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Bears True to Form

September 16, 2002|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — Another week, another close call for the Chicago Bears.

Atlanta's Jay Feely missed a 45-yard field goal with 56 seconds left and the Bears held on for a 14-13 victory Sunday, giving Chicago its first 2-0 start since 1991.

A week earlier, the Bears rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter, defeating Minnesota, 27-23, when Jim Miller threw a touchdown pass to David Terrell with 28 seconds left.

Miller and Terrell hooked up for another touchdown against the Falcons, a 14-yard play early in the third quarter that put Chicago ahead to stay.

This time, the Bears had to hold on at the end. They got help from an overturned call and Feely's second miss of the game.

"Neither game has been pretty, but we'll take it," said Bear receiver Dez White, who dropped a touchdown pass.

Linebacker Brian Urlacher was a dominant force against the Falcons for the second year in a row. He recovered a fumble, sacked Michael Vick twice and had a game-high 12 tackles.

Vick put the Falcons (0-2) in position to win at the end, driving them 44 yards with a quarterback draw and two completions.

On second and one from the Chicago 28-yard line with a minute left, Warrick Dunn was stopped for no gain, as was Vick on the next play. Atlanta Coach Dan Reeves then decided to settle for a field-goal attempt.

Feely, who kicked a 52-yarder to force overtime the previous week at Green Bay, hooked his kick a couple of feet wide of the left upright, stunning the Georgia Dome sellout crowd of 68,459.

"Those are easy kicks," Feely said. "I just didn't get the job done for my team."

Vick completed 17 of 28 passes for 166 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown to Dunn. Vick also led the Falcons in rushing with 56 yards in 10 carries.

The Falcons, who managed only 78 yards in the second half, were denied a big play with about four minutes left. Vick scrambled away from a fierce rush and threw a pass that went through the hands of Chicago safety Mike Brown. Falcon receiver Willie Jackson, sprawled on the turf at the Chicago 22, appeared to make the catch. Vick clasped his hands in thanks and Jackson had a big smile, but the Bears challenged the call.

After a review, referee Jeff Triplette said the ball had rolled off Jackson's left arm and touched the turf before he cradled it.

"That would've made a big difference in the game," Jackson said.

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