Bears-Broncos: Post-Game Notes

Wrap-up on the Bears win from Denver

DENVER - Bears kick returner Jerry Azumah performed so well Sunday that he had Coach Dick Jauron admitting to a mistake.

Azumah had not been used on kickoff returns extensively by the Bears until this year and came into Sunday's game leading the NFC in returns. He averaged 38.7 yards on three returns Sunday and his 51-yarder in the first quarter set up a Paul Edinger field goal.

"We kept him out of the role probably for too long," Jauron said of Azumah, who had only four kick returns prior to this season. "I'm not shocked (by Azumah's returns). I would say I'm pleasantly surprised."

The returns had the Broncos kicking themselves all game.

"Our special teams were horrible," wide receiver Rod Smith said. "Just horrible. I say that because I am a part of them and I play a significant role on special teams, too. I am not putting the blame on any one player, but we just missed so many tackles today and that killed us."

Quarterback Chris Chandler suffered what he described after the game as a slight separation of his throwing shoulder.

"He said it happened at the end of the half when he got sacked," offensive coordinator John Shoop said.

It actually wasn't the end of the half but the early part of it. Defensive end Trevor Pryce got called for a facemask on a play when he sacked Chandler for an 8-yard loss and Chandler fumbled.

"He actually thought the whistle had blown and the guy was holding him," Shoop said.

The remarkable thing about Chandler's injury was he threw nine more passes afterward and led the Bears to field goals of 23 and 54 yards by Paul Edinger before leaving.

Among the nine passes was a 45-yard heave to Marty Booker that went for a pass interference penalty against Lenny Walls.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: Brian Urlacher complained after the game of the thin air affecting the Bears conditioning-wise.

He was joined in his sentiments by cornerback Charles Tillman.

"I'm a little tired," Tillman said. "We won. I'm cool. But you feel it. You feel it more at the end of the game because you're just relaxing and you're exhausted.

"I just need a good night's sleep, a good night's sleep of some Chicago air."

THE SCARE: After playing an effective game in the secondary, Tillman nearly got burned with a long pass on third-and-10 in the fourth quarter with the Bears up 19-10 on a play that started at Denver's 13.

Tillman fell and Ashley Lelie ran past him for a bomb, but the Plummer failed to connect.

"I just thank you Jesus," Tillman said. "That's just a long foul ball that he overthrew. I shouldn't have fell, but I got lucky on that play. Hopefully it won't happen again."

TAILS IT IS: The Bears broke their streak of nine straight lost coin tosses when Mike Brown called tails and came up tails.

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