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NFL / WEEK 12

Chicago 13, Tampa Bay 10

Buccaneer Turnovers Cue Cold Spell Against Bears

November 20, 2000|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — The cold didn't beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Two key interceptions by the Chicago Bears did.

"I wouldn't want to taint their victory with anything about the weather," Tampa Bay Coach Tony Dungy said Sunday. "In the past when we've played them, they've turned the ball over against us. They took care of the ball, and that was the difference."

Tony Parrish returned a second-quarter interception for a touchdown and rookie Brian Urlacher stopped a late Tampa Bay drive by intercepting a pass from Shaun King as the Bears ended a six-game losing streak to the Buccaneers with a 13-10 victory.

"Now we know we can win," said Urlacher, the Bears' first-round draft pick. "We're starting to figure out where we are supposed to be and how we are going to help each other. We feel that it's building."

The loss left Tampa Bay with an 0-18 record when the temperature at kickoff is less than 40 degrees. Sunday's game began at 37 degrees with a windchill of 16 because of a gusty 24-mph wind.

"They played in the same environment we played in. We don't make any excuses," King said. "I threw two bad passes. That cost us the game."

Parrish took a pass intended for Dave Moore and ran 38 yards into the end zone after Urlacher knocked 340-pound Buccaneer tackle Jerry Wunsch off his feet with a crunching block. The touchdown, with 48 seconds left in the half, gave the Bears a 10-3 halftime lead.

It was Chicago's first touchdown in 16 quarters against the Buccaneers, who won an earlier meeting this season, 41-0.

"They still haven't scored a touchdown on our defense. They did take the interception in, though," Buccaneer defensive tackle Warren Sapp said. "We had three turnovers and they had one. That's the difference."

The victory came in quarterback Shane Matthews' first start of the season for the Bears. Pressed into duty because of injuries to Cade McNown and Jim Miller, Matthews completed 20 of 34 passes for 165 yards.

Tampa Bay (6-5) lost fullback Mike Alstott to a sprained knee in the second quarter and safety John Lynch to a dislocated shoulder in the first quarter. Paul Edinger's 48-yard field goal with 10:02 left gave the Bears a 13-10 lead. It was set up when Clyde Simmons recovered a fumble by Warrick Dunn at the Chicago 36.

Three plays earlier, Tampa Bay faked a punt from its 17 and Rabin Abdullah took off on a 19-yard run. King scrambled for 16 and Dunn had a six-yard carry before losing the ball on the next play after gaining eight yards.

King, whose second-half scrambling was a major part of the offense, later drove Tampa Bay from its 20 to the Bear 40 before Urlacher intercepted and made a 19-yard return with two minutes left. The Bears (3-8) then ran out the clock.

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