CHICAGO (AP) — Pierre Thomas heard all about it from his friends, of all people. Yes, he failed to score in New Orleans' first four games, and everyone wanted to know when he was going to get into the end zone.
He came up with a response in his hometown.
Thomas caught two touchdown passes from Drew Brees and had a crucial run on a key fourth down to help the undefeated Saints beat the Chicago Bears 26-18 Sunday.
"It was so nice. I've been striving and striving in past games to get a touchdown, I was so close," Thomas said. "It just wasn't there. I told myself, 'Hey, you got to score here and put some points on the board.'
"I had a lot of friends telling me, 'Hey stop playing around and put points up.' I said I got them. I helped a lot of people out today."
Thomas scored New Orleans' first TD, fighting through D.J. Williams' tackle attempt and extending his right arm over the goal line for a 2-yard reception that made it 13-0 with 5:57 remaining in the second quarter.
The Saints (5-0) got the ball back with 2:41 to go and Thomas came up with two more big plays in another scoring drive. First, he had a 2-yard run on fourth-and-1 from the Chicago 27, and then went 25 yards for the touchdown on a screen play with 23 seconds to go.
"When my name is called to do the job, I go out there and do my best," the Chicago native said. "That's all I can really ask for. When my name is called, just go out there and perform."
That's exactly what the Saints did in their first win in Chicago since a 31-10 victory on Oct. 8, 2000.
Brees was 29 of 35 passing for 288 yards in his first victory in four career games at Soldier Field. Jimmy Graham had 10 receptions for 135 yards, and Garrett Hartley matched a career high with four field goals.
"We knew the formula coming into this game was to remain patient, to run the football effectively, to be very efficient in the passing game and to take care of the football, priority No. 1," Brees said, "and we were able to do all those things."
Jay Cutler was 24 of 33 for 358 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago (3-2), which has lost two in a row after a perfect start.
"It's just a few plays here and there," Cutler said. "Against a team like that, the way they played offensively and ate up the clock it's hard to rebound if you miss three or four plays in the game."
Here are five things we learned in the Saints' win against the Bears: