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NFL: Chicago 39, New Orleans 14

  |   Jan. 21, 2007 at 10:29 PM
CHICAGO, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Thomas Jones rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, firing the Chicago Bears into the Super Bowl with a 39-14 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The Bears, under Lovie Smith -- the first African-American to coach a team to the NFL title game -- return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1986, when they beat the News England Patriots, 46-10. Their 2007 opponent will be the Indianapolis Colts, who defeated the Patriots 38-34 in the AFC title game

Super Bowl XLI is set for Feb. 4 in Florida.

Chicago's defense forced four New Orleans turnovers and held New Orleans to 56 yards rushing. They sacked Saints quarterback Drew Brees three times and got a safety because of quarterback pressure.

Chicago, 15-3, never trailed but the Saints did pull within 16-14 and looked to have the momentum. Brees, though, was called for intentional grounding in the end zone for a safety, and then Rex Grossman hit Bernard Berrian for a 33-yard TD pass to put Chicago ahead, 25-14, early in the fourth quarter.

Cedric Benson scored from 12 yards out less than three minutes later and Jones sealed things with a 15-yard scoring run with 4:19 to go.

The Bears opened the scoring with three Robbie Gould field goals before Jones scored the game's first touchdown with 1:46 left in the second quarter for a 16-0 Chicago lead.

The Saints got a Brees-to-Marques Colston scoring pass from 13 yards out just before halftime, and an 88-yard catch-and-run by Reggie Bush got New Orleans within 16-14 2 1/2 minutes into the third period.

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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