Monday Night Meltdown
front story

Posted Oct 8, 2002


The return of R.W. McQuarters and Phillip Daniels couldn’t save the Bears from an embarrassing loss on national television. Chicago came out in all blue uniforms, but the change in dress couldn’t camouflage their poor play.

Turnovers, penalties and mistakes led to a 34-21 loss at the hands of the Packers, as a result dropped two games behind Green Bay and with their third straight loss are in jeopardy of falling out of the division race.

"We’re making too many mistakes to overcome," said Jim Miller, who threw three interceptions in the loss. "I think there’s plenty of blame to go around and you can’t point your finger at anybody because it starts with pointing your thumb back at yourself."

The Bears went three and out on their first drive, but almost got a big-play when Brad Maynard’s bouncing punt hit Donald Driver in the backside. However, former Bear Tony Carter came up with the ball for the Packers.

On the very next play Brett Favre rolled left and threw across his body over 50 yards to find Driver wide open. The receiver ran into the endzone untouched for an 85-yard touchdown. R.W. McQuarters and Mike Green were supposed to have coverage on the play, but there seemed to be a miscommunication between the two.

"R.W. was expecting some safety help and I was the safety back there and I wasn’t there," said Mike Green. "He (Favre) had a good playaction and I never saw the receiver come behind me and he made a good throw."

It was McQuarters first game back since leaving with a left knee sprain in Week One.

Favre found a rhythm on the Packers third drive. He completed 4-5 passes for 65 yards including a 19-yard TD pass to tight end Tyrone Davis, which put Green Bay up by two touchdowns late in the first quarter. Following a false start penalty on Earl Dotson Green Bay was in 3rd and 13, but Favre dumped the ball off to Green for a 14-yard gain. From there Favre completed passes of 13, 14, 17 before throwing his second touchdown of the game.

A taunting penalty by Davis on the touchdown forced the Packers to kickoff from their 15-yard line. Leon Johnson returned the kick 35 yards giving Chicago the ball at the Packers 37. After two completions to Marty Booker, Jim Miller went to Anthony Thomas, who drew a pass interference penalty on Matt Bowen. The 14-yard penalty put the ball on the four-yard line. On the next play Miller found Booker alone along the sideline for a touchdown. The score cut the Packers lead in half at 14-7.

Another third and long conversion by Favre led to another score. The quarterback went to rookie Javon Walker for 17 yards on third and nine. A 27-yard completion to Terry Glenn gave the Packers first and goal. Favre then completed his third TD pass of the half this time to tight end Bubba Franks from five yards out, which extended Green Bay’s lead to 21-7.

The Bears pulled out all the stops on the ensuing possession. At their own 45 Dick Jauron decided to go for it on fourth and one. Thomas picked two yards keeping the drive alive for the moment. But, an offensive pass interference penalty slowed the Bears progress. Leading to Paul Edinger to attempt an apparent 54-yard field goal. However, the Bears went to a trick play with everyone lined up on the left side except long snapper Patrick Mannelly, Marty Booker and Brian Urlacher in the backfield and David Terrell to the right side. The ball was snapped to Booker, then lateraled to Urlacher, who threw it to Mannelly, but it’s broken up by safety Marques Anderson.

After trading punts the Packers looked to put more points up, but Driver fumbled a 10-yard catch that Mike Brown recovered and returned 35 yards to the Green Bay four-yard line.

Three plays later Miller went to John Davis for a one-yard touchdown trimming the deficit to 21-14 with 2:50 left in the half.

The score remained the same, until Favre got the ball with 38 seconds left in the half. With the full compliment of three timeouts he marched the Packers into field goal range. A 49-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell ended the half with the Bears trailing 24-14.

The Bears dodged a major bullet to start the third quarter. Rabih Abdullah fumbled the kickoff that the Packers recovered at the Bears 17-yard line. A fumbled snap by Favre forced the Packers to bring on Longwell for a 28-yard field goal that Marc Colombo blocked keeping the Bears within ten points.

Miller moved the Bears into Green Bay territory with back-to-back completions to Dez White of 14 and 23 yards. A 22-yard pass to David Terrell put the Bears well within field goal range. However, Miller was sacked by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and fumbled the ball. The Bears recovered, but on the following play LT Bernard Robertson was beaten again, this time Joe Johnson got to Miller, who tried to throw the ball away. The attempted pass went directly into the hands of Gbaja-Biamila. The defensive end scampered 72 yards for a touchdown giving Green Bay a 17-point lead at 31-14.

On the drive G Rex Tucker went down with a dislocated left ankle.

"That’s a big blow," Miller said. "He’s worked so hard and he’s been so solid for us. That’s a very severe injury that he sustained tonight. It was not pretty. It hurts to lose that leadership."

Mike Gandy replaced the injured Tucker for the remainder of the game.

Following Miller’s second interception, Favre completed a 49-yard pass to Glenn. Longwell then missed another field goal this time the 36-yard attempt went wide left.

Longwell finally hit a 35-yard field goal, which was setup by a 43-yard run by Green. The three points gave the visitors a 34-14 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

The Bears added a late touchdown on John Davis’ second score of the game cut the lead to 34-21, but failed to close the gap from there.

Chicago had one last chance to make a run at the Packers following a 52-yard completion from Miller to Terrell, but the quarterback was picked off in the endzone on the next play.

The Bears haven’t lost three straight games since 2000 when the team lost three straight games to New Orleans (10/8), Minnesota (10/15) and Philadelphia (10/22).

Chicago now has a week off before going to Detroit to play the Lions.



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