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THE 1996 NFL

Ex-Raider Jaeger Gets Last Laugh

Interconference: Cut by Oakland in training camp, he kicks game-winning field goal in Bears' 19-17 victory.

September 30, 1996|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Jeff Jaeger watched the kick sail through the uprights, glanced toward the Oakland Raiders' bench as if to say: Take that.

Cut by the Raiders in training camp, Jaeger kicked a 30-yard field goal with 11 seconds to play--his fourth field goal of the game and third of the fourth quarter--to give the Chicago Bears a 19-17 victory Sunday.

The Bears broke a three-game losing streak behind their new kicker, signed two weeks ago, and with an old quarterback, 37-year-old Dave Krieg, who replaced the injured Erik Kramer.

"It's a little ironic. They gave up on me and it feels good to come back and have a great game against them," Jaeger said. "I wasn't looking at anybody in particular. I probably shouldn't have done it. Maybe it wasn't classy, but I couldn't help myself."

The Bears (2-3) trailed, 17-3, in the second half, and were booed by their fans. But they rallied with two interceptions and the steady play of Krieg, a 17-year veteran, who progressively got rid of the rust that was apparent in the first half.

"I just had to go out there and do my job and that's what everybody else had to think about," he said. "I feel bad about what happened to Erik."

Kramer is sidelined indefinitely because of a herniated disk in his neck.

The Raiders (1-4) are off to their worst start since dropping their first four games in 1992. Oakland quarterback Jeff Hostetler was intercepted four times.

"I'm not worried about myself, I am just worried about the players," said Coach Mike White, whose job could be in jeopardy.

Trailing, 17-16, Chicago--also without injured running backs Robert Green and Raymont Harris and starting guard Todd Burger--started at its 23 with 5:44 to play. Krieg used his experience to work the clock and the field.

Rashaan Salaam had a 17-yard carry, Krieg threw to Curtis Conway for 17 yards and then on third and five from the Raiders' 23, the quarterback connected with Conway again for 10 yards.

After three running plays, the final one losing three yards, the Bears called a timeout to set up the winning kick. Jaeger, who kicked for the Raiders from 1989-95, adjusted to a low snap and drove it through.

"When we got across the 30-yard line, I thought it was pretty much a given that Jeff was going to make it," Krieg said.

"It was a tough game. Somebody was going to be 1-4. Fortunately it wasn't us."

Jaeger also had a 44-yarder in the first half and was good from 24 and 40 yards in the fourth quarter. Both kicks followed Chicago interceptions.

Krieg completed 16 of 30 passes for 190 yards, and Hostetler was 19 for 35 for 172.

"I don't know what to say. We've done this to ourselves every game we've played this year," said Hostetler, whose team was also penalized 10 times, giving the Raiders 48 penalties in five games.

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