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CHICAGO 24, DETROIT 16

Lions Fall Short at Finish

October 27, 2003|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — When Joey Harrington saw the Detroit Lions recover the on-side kick, he felt about as good as he has this entire miserable season.

But whatever chance the Lions had of ending their road woes was quickly snuffed out Sunday when officials ruled they recovered the ball too early. The Chicago Bears got the ball back with 53 seconds left and ran out the clock, preserving their 24-16 victory.

"It's as high as you can get to as low as you can get," a dejected Harrington said. "You go from thinking you're going to overtime to realizing you've probably lost the game."

The loss was Detroit's 14th in its last 15 games, and its 20th in a row on the road. The Lions (1-6) haven't won outside of Michigan since Dec. 17, 2000.

"Things haven't been going their way. We knew that coming in. It was the same for us," Bear tackle Bryan Robinson said. "You could say, 'Yeah, it's just Detroit.' But [other] teams look at us and say, 'Yeah, that's just Chicago.' "

Especially with the roster the Bears have these days. They are so banged-up -- six starters sat out the game -- they're raiding their depth chart for rookies.

But the youngsters did quite nicely. Charles Tillman set up one score with an interception, Justin Gage had a touchdown and an assist on another score, and Brock Forsey ran for his first touchdown.

Jerry Azumah returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown and had an interception.

Harrington, who didn't find out until Wednesday he was starting, completed 23 of 40 passes for 180 yards, but he was intercepted twice.

The first came in the second quarter, when Tillman stepped in front of Az-Zahir Hakim for a 32-yard pick.

Two plays and a penalty later, Chris Chandler found Gage for the 21-yard pass that gave the Bears a 7-0 lead.

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