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Saints Have a Bad Day on Chicago's Bad Field : NFC: Playing on torn-up turf, Walsh leads Bears to 17-7 victory over his former team.

October 10, 1994|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Playing in a sandbox known as Soldier Field, Steve Walsh remained undefeated as the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback and exacted revenge against the team that shunned him.

Playing his third consecutive game for injured Erik Kramer, Walsh directed two second-half scoring drives and the Bears took advantage of their torn-up turf for a 17-7 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

"I downplayed it all week, but when you play against a former team, it's a sweet victory," said Walsh, who was cut by the Saints after spending two seasons with them as a third-stringer.

He was 16 of 26 for 174 yards despite aggravating a hip injury and playing on a field that was ravaged by Saturday evening's waterlogged Alabama State-Jackson State game. Most of the grass was worn away, and layers of sand put down by the grounds crew made things even worse.

"Over the last three or four weeks, I've decided not to look at any weather reports, not to worry about the field, and play in any conditions we get," said Walsh, who is trying to keep the starting job even after Kramer--a big-money, free-agent acquisition--returns from a separated shoulder. "In about a month, it's going to be ugly."

In about a month, the Bears (4-2) hope they're still in first place in the NFC Central. They have a half-game lead over the Minnesota Vikings, who are in New Jersey tonight to play the New York Giants.

Lewis Tillman rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown for the Bears, who didn't seem as adversely affected by the field conditions as a New Orleans team that plays its home games in the Superdome.

The Saints (2-4) led, 7-0, early in the third quarter and it should have been more. Morten Andersen, one of the best kickers in NFL history, struggled with his footing and had two field goal attempts blocked. The Saints also were slipping on offense and sliding on defense as the Bears scored the final 17 points.

Trace Armstrong blocked Andersen's low 50-yard attempt on the last play of the first half, and Jerry Fontenot blocked a 37-yard attempt 3:21 into the second half.

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