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Last-Play Kick Revives Bears

October 06, 2003|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Tired of the same old boos in new Soldier Field, Kordell Stewart and the Chicago Bears found a way to appease their unhappy fans.

Putting a penalty-filled display of poor football behind them in the fourth quarter, the Bears rallied to beat the Oakland Raiders, 24-21, Sunday on Paul Edinger's 48-yard field goal on the last play of the game.

"I was booing too, sometimes, to be honest with you," Stewart said after Chicago got its first victory by rallying from an 18-3 halftime deficit.

"The good thing about it is that we got cheers at the end, and that's all that matters because we won the game."

Stewart, who completed 13 of 24 passes for 160 yards and rushed for 52 yards, struggled at times and said some fans behind the bench were especially brutal with their comments.

"I know sometimes it's all [about] wanting to see us succeed, but sometimes things can get carried away. You have to be able to ignore that," he said.

The Raiders (2-3) got five field goals from Sebastian Janikowski, but he also missed an extra-point attempt for the first time in his NFL career and had a 47-yard field-goal attempt blocked in the second half.

"It's probably what we deserved for not playing well across the board," Raider quarterback Rich Gannon said. "We ended up on our heels in the fourth quarter. We couldn't put them away."

The Bears' struggling offense showed some punch against the Raiders' soft defense, moving from the Chicago 27-yard line to the Oakland 30 in the final 3 minutes 30 seconds.

Stewart kept the drive going by leaping for a first down on a fourth and one from the Chicago 49 with 22 seconds to go.

After his scramble to the 31 was called back by a penalty, Stewart pumped and allowed Dez White to get open for a 29-yard gain to the Oakland 31.

After a running play to get the ball in the middle of the field, Edinger -- after the Raiders used a timeout to try and ice him -- made his third field goal of the day. He's eight for eight this season.

"It builds our confidence that we can win now, instead of having everybody saying 0-16," Edinger said.

Oakland appeared on the verge of blowing the game open in the first half, but had to settle for field goals four times after getting inside the Chicago 25. That allowed the Bears to hang around.

"This is the hardest loss I've taken," said Oakland defensive back Charles Woodson, who intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble. "I can't see it getting any worse."

The Bears (1-3) -- penalized 11 times for 97 yards -- got back in it when Marty Booker caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Stewart on the first play of the final quarter to make it 18-13.

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