Flags fly at Soldier Field

The was some hanky-panky Sunday at Soldier Field. <P> Actually it was just hankies -- those bad yellow ones.

The Bears and Lions, who came in with a combined 2-10 record and shared the cellar in the NFC North Division, combined for 16 penalties for 124 yards in Sunday's game.

On the first 12 plays of the game there were four penalties -- and seven in the first quarter alone.

"Obviously we made a lot of errors, and it was disappointing that we did some things to let them back into the game," Bears coach Dick Jauron said after the 24-16 victory.

Maybe it was the fact that two subpar teams were squaring off, or that both squads were playing with a lot of new faces because of injuries.

The Bears were missing Marty Booker, Anthony Thomas, Desmond Clark and Warrick Holdman in the starting lineup. Others who didn't suit up were Kordell Stewart, Ahmad Merritt, Keith Traylor and Adrian Peterson.

The Lions were missing plenty, too, including rookie receiver Charles Rogers. But coach Steve Mariucci was more frustrated with his team's sixth straight loss than the penalties.

"I don't know that anybody feels comfortable with their role as a member of this football team," Mariucci said. "I think there is a great deal of frustration. I don't think anyone feels that they can make a mistake and continue to play and continue to start.

"We are all professionals and we need our players to reach their full potential."

* No good: Paul Edinger's streak of 14 consecutive field goals made came to an end against the Lions. Edinger's 32-yarder in the fourth quarter was blocked by James Hall.

Edinger's last miss was on Dec. 22, 2002 -- on a blocked kick against Carolina.

* Extra points: Bears center Olin Kreutz and Lions center Dominic Raiola played on the same high school team in Hawaii. ... The Bears became the first team in NFL history to register 650 victories. ... Tight end Dustin Lyman, who made his first start of the season, was Chicago's leading receiver with six catches for 42 yards. ... Reggie Swinton's 96-yard kickoff return was the first allowed by the Bears since Oct. 6, 1996 when Green Bay's Don Beebe returned a 90-yarder at Soldier Field.

Bear Report Top Stories