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  • Bears finish with flurry

    Bears finish with flurry
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/12/2004

    Mike Martz isn't one of these coaches who thinks NFL exhibition games are meaningless, or that the final score doesn't matter.

    "I'd like to win every one of them, guys," Martz told reporters earlier in the week in Macomb, Ill. "I think every coach does, but with the guys that you're playing ... we still need to look at some players. But it's still very competitive. In the middle of the game, I'm not thinking about this being a preseason game. Trust me."

    What Martz got instead, was a head coach's nightmare - exhibition overtime. And a preseason loss. Despite outplaying Chicago for most of the first three quarters Thursday night, the Bears scored a fourth-quarter touchdown to send the game into overtime tied 10-10.

    At least it was a short overtime. Ahmad Merritt returned the overtime kickoff 87 yards to the Rams' 7. New Bears coach Lovie Smith immediately sent out Paul Edinger to kick a 25-yard field goal, giving Chicago a 13-10 victory at the Edward Jones Dome.

    The offensive highlights for St. Louis included an eight-for-nine passing performance by No. 2 quarterback Chris Chandler, four catches for 73 yards by wide receiver Shaun McDonald, and 15 carries for 73 yards by Steven Jackson through three quarters.

    Defensively, the Rams got two sacks from Erik Flowers in the second half. Flowers got the second sack after temporarily leaving the game when he was literally squashed on a pass rush by Bears 370-pound offensive tackle Aaron Gibson. The Rams generally got a good pass rush. In the secondary, second-year man Kevin Garrett played tight coverage.

    Marc Bulger played one series, completing three of six passes for 57 yards on a 64-yard field-goal drive. Chandler took over and led the Rams on a four-play, 86-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter. McDonald caught a 40-yard pass on the drive - the night's longest gain.

    Chandler and the Rams were moving into field-goal range in the final minute of the first half. But Bears cornerback Eric Kelly wrestled the ball away from Rams wide receiver Kevin Curtis for an interception with 25 seconds to play, ending the drive at the St. Louis 35.

    For more than three quarters, the highlight for the Bears was their opening drive, which featured some impressive running by offseason acquisition Thomas Jones. Jones had carries of 17 and 26 yards on the drive. The 26-yarder came on a third-and-one play to the right. The Rams appeared to have the play stuffed, but Jones cut back to his left where there was no backside help by the over-pursuing defense.

    That play carried to the St. Louis 25. Four plays later, the Bears were in the end zone on a 10-yard pass from Rex Grossman to fullback Bryan Johnson. But the play was nullified by a holding penalty against Chicago.

    The Bears had to settle for a field goal, and that was it for the Chicago scoring. That wasn't it, however, for Chicago penalties. The Bears, in fact, were just warming up. They were flagged 12 times for 105 yards in the first half alone.

    But the Bears tied the score 10-10 with 10:36 left in the fourth quarter on a one-yard pass from Jonathan Quinn to tight end Gabe Reid. Before the score, the Bears appeared to be hopelessly penned in near midfield. But on a third-and-27 play, Dwight Anderson was flagged for illegal contact on a pass play It was only a five-yard penalty, but an automatic first down, keeping the drive alive.

    The Rams also had a touchdown called back on a scintillating 66-yard punt return by McDonald midway through the fourth quarter. But the play was called back because of an illegal block in the back. Again, the culprit appeared to be Anderson - an undrafted rookie trying to make the team as a fifth cornerback.

    Bethalto High's Joe Odom, a second-year Bears linebacker from Purdue, had a chance to end the game in regulation, but he dropped what looked like a sure interception inside the Rams' 15. Odom would've been able to walk into the end zone had he hung onto the ball.

    Chicago had yet another chance to win the game in regulation, but a Hail Mary pass from Craig Krenzel bounced off of Jamin Elliott's hand in the end zone, falling incomplete.

  • #2
    Re: Bears finish with flurry

    Flowers got the second sack after temporarily leaving the game when he was literally squashed on a pass rush by Bears 370-pound offensive tackle Aaron Gibson.

    Ouch. :rolleyes:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bears finish with flurry

      Originally posted by Evil Disco Man
      Ouch.
      Especially if only a specific point of the body absorbs the full force of the impact and bones would be crunched into multiple pieces ...

