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Third quarter: Saints 23, Bears 13

NEW ORLEANS -- The Chicago Bears mustered a field goal by Robbie Gould to start the third quarter, but couldn’t keep the high-powered New Orleans Saints offense out of the end zone in falling further behind 23-13.

Chicago scored six plays into its opening possession of the second half when Gould nailed a 38-yard field goal to pull the Bears to within three points (16-13).

But protection issues along the offensive line continued into the second half, and were compounded by losing rookie right tackle Gabe Carimi, who suffered a right knee injury with 32 seconds left in the first half.

The club also lost one of its key receivers in Earl Bennett, who left the game in the first half with a chest injury.

After forcing a Saints punt, the Bears took possession at their own 37 with a chance to take the lead. Two plays into the drive, tight end Kellen Davis missed a block on Turk McBride, who blasted quarterback Jay Cutler from behind to force a fumble.

Jonathan Vilma recovered for the Saints.

Five plays later, Drew Brees threw to a wide-open Robert Meachem for a 4-yard touchdown that made the score 23-13 after John Kasay’s extra-point kick.