Bears lose to Panthers

The Chicago Bears had a 21-14 lead coming out of halftime but the offense seemed to sputter and the team only managed three points in the entire second half of a game against the now NFC South leading Carolina Panthers.  The Panthers utilized a no huddle offense to get them back in the game and kicker Robbie Gould added the finishing kick to win the game 24-31.

“The no-huddle offense has been our edge,” said QB Cam Newton, who threw for 255 yards. “It was not panic time, because we have been in these situations before.”

The Bears (2-3) will have the opportunity to get back to  .500 on the road as they take on the Atlanta Falcons.  Plenty of cheap tickets and great seats are still available so be sure to get yours today and help cheer on your Chicago Bears!

 

Bad Day for Bears All Around in Loss to Chiefs

So, what else can happen to a team still clinging to its playoff hopes?

“It’s not A running back. It’s Matt Forte,” star linebacker Brian Urlacher said after 10-3 loss to Kansas City.

“They’re two of the best players on your team, you know?”

Without Cutler and then for most of the day Sunday without Forte, who has a sprained right knee, the offense for the Bears (7-5) really began to wobble. And the result was sort of ugly.

Backup QB Caleb Hanie had trouble avoiding the rush and was sacked seven times. He also had great difficulty at times in getting the ball to his receivers and, for the second straight game since replacing Cutler, he threw three interceptions.

“Obviously, the production wasn’t there,” Hanie said after completing 11 of 24 for 133 yards and finishing with a QB rating of 23.8.

“Three points is not good enough,” he added. “I’ve just got to do a better job getting us in the right position and getting the ball to our guys.”

Hanie overthrew a wide-open Earl Bennett with a pass that would have been a touchdown in the second quarter. In the third quarter with the Bears at the Chiefs 7, Hanie was sacked on back-to-back plays and reliable Robbie Gould missed a 41-yard field goal.

Nothing went well for the Bears during the dismal home-field performance.

The Bears’ only points came on a 32-yarder by Gould — after an illegal formation call on Chicago wiped out a TD pass from Hanie to Marion Barber.

In the fourth quarter, Hanie found the range on four straight completions and it appeared the Bears were finally on their way to a touchdown.

But Hanie’s very catchable pass to Roy Williams in traffic went off the receiver’s hands, hit a Chiefs defender and Kansas City’s Jon McGraw picked it off in the end zone.

“Don’t blame one guy for this loss,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “We had a big say in what happened today. … Caleb was part of it. Caleb needs to make improvements like we all do and we all will.”

Chicago’s defense gave up the game’s lone TD on a Hail Mary pass from Tyler Palko to Dexter McCluster on the final play of the first half.

Both Urlacher and safety Chris Conte went up to bat the ball down, but instead knocked it right to McCluster.

“The guy just happened to catch that one. We’ve done it a hundred times and it’s the first time anyone has caught one,” Urlacher said.

“We knocked it down. Chris and I, we both hit it. I don’t know if it went straight down or it went backward. I guess I should have caught it or tried to, but it’s just not what we do. I’ve never done that. So I just try to knock it down.”

Palko shook off two miserable starts and threw for 157 yards and a touchdown even though he was briefly lifted for Kyle Orton for one play starting the second quarter.

But Orton hurt a finger on his right hand on his one pass attempt and Palko was back in.

Hanie’s performance could re-ignite talk of signing veteran Donovan McNabb.

“I’m not going to come in here and tell you we’re going to start making changes,” Smith said. “We’re going to evaluate our situation and see where we need to go from here.”

The Chiefs (5-7) ended their four-game losing streak ended. Who knows if the quarterback debate is over.

“You have to earn the right to put your hands underneath center,” Palko said.

Kansas City got a 21-yard field goal from Ryan Succop in the third quarter to make it a seven-point game. And Justin Houston had three sacks for a K.C. defense that hounded Hanie most of the day.

The Bears dropped their second straight after winning five in a row, but the biggest loss Sunday came in the first quarter.

Forte, third in the NFL in rushing entering the game, took a hit to the right knee from Derrick Johnson on a run for no gain deep in Chicago territory with 6 minutes left in the first period.

“It’s not a good feeling when you see your star tailback go down with a knee injury,” Smith said. “Part of the game. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed and hopefully it’s not that serious.”

Bears Dominate Stafford, Lions, 37-13

Charles Tillman and Major Wright returned interceptions for touchdowns early in the third quarter, and Chicago picked off Stafford four times to beat Detroit 37-13 in a heated game on Sunday.

The four interceptions by Stafford matched his season total entering the game and helped knock the Lions (6-3) into a second-place tie with the Bears in the NFC North. Stafford was also involved in a skirmish that led to an ejection of Chicago’s D.J. Moore early in the fourth quarter.

By then, the Bears (6-3) had locked up their fourth straight win thanks to a dominant defense and another punt return for a touchdown by Devin Hester, who ran one back 82 yards. That extended his NFL record to 12.

Julius Peppers and Tim Jennings forced turnovers on Detroit’s first two possessions, leading to a touchdown and field goal by Chicago. Wright and Tillman returned interceptions for touchdowns on the Lions’ first two possessions of the second half to put game out of reach.

In between turnover binges, Hester caused his usual havoc before leaving with an undisclosed illness.

For a guy who was listed as questionable with a sprained left ankle, Hester sure looked good at least while he was in the game. He had already set up a field goal by Robbie Gould in the opening seconds of the second quarter with a 29-yard punt return before his long TD return along the left sideline, giving the Bears (6-3) a 20-0 lead.

The idea that the Bears would be tied with the Lions seemed far-fetched after their 24-13 Monday night loss at Ford Field last month, but the teams have gone in different directions since.

Detroit has dropped three of four after winning its first five, and this one was brutal — particularly for Stafford and Calvin Johnson.

Johnson had 81 yards on seven catches with Tillman locking him down.

Stafford completed 33 of 63 passes for 329 yards, and any shot the Lions had at a comeback ended when Wright and Tillman picked him off early in the third.

Wright returned his interception 24 yards and Tillman ran his back 44 yards for TDs that made it 34-6, sending the Lions to their first road loss after they won their first four away from Ford Field.

Things really got chippy early in the fourth quarter after Stafford threw his third interception. Jennings picked him off and got shoved hard out of bounds by Nate Burleson. While that unfolded, Stafford grabbed D.J. Moore by the helmet and threw him to the ground, setting off a confrontation that led to Moore’s ejection.

There was also some tension earlier in the game.

Jay Cutler had his helmet ripped off by Ndamukong Suh after a run, and he got slammed to the ground by Nick Fairley on a late hit in the third quarter.

And a few plays before Jennings’ interception, Chicago’s Lance Briggs had a hard hit on Johnson.

Those incidents aside, there was little drama in this one.

The Bears pulled out an easy win even though Matt Forte and Cutler were rather quiet.

Forte scored the game’s first touchdown on a 6-yard run but finished with 64 yards — 40 of them on one run.

Cutler was consistently under pressure while throwing for just 123 yards, but for one game, anyway, it didn’t matter.