Orleans up 17-14.
Chicago drove 13 plays to the Saints' 13-yard line before settling for Cairo Santos' field goal to tie it at 17.
Seeking their first victory in the Superdome since 1991, the Bears started fast. Bagent found Kmet for an 18-yarder to cap a nine-play, 75-yard opening drive. It was the fourth straight game in which New Orleans' defense gave up a first-quarter TD, with two coming on their opponent's opening drive.
But Adebo's first interception near midfield set up a tying TD on Carr's 8-yard pass to Olave.
Bagent's second TD pass to Kmet, from 9 yards out, briefly put the Bears back in front before Carr drove New Orleans right back down the field for a 2-yard scoring pass to Hill for the utility player's fourth TD in his past three games.
Santos, who kicked for Tulane when the Green Wave played home games in the Superdome, hit the upright from 40 yards out in the final minute of the half. His first miss this season kept the score tied at halftime.
Bears FB Khari Blasingame left the game to be checked for a concussion.
Bears: Host Carolina on Thursday night.
Saints: Visit Minnesota on Sunday.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL
Brett Martel, The Associated Press