Special Teams Play Keeps Game Close

Edinger's three field goals account for teams only points.

Thomas Smith went down in the first quarter with a left knee laceration he was replaced by R.W. McQuarters. The 5-9, 198-pounder, has played big for his size this preseason.

McQuarters had a 38-yard punt return against the Chiefs setting up a Paul Edinger field goal. Last week against the Titans McQuarters busted a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown. The way the Bears offense is struggling to put points on the board in the redzone the special teams is going to play a key role in the success of the team.

"I'm really concerned about our ability to score points because we haven't. We haven't done it," Dick Jauron said. "We ended up kicking three field goals. Any time, any one of those times we put it into the end zone it ends up being a victory. So we'll keep working on it. God knows we work on it all the time in practice. We devote enough time to red-area football."

Edinger had a solid game kicking three field goals connecting from 23, 45 and 35 yards. He is now 6/8 on field goal attempts this preseason and secured his job with his performance against the Chiefs.

Jauron commented that he was pleased with the Edinger's performance, but was not entirely happy with his distance on kickoffs. That has been the knock on Edinger since he's been with the team. However, the Bears cannot afford to carry two kickers (a field goal kicker and kickoff specialist) and at this point in there are no kickers available that can do the job as well as Edinger.

Jerry Azumah also made a strong case for a roster spot with an interception in the first half and then a 49-yard kickoff return to start the second half. Azumah had struggled during the Bears first two games, but against the Chiefs he proved his worth. Azumah's versatility in being a backup corner and a return threat will almost guarantee him a roster spot.

NFL rosters have to be cut down to 65 players on August 28. Then to 53 on September 2, while the practice squad must be established on September 3.

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