Glimpse of present and future in win

As the case in any preseason game, the final score is not the critique of a team's performance. The Bears got a peak at their quarterback of the present and the future in a 20-18 win over the <!--Default NodeId For Indianapolis Colts is 94,2003--><A HREF=http://colts.TheInsiders.com>Indianapolis Colts</A>.

Trailing by one-point with just under three minutes to go, Rex Grossman took the field. After struggling with nervous for more than a quarter, the rookie led the Bears to victory with a last minute drive. Ironically, Grossman saw his first action as a pro against a team he grew up rooting for. Grossman converted two fourth and longs on route to getting the team in position to kick a field goal to win the game.

"I really was trying to establish something tonight," Grossman said. "I thought I had been sloppy all night before the last drive. It was nice to get the win even though it was preseason it actually felt like a regular season game at times. To make key big plays like we did down the stretch was fun."

Grossman finished the game 9 of 21 passing for 74 yards and a quarterback rating of 52.5. And while his numbers weren't impressive his coach was pleased with his play under pressure.

"We really couldn't have scripted it much better for Rex; for a young quarterback to be in there at the end of the game, have (the Colts) score late and have the game on his shoulders. I thought he responded really well," said head coach Dick Jauron. "When he had to, he put the ball on the money. He certainly doesn't seem like a guy that panics at all when I talked to him on the sideline."

Kordell Stewart wasn't to be outdone. The Bears starting quarterback opened the game by throwing on five of the first six snaps and ran for nine yards on the only play that didn't result in a pass.

"We'll see a lot of different things, obviously, with Kordell (Stewart) at quarterback," Jauron said. "He's very athletic, so if we open up the passing game at the start and stretch out the defense, there are a lot of things that he can do with the ball and that we can do with him."

Stewart looked sharp completing seven of eight passes to five different receivers, but the relationship between quarterback and offensive coordinator, John Shoop, is still a work in progress.

"There are some things Shoop is learning about me and what I'm comfortable with," Stewart said. "This is a learning curve for everybody out here on offense. With a new quarterback and getting a feel for game situations with each other compared to going through practices is what we are trying to accomplish right now."

Although Stewart only threw for 29 yards the offense moved the ball with him at the helm. His presence loosened up the line of scrimmage for a rushing attack that gained 133 yards.

Chicago got on the board thanks to the feet of Adrian Peterson, who started at tailback as Anthony Thomas watched from the sideline. He made an impression on the fans ripping off consecutive runs of 15 and 14 yards, which put the Bears inside the red zone. A sack of Stewart on third and short forced the Bears to settle for three points. A 29-yard Paul Edinger gave the Bears an early lead.

Peterson played into the second quarter, finishing with six carries for 36 yards. The team decided to sit Thomas in order to get a better look at Peterson.

"My confidence is growing with every game," Peterson said. "I've always been able to find the holes in the defensive line and what I find the holes, I have a burst of speed."

The Colts had an opportunity to tie the game on the following possession, but a 25-yard field goal attempt by Mike Vanderjagt sailed wide right. A problem that didn't subside during the contest as the Colts missed three of four field goal attempts in the game.

Worries about offensive line were confirmed. Chris Villarrial didn't play because of groin injury and was replaced by Terrence Metcalf, who left the game with a broken right middle finger. Before exiting, the second-year player gave up two sacks to Montae Reagor, the second of which resulted in a Stewart fumble.

The Colts recovered inside the Bears 20-yard line and converted the turnover into three points.

Chris Chandler started the second quarter and took over where Stewart left off. Despite all the talk of Stewart using his mobility to the Bears advantage, it was Chandler who scrambled for a 12-yard gain on 3rd and 11. The play jumpstarted the offense. Rabih Abdullah had consecutive bursts of 10 and 16 yards, which moved the Bears into Colts territory. Chandler then went to David Terrell for 14 yards and followed that up with a 22-yard touchdown to Ahmad Merritt, giving Chicago a 10-3 advantage.

The Colts capitalized on another Bears miscue to end the half. Idrees Bashir blocked Todd McMillon into Merritt on an attempted fair catch. The collision caused a fumble that the Colts recovered at the Bears 25.

Four plays later Ricky Williams ran into the endzone as Charles Tillman and Mike Caldwell failed to bring him down for a minimal gain.

Following a Caldwell sack, Joe Tafoya pressured Colts QB Jim Kubiak. As he tried to throw the ball out of bounds Todd McMillon stepped in front of the pass and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown and a 17-10 lead midway through the third quarter.

The Colts took their first lead of the game late in the fourth quarter. Following on a 13-yard touchdown pass from James MacPherson to WR Aaron Moorehead, Tony Dungy decided to go for a two-point conversion. RB Brian Allen ran in off right tackle putting Indy up 18-17.

The conversion meant there would be no overtime and set the mood for Grossman's game winning drive.

With three timeouts and 2:39 to remaining the unit moved the ball slowly down the field. The 14-play drive was capped off by a 38-yard Edinger field goal as time expired.

"It was an exhibition game, really sloppy points and I thought some things looked really good at points," Jauron said. "We'll take the win, but there's a lot of work ahead of us."


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