      Comment

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      • Nick
        Bears Defeat Rams 13-10 in Overtime
        by Nick
        Bears Defeat Rams 13-10 in Overtime
        R.B. FALLSTROM
        Associated Press

        ST. LOUIS - Lovie Smith's head coaching debut, and his homecoming, was a bit on the sloppy side.

        The Chicago Bears overcame 19 penalties for 160 yards in their preseason opener, a 13-10 overtime victory over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night. The opening drive was short-circuited by four penalties and the Bears had been hit for 105 yards by halftime.

        Ahmad Merritt returned the overtime kickoff 87 yards to the 7 to set up Paul Edinger's 25-yard winning field goal on the next play.

        Smith was the defensive coordinator the last three years for the Rams, helping them reach the Super Bowl in 2001, and received a nice ovation during pregame introductions. He was hired by the Bears in January to replace Dick Jauron following a 7-9 season.

        Penalties were not a problem last year for the Bears, who averaged 50 yards in calls per game.

        The Rams also stumbled with 12 penalties for 80 yards. Plus they had the only two turnovers, including a fumble after a reception by Dane Looker with 2:30 left in regulation to give the Bears the ball at the Chicago 29.

        There were five penalties on the Bears' tying drive, four against Chicago. The drive was capped by a 1-yard pass from backup Jonathan Quinn to Gabe Reid with 10:04 to go. So the Bears actually gained 118 yards on the 88-yard, 10-play drive.

        The Rams were without Marshall Faulk, who rarely plays until late in the preseason, and offensive tackles Orlando Pace and Kyle Turley. Pace is a contract holdout and Turley hasn't practiced since Aug. 1 due to a herniated disc in his surgically repaired back, although he attended the game in street clothes.

        St. Louis' makeshift line, a concern heading into the game, did a good job in pass protection and Marc Bulger was hit only twice. He was sacked once, by Hunter Hillenmeyer, to force Jeff Wilkins' field goal on the last play of the first quarter. A third line starter, guard Adam Timmerman, started despite being bothered by a stinger in his neck and shoulder in recent days.

        The teams met on the field for the fourth time in eight days. The Bears traveled to Macomb, Ill., the Rams' training camp site, last week for three days of joint practices and a scrimmage.

        Backup Chris Chandler led the Rams to their only first-half score, a 13-yard pass to fullback Joey Goodspeed in the second quarter. Chandler was 8-for-9 for 108 yards in the second quarter, showing nimble feet on a couple of plays.

        His lone incompletion came when Eric Kelly took the ball out of Kevin Curtis' arms for an interception to stop a drive deep in Chicago territory in the final minute of the first half.

        Bulger played the first quarter and was 3-for-6 for 57 yards. Bears starter Rex Grossman also played one quarter and was 4-for-5 for...
        -08-13-2004, 01:13 AM
      • Nick
        Jeff Gordon's Rams Recap
        by Nick
        Rams Recap: Makeshift line and Chandler hold up well
        BY JEFF GORDON
        Post-Dispatch Online Sports Columnist
        08/11/2004

        As dress rehearsals go, Thursday night's exhibition with the Chicago Bears was fairly productive.

        The Rams got plenty done during their 13-10 preseason overtime loss to the penalty-prone Bears at the Edward Jones Dome.

        Youngsters Andy King and Scott Tercero got to take their bows with the first-team offense during the pre-game introductions. Then they held up admirably at left guard and right tackle, respectively, despite their inexperience.

        The makeshift offensive line allowed only one sack, on a linebacker blitz, until well into the third quarter. Under the circumstances, that is not bad.

        The front defensive seven had an excellent surge for most of the game, despite the constant rotation of personnel. Captain Tyoka Jackson spent a great deal of time in the Bears backfield.

        Back-up quarterback Chris Chandler didn't always look sharp up at Macomb, Ill. -- but he was most impressive during his first Rams game in a long, long time. He looked surprisingly nimble in the pocket during his first-half appearance and made accurate throws all over the field.

        Here is what else caught our eyes:


        THE GOOD

        * With the Bears in scoring position, we loved the way cornerback Kevin Garrett smothered receiver Marty Booker on a corner route into the end zone. That Rex Grossman pass landed harmlessly out of bounds.

