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Bears Take Full Advantage of Sleeping Colts

November 06, 2000|From Associated Press

Chicago Bear linebacker Brian Urlacher saw the Indianapolis Colts come down with the onside kick with 90 seconds left and thought, "Not again."

"It seems like a lot of games, we've found a way to lose at the end," the rookie said. "But we held 'em when it counted."

Hold them, the Bears did. Rosevelt Colvin slammed into Peyton Manning as he went back to throw, forcing a fumble, and Phillip Daniels jumped on the ball with 1:05 remaining to preserve Chicago's 27-24 victory Sunday.

"We just wanted to make sure they didn't get the lead. We did," Daniels said. "Getting the win is more important than the fact they came back."

Jim Miller, making his first start since last Thanksgiving in place of the injured Cade McNown, worked the offense to perfection in the first half. He threw for 214 yards and a touchdown as the Bears scored on their first possessions.

When cornerback Walt Harris returned his first interception of the year 35 yards for a touchdown, it gave the Bears a 27-0 lead.

The Chicago defense, so woeful in the first half despite a $50-million upgrade over the summer, kept the Colts (6-3) in check. Indianapolis ran only three plays in the first quarter, and had the ball for eight minutes, 55 seconds in the first half.

"We weren't ready to play emotionally," Colt Coach Jim Mora said. "We didn't play with any sense of urgency. We didn't play physical. We didn't play tough. In the first half, they just kicked our tail."

The Colts didn't score until Edgerrin James' one-yard run with six minutes left in the third. Manning hit Marcus Pollard for the two-point conversion, cutting Chicago's lead to 27-8.

For the next 20 minutes, Manning showed why he's the best quarterback in the league. With pinpoint precision, he hit receiver after receiver and moved the Colts quickly down the field.

Mike Vanderjagt kicked a 19-yard field goal with 10:33 left to cut Chicago's lead to 27-11.

Manning's nine-yard scramble set up a 21-yard scoring run by James with 6:39 remaining, and the Colts went for the two-point conversion. James looked like he got in the end zone on the conversion try, but referees ruled his knee was down before he crossed the plane of the goal.

The Colts challenged the ruling, but it was upheld on review.

With 1:36 left, Manning found Jerome Pathon for a 19-yard score. The Colts went for the onside kick and recovered. But two plays later, Colvin made his big play.

Manning finished 26 of 39 for 302 yards and two touchdowns. James rushed for 68 yards, pushing him over the 2,500 mark in just his 25th game. That ties him with Jim Brown as the second-fastest player to reach the milestone.


What a Rush

With his 68 yard rushing performance in the loss against the Bears, Edgerrin James reached the 2,500 yard milestone in just the 25th game of his career, tied with the legendary Jim Brown for second-fastest to the mark:


Running Back Games Eric Dickerson 23 Jim Brown 25 Edgerrin James 25 George Rogers 26 Terrell Davis 27 Earl Campbell 27


--Research by Roy Jurgens

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