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Pro Football Week 8 | CHICAGO 23, TENNESSEE 20

Bears Get the Hang of Finishing

October 26, 1998|From Associated Press

NASHVILLE — The Chicago Bears are getting good at winning the close ones.

Jeff Jaeger kicked a game-winning field goal for the second straight week, a 33-yarder with 1:03 left that lifted the Bears over the Tennessee Oilers, 23-20, Sunday.

The Oilers (3-4) had a final chance to send the game into overtime when they moved the ball to the Chicago 38 in the final minute. But Chicago (3-5) got a sack and forced Steve McNair to spike the ball.

McNair found Willie Davis on the sideline for a 13-yard gain to the 32, leaving the Oilers with 21 seconds, no timeouts and facing fourth and three.

Al Del Greco, thinking the Oilers had a first down, did not immediately go on the field, forcing holder Craig Hentrich to try the 49-yard field goal. His kick went into the line, and the Oilers also were penalized for 12 men on the field as Del Greco first tried to run on the field, then was late getting off.

The Bears, who won, 13-12, over Dallas last week, now have won two straight games for only the fourth time in three seasons.

The Bears led, 20-10, early in the fourth quarter on two earlier field goals by Jaeger of 39 and 26 yards. Chicago, which has turned the ball over more than any other NFL team this season, forced the Oilers into three fumbles and an interception that they turned into 17 points.

Chicago had a chance to pad its lead to 23-13 with 6:49 left, but officials ruled Jaeger's 34-yard field-goal attempt missed just left.

The Oilers didn't waste the opportunity as Eddie George gained 49 yards on five carries and Rodney Thomas scored on a seven-yard run with 3:44 left that tied the score at 20-20.

George finished with a season-high 137 yards in 21 carries.

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