Bears-Cardinals Post-Game Notes

The Bears had their best offensive day in recent memory

The Bears posted more than 400 yards of total offense and put up 28 points, but the defense put in their fair share to help the Bears to victory.

Opening Drive: The touchdown that the Bears scored on their opening drive of the game was the first scored by the team in the first quarter this season. The two-yard scoring pass from Kordell Stewart to Marty Booker with 8:56 remaining in the opening stanza was also Chicago's first touchdown on their first possession of the game since Chris Chandler connected with Dez White on a 76-yard touchdown pass on the Bears second play of the game at Carolina on Dec. 22, 2002. The span covered 12 games. On the drive, Stewart was 4-for-4 passing for 85 yards and capped it off with his team-leading fifth touchdown pass of the season.

Big-Play Gage: The Bears got to the two-yard line as a result of a team season-long 57-yard pass play from Kordell Stewart to rookie wideout Justin Gage, his first catch in the last three games. The play was Chicago's longest from scrimmage since the 67-yard touchdown run by Anthony Thomas on Sept. 29 vs. Green Bay. The catch also was the team-leading sixth of more than 20 yards on the year for Gage among his 11 receptions for 252 yards (22.9 ypc) on the season.

Gage Hits Century Mark: Highlighted by his 57-yard gain, Justin Gage recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game on four catches against Arizona. Gage's 100-yard effort is the first by a Bears receiver this season and first overall for a Chicago receiver since both Marty Booker (1o for 157) and Dez White (8 for 106) topped the century mark on Nov. 24, 2002 vs. Detroit at Champaign's Memorial Stadium. Gage is the first Bears rookie to record a 100-yard game since Booker compiled 134 yards on seven catches vs. Minnesota on Nov. 14, 1999. The last 100-yard receiving effort by a Bear at Soldier Field came on Dec. 10, 2000 when Eddie Kennison caught eight balls for 100 yards and a touchdown.

Brock the Rock: Rushing for 