Chicago is going back to the Super Bowl, where Lovie Smith will be the first black head coach in the 41-year history of the championship showdown. The Bears will play for the title for the first time in 21 years thanks to a 39-to-14 win over visiting New Orleans in the NFC championship game. It was a contest featuring momentum shifts.
Chicago scored the first 16 points before the Saints answered with 14 straight of their own to cut the deficit to two early in the third quarter. That surge was capped by an electrifying 88-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown by Reggie Bush. But the Bears bounced back with 23 unanswered points to turn a close game into a rout. Chicago's Rex Grossman completed just eleven of 26 pass attempts for 144 yards, but didn't throw an interception.
His 33-yard td strike to Bernard Berrian in the third quarter gave the Bears some breathing room at 25-to-14. Bears All-Pro kicker Robbie Gould booted three field goals and running back Thomas Jones ran for a pair of touchdowns. Saints QB Drew Brees finished 27 of 49 for 354 yards and a TD, but also threw an interception, lost a fumble and had a grounding call against him that resulted in a safety.