Post-Game Notes

Bears get special teams boost, but fall to the Rams

R-DUB IS EXTRA SPECIAL: With his 60-yard punt return for a touchdown (pictured) in the second quarter cornerback R.W. McQuarters recorded his fourth career TD and second via the punt return. The score on a punt return was the first, and longest, for the Bears since Glyn Milburn had an 93-yard punt return TD on Sept. 20, 1998 at Tampa Bay and the firs, and longest, for McQuarters since his 72-yard scoring return as a rookie which also came against the Rams on Dec. 27, 1998. McQuarters' TD is his third as a member of the Bears and first since a 69-yard fumble return TD on Oct. 14, 2001 vs. Arizona.

RETURN MAGIC: Combining R.W. McQuarters 60-yard punt return touchdown against the Rams with the 89-yard kickoff return TD by Jerry Azumah on Oct. 26 vs. Detroit, the Bears have now produced a scoring punt return and kickoff return in the same season for the first time since Glyn Milburn had one punt return TDE and two kickoff return TDs in 1998. Additionally, the scoring return by McQuarters was the fourth allowed by the special teams of St. Louis this season and the third in the last four games. The Rams punt coverage unit entered the game ranked 30th in the league at 12.8 yards per return while the Bears return unit ranked ninth at 10.5 yards per return.

TAKING IT BACK: Cornerback Charles Tillman grabbed the team interception lead with his third pick of the season in the first quarter against Marc Bulger. Tillman had been tied with free safety Mike Brown for the team lead with two since recording his second vs. San Diego on Nov. 2. The third interception in the last four games for the rookie cornerback gives the Bears nine for the season, equaling their total for 2002 season.

SECOND TIME BETTER THAN THE FIRST: The fourth-quarter interception by cornerback Jerry Azumah that followed the pick by Charles Tillman gave the Bears picks by each of their starting cornerbacks for the second time this season. Tillman and Azumah previously turned the trick against Detroit on Oct. 26, marking the first time that Chicago's two starting CBs had recorded an INT in the same game since Dec. 13, 1998 at Green Bay. In that contest, Walt Harris picked off a Brett Favre pass in the third quarter and returned the pick 13 yards for a TD in the Bears 26-20 loss and Terry Cousin had a second-quarter interception with no return.

SACK-TO-SACK-TO-SACK: The Bears entered the game against St. Louis with seven sacks on the season, but added to that total with sacks on three consecutive plays in the second quarter en route to a season-high four in the game. Jerry Azumah started the string with a six-yard drop of Marc Bulger on first-and-10; followed by an eight-yard sack by Alfonso Boone and an 11-yard take down by Alex Brown. The game was Chicago's first four-sack outing since the last time the team played the Rams, last Nov. 18 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Brown is currently the team leader with 3.5 sacks this season.

YOUR HONOR: The Rams won the pre-game coin toss and chose to receive the opening kickoff, marking the ninth consecutive game in which the Bears had lost the coin toss. Chicago has now opened each of the last nine contests on defense and kept its opponent from scoring on the opening drive for the sixth straight game as St. Louis was forced to punt after gaining two yards on three plays. The Bears have allowed a total of eight yards on their opponent's first drive over the last two games.

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