Bears go bonkers after win
Chicago managed just 168 yards on offense while Arizona finished with 286.
CHICAGO (AP) -- Charles Tillman stood with both arms raised, while Devin Hester collapsed and pointed toward the sky. Over on the sideline, players and coaches bounced as if they were on trampolines, fists pumping and wide smiles crossing their faces as the opposing kicker missed a potential winning field goal.
The Chicago Bears were elated and relieved after rallying to beat Arizona 24-23 Monday night and remain undefeated. They improved to 6-0 for the first time in 20 years, even when everything seemed to be going wrong.
"We were supposed to win the game for some reason," quarterback Rex Grossman said. "Everything went our way when it needed to."
After extending his franchise record with his seventh defensive touchdown, Pro Bowl safety Mike Brown was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a sprained right foot.
The Bears have not played well when Brown has been sidelined the past two seasons.
He missed 14 games in 2004 with a torn right Achilles' tendon, one of many injuries that sent Chicago limping to a 5-11 record. Last season, the Bears went 2-2 over the final four regular-season games with Brown nursing a strained left calf. He barely played in the playoff loss to Carolina, in which Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith caught 12 passes for 218 yards and two long touchdowns.
"We struggled without Mike last year, but I think with the young guys we have, with the combination of guys and I think with our D-line ... if we can play with those guys picking it up, I think we can do it," defensive coordinator Ron Rivera said. "We kind of patchwork things."
Which was what the Bears did on Monday.
They stitched together a win even though the offense was at its worst and the defense got pushed around and missed assignments for much of the first three quarters.
The numbers were jaw-dropping.
Four interceptions and two lost fumbles for quarterback Rex Grossman. Three points by the offense. A 20-point deficit.
A team that had outscored Seattle and Buffalo by a combined 77-13 the previous two weeks managed just 168 yards on offense while Arizona finished with 286. A running game that had shown signs of life the previous two weeks mustered just 34 yards. And Grossman immediately served notice he was off when he overthrew a wide-open Bernard Berrian on the game's first play.
Still, the Bears went into the bye week celebrating, rather than sulking.
They can thank their defense, special teams and Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers, who missed what would have been a go-ahead 41-yard field goal with 53 seconds left.
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