(Not) a Sack Attack

Bears get four sacks against Rams, still lose

CHICAGO -- The Bears finally got to the quarterback on Sunday. Unfortunately for them, it didn't much matter.

Coming into Sunday's game against the Rams, the Bears ranked last in the NFL in sacks.

Chicago had seven sacks prior to Sunday but got four more on St. Louis' Marc Bulger at Soldier Field.

The Bears got to Bulger on three consecutive plays in the second quarter, but still lost the game 23-21.

The four sacks were a season high for the Bears, who had three for minus-25 yards against Bulger on the Rams' second possession of the second quarter.

After St. Louis punted on that series, the Bears went on a nine-play, 47-yard drive that put them up 14-3 at halftime.

"We just couldn't get to the quarterback (in the second half) for some reason," said Bears defensive end Alex Brown, who had an 11-yard sack on Bulger in the first half. "That fourth quarter -- when it was crucial -- we just couldn't get to him. They just protected well and made plays.

"It just comes down to, 'You've got to beat that guy across from you.' Those three plays we did and we had that quarterback moving, but I think it was just a combination of everything."

Jerry Azumah, Alfonso Boone and rookie Michael Haynes each sacked Bulger, while Brown added to his team-high 3 1/2 sacks.

The defense also got two deflected passes from Bryan Robinson and interceptions from Azumah and rookie Charles Tillman. But the Bears offense could only generate 241 total yards to help the defense.

"They went to shorter drops with more protection (in the second half)," Bears defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. "We were blitzing quite a bit and they made some adjustments.

"They can put you in a rock and a hard place because they have great receivers and a great back in Marshall Faulk. They've got some athletes.

RETURN INVESTMENT: R.W. McQuarters scored on a 60-yard punt return in the second quarter to put the Bears up 7-3.

McQuarters recorded his fourth career touchdown and second via the punt return. His score was the first, and longest, for the Bears since Glyn Milburn had a 93-yard punt return TD on Sept. 20, 1998 at Tampa Bay.

It was also the first, and longest, for McQuarters since his 72-yard scoring return as a rookie with the 49ers in 1998. It was McQuarters' third TD as a member of the Bears and first since he ran back a 69-yard fumble return against Arizona during the 2001 season.

LOST COIN: The Rams won the pregame coin toss and chose to receive the opening kickoff, marking it 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.

St. Louis was forced to punt after gaining 2 yards on three plays.

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