Poor Execution and Penalties Lead to Defeat

The Bears offense had opportunities, but failed to capitalize inside the redzone settling for just three Paul Edinger field goals in the team's 10-9 loss to the Chiefs. Several penalties throughout the game also slowed the Bears attack. It was a sloppy game by both teams and didn't show the kind of execution that was expected from the Bears in their third preseason game.

"Overall the game was pretty sloppy," said Shane Matthews. "It was an ugly game. We had a lot of penalties that killed drives. We'd establish some good drives and then a penalty here or there or a bad throw or whatever it may be stopped the drive. You just can't have silly penalties and stuff like that."

The offense looked good in spurts throughout the first half. The Bears first drive started strong with 10 plays for 35 yards including two receptions by James Allen, who saw his first game action of the year. However, the drive stalled around midfield and the Bears were forced to punt.

The majority of the first quarter was a battle for field position with each team punting on their first two possessions. The Chiefs gained the upper hand towards the close of the quarter. Kansas City began a 10-play 89-yard drive capped by a 30-yard touchdown reception by TE Mikhael Ricks. Trent Green's playaction worked to perfection as Ricks was left wide open in the flat as he sprinted past linebacker Bobbie Howard and into the endzone. The drive took 4:59 off the game clock and put the Chiefs up 7-0.

The Bears responded on their following possession holding the ball for over seven minutes. Matthews was sharp on the drive going 4/5 for 54 yards including connecting with Bobby Engram for a 24-yard reception on a third and nine from the Chicago 32. The Bears, who had been 2/7 on third and one situations in the first two games, were able to convert on a third and one with a six-yard run by Skip Hicks. Then on a third and six from the KC 25 Allen caught a ball coming across the middle and picked up 17 yards setting up first and goal at the Chiefs eight-yard line.

"I felt like on the one pass route I caught going across the middle I just should have took it in to the end zone," Allen said. "When you get that close you've got to go for it." However, Scott Dragos was called for holding the next play pushing the Bears back to the 18. The Bears settled for a 23-yard field goal by Edinger cutting the lead to 7-3.

The Bears defense, which pressured the quarterback at times, was able to give the ball back right back to the offense when Brian Urlacher sacked QB Todd Collins for a nine-yard loss forcing the Chiefs to punt.

The Bears went three and out, but the team got one last chance before halftime when Jerry Azumah picked off a Collins pass. However, the Bears went three and out again and Collins took a knee to end the half. Chicago's two last possessions of the half were both three and outs taking a total of 52 seconds of the game clock.

Jim Miller saw his first game action since he tore his Achilles' tendon against Buffalo in week 11 of the 2000 season. He wasn't sharp early, as he couldn't take advantage of good field position to start the second half thanks to a 49-yard kickoff return by Azumah. The Bears went three and out. The Bears special teams again gave the offense great field position on a 38-yard punt return by R.W. McQuarters, which put the team at the KC 28. The drive went nowhere, gaining just three yards before Edinger kicked his second field goal (45-yards) of the night.

"I felt a little rusty out there," Miller said. "I think you could tell. I missed like three throws. But that's no excuse. It took me a while to catch up to the speed of the game. That's what I said all week. And that's exactly what happened. I felt encouraged because I picked up every blitz when they did blitz and I had to throw hot. That's encouraging. I'm seeing everything that I need to see but obviously there's certain throws that I've got to make. It has been a year, I'll just keep on working at it."

Then the Bears defense quickly became undisciplined. Carl Powell drew a 15-yard facemask penalty followed on the next play by an illegal use of hands (10-yard) penalty by Floyd Young. Then Robert Newkirk, who was back from a groin pull suffered in the first preseason game, jumped offsides. Todd Peterson kicked a 43-yard field goal giving the KC a 10-6 lead and of the 45 yards gained on the 9-play drive, 30 came from Chicago penalties.

A Brad Maynard punt pinned the Chiefs down inside their 5-yard line. The defense held and forced the home team to punt. McQuarters had another nice return, which was the 3/4 drive in the second half that started in Kansas City territory.

Miller was able to put the Bears in field goal range when he threw a pass over the middle to D'Wayne Bates for an 18-yard gain. The drive resulted in a third field goal from Edinger trimming the lead to 10-9. However, that was as close as the Bears would get.

"I thought our return game and our coverage game was pretty strong," head coach Dick Jauron said. "And teams (special teams) was the one thing that stood out. With those kinds of returns we needed to capitalize and win that game, with that kind of field position from the returns."

Miller ended the night going 3/8 for 31 yards. The key stat of the game may be the Bears nine penalties for a total of 80 yards.

"The penalties definitely hurt us," Jauron said. "We're down there on the 8-yard line and we get the ball backed up on us. Any time you're penalized it's a negative."

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