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Patient Stewart Makes Difference

CHICAGO 19, DENVER 10

November 24, 2003|From Associated Press

DENVER — Kordell Stewart could have complained and sulked after being replaced as Chicago's starting quarterback. Instead, he kept his mouth shut and his mind ready.

It paid off.

Stewart scored on a one-yard run after replacing Chris Chandler and set up the last of Paul Edinger's four field goals, lifting the Bears to a surprising 19-10 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

"It's all about being professional at this level," Stewart said. "It's not about whining and moaning, it's about sitting back and just waiting for your opportunity."

Stewart opened the season as Chicago's starter after signing with the Bears in the off-season, but was replaced by the 38-year-old Chandler after throwing seven interceptions and winning only one of the first five games.

Chandler completed eight of 18 passes for 79 yards in the first half but didn't play in the second after spraining his shoulder. Stewart wasn't much better, but he did lead the Bears to 10 fourth-quarter points and their first road victory in 12 games. Stewart finished seven of 15 for 47 yards passing and ran for 29 yards.

"He's a champion, man," Bear linebacker Brian Urlacher said. "Today he came out there and had a great performance. He didn't get that many reps in practice all week. Just gutty."

The Bears (4-7) had only 217 yards in total offense but benefited from good field position and two pass interference penalties against Denver's Lenny Walls. The Bears' average starting position was the 38-yard line.

The Broncos (6-5) got off to a good start, moving 78 yards for a one-yard touchdown pass play from Jake Plummer to Rod Smith on their first drive, but the rest of the game was filled with missed Bronco opportunities.

"I felt good about the game going into it and I am very disappointed in myself that we didn't play better than we did," Bronco Coach Mike Shanahan said.

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