        * Rams quarterback Marc Bulger appeared to be in midseason form when he found receiver Isaac Bruce for 19- and 24-yard passes on back-to-back plays. He also threw a nice third-down strike to receiver Dane Looker, good for 13 yards along the right sideline and a first down.

        * On their first defensive sequence, the Rams applied decent pass pressure but didn't get results. But on the first play on of the second sequence, veteran Jackson burst in and dumped Jonathan Quinn.

        * The assault continued with defensive ends Leonard Little and Bryce Fisher arriving simultaneously to sack Quinn.

        * Receiver Shaun McDonald reminded us why the Rams liked him so much last summer; he snagged a Chandler pass while slicing right to left through the Bears secondary. He turned on his jets and turned that into a 40-yard gain.

        * Chandler showed his veteran poise to throw his first Rams touchdown pass in some time. He looked left and found nothing, then rolled back right and flipped a pass to fullback Joey Goodspeed -- who released into the right flat for a 13-yard TD reception.

        That capped an impressive 86-yard scoring drive engineered by Chandler. Maybe he does have a little bit left in that 900-year-old body.

        * Nice pass, nice catch -- rookie quarterback Jeff Smoker gunned a nice throw down the middle...
        -08-13-2004, 01:19 AM
      • RamDez
        Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener
        by RamDez
        Rams, Bears scrimmage before preseason opener


        Associated Press



        MACOMB, Ill. - After three days of joint practices, the St. Louis Rams outplayed the Chicago Bears during a scrimmage at Western Illinois University's Hanson Field Saturday.

        The Rams unofficially won the scrimmage 12-6, though no score was actually kept during the 90-minute workout.

        Both teams held out several starters. Quarterback Marc Bulger and running back Marshall Faulk did not see action for the Rams while linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is nursing a hamstring injury, and wide receiver Marty Booker and others sat out for the Bears.

        The scrimmage also provided a chance for new Chicago coach Lovie Smith to put his team up against the Rams, where he worked as defensive coordinator before taking the job with the Bears.

        Smith said after the scrimmage, "We know we have a long ways to go. We get a chance to play them again next week with hopes that we'll have a better team on the field playing against them."

        The Bears will visit the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis Thursday to take on the Rams in the preseason opener.

        The Rams went on offense first in the controlled scrimmage as former Bears quarterback Chris Chandler marched the Rams 70 yards in a drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by running back Arlen Harris.

        Bears starting quarterback Rex Grossman directed the first three series before backup Jonathan Quinn engineered the last two drives.

        Rams rookie quarterback Jeff Smoker hit Kevin Curtis for a 35-yard touchdown later in the scrimmage.

        Then Quinn guided the Bears to their only score when he connected with Gabe Reid on a 5-yard scoring toss.

        One of the biggest ovations of the morning came when former Western Illinois star Russ Michna took the field for a few plays with the Rams offense.

        Rams coach Mike Martz said Michna had two good passes. "Unfortunately, one of them was dropped. He's a good little player. He's not a camp arm. I'm excited that we have him."

        Michna is in the Rams camp as the fourth quarterback after signing with St. Louis as an undrafted free agent in June. Michna said after playing that he appreciated the crowd's response. "It's great to know that they still appreciate what you did for them."

        Martz said a scrimmage like the one against the Bears can provide a player an opportunity to show he deserves a spot on the roster. "We're not going to eliminate somebody because of what they've done in this scrimmage. What we can do is look a little harder at a guy," he said.

        Notes: Martz said the Rams will not practice Sunday to give his players a break. They will hold a workout Monday afternoon and a meeting Monday night in Macomb. Martz said, "We've had a terrific camp up here and they've worked...
        -08-08-2004, 12:55 AM
      • RamWraith
        Grossman brings his 'A' game
        by RamWraith
        By Kathleen Nelson
        ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
        Tuesday, Dec. 12 2006

        Beleaguered Bears quarterback Rex Grossman made a national TV audience wonder
        what all the fuss was about. He pulled his weight and then some in leading
        Chicago to a 42-27 victory over the Rams that clinched a bye in the first round
        of the playoffs for the Bears.

        Grossman completed 13 of 23 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns. Most
        important, he committed no giveaways for just the second time in two months. He
        described his performance as "efficient and decisive. I was able to relax.
        There was a lot of pressure on me to perform well. So I had to do it. I wanted
        to respond because of the way the coaches have backed me."

        For good measure, Grossman added a 22-yard run good for a first down.

        "That was fun to do," he said. "I don't do that very often, but I consciously
        went into the game thinking that I might have to make a play with my feet."

        Though the Bears (11-2) have won consistently this season with Grossman at
        quarterback, Grossman has been wildly inconsistent. His passer rating, a
        measure of consistency and efficiency, exceeded 100 in four of the Bears' first
        seven games. At that point, some experts considered Grossman a candidate for
        MVP.

        Since October 16, though, Grossman's passer rating has fallen below 50 four of
        seven times. The worst was a rating of 1.3 in the Bears' victory over the
        Vikings last week. Grossman completed just six of 19 passes for 34 yards with
        three interceptions, earning the lowest rating ever for a winning NFL
        quarterback.

        Yet Bears coach Lovie Smith stood by his man through numerous inquisitions.
        Reports from the Bears' practice indicated that Grossman and Brian Griese split
        reps with the first unit Thursday and Friday, but that Grossman got about 65
        percent of the work Saturday.

        "Rex Grossman went through a lot this past week," Smith said. "His game has
        been dissected by everyone that knows anything about football. With a lot of
        pressure on him, I thought he really stepped up to the plate, played
        outstanding ball, did exactly what we expect him to do."

        Grossman got ample help from the backfield. Starter Thomas Jones gained 76
        yards on 11 carries with one touchdown, while "backup" Cedric Benson gained 64
        yards on 16 carries.

        "There was a lot of difference this week," Grossman said. "We ran the ball well
        and set up a lot of play action. That's the blueprint we've been trying to set
        since training camp."

        Jones, the older brother of Cowboys running back Julius Jones, topped the
        1,000-yard...
        -12-12-2006, 05:33 AM
      • RamWraith
        The same old story for the same old Rams
        by RamWraith
        By Jeff Gordon
        STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
        Tuesday, Dec. 12 2006

        This grim outcome was fully expected.

        The Bears, after all, are a strong Super Bowl contender this season. The Rams
        are just another also-ran, a back-of-the-pack team in a downtrodden conference.

        So Chicago’s 42-27 victory over the Rams on “Monday Night Football” surprised
        absolutely nobody. But there were twists in this particular loss.

        After a quiet few weeks, the Rams special teams had a disastrous game. The Rams
        allowed explosive Bears kickoff returner Devin Hester to race 94 yards for a
        touchdown in the first half . . . and 96 yards for a touchdown in the second
        half.

        We know Hester is a rare talent, but how that happened TWICE in one game? Those
        total breakdowns erased whatever chance the Rams had to score an upset.

        “The return was tough,” Rams coach Scott Linehan said. “They were able to make
        (big) plays without doing much, as far as driving the ball.”

        Also, Jeff Wilkins missed a 48-yard field goal. And long-snapper Chris Massey
        screwed up an extra point. Late in the game, the Rams attempted an on-side
        kick, but failed to cover it.

        So these were new twists to The Same Old Story for the Rams.

        Defensively, they couldn’t stop Bears running backs Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson
        or Adrian Peterson. The Bears rushed for 172 yards on 34 carries, for a 5.1
        yards-per-carry average.

        So there wasn’t much opportunity to harass Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, who
        had been under fire in the Windy City after recording a 1.3 passer rating last
        week.

        So much for their hopes of harassing the kid into a mistake-filled outing.
        Grossman completed 13 of 23 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns.

        “They hit some play-action passes,” Linehan said. “We were playing the run,
        primary. (Passing well) is something they haven’t been doing, coming into the
        game.”

        The Rams actually kept the game close for a half, trailing just 14-13 after two
        quarters. They even put together a 12-play, 99-yard drive against the vaunted
        Bears defense.

        Steven Jackson rushed for 64 first-half yards and a touchdown. Marc Bulger
        completed 12 of 19 first-half passes for 160 yards and a touchdown to Torry
        Holt.

        So Rams held the national TV audience for an entire half.

        Then the game turned really ugly during the second half as Chicago built leads
        of 35-13 and 42-20.

        The Bears ripped through the Rams defense with their power running game. The
        Chicago defense tenderized Bulger’s sore ribs with a number of vicious hits as
        the Rams were forced into a desperate passing game.

        ...
        -12-12-2006, 05:33 AM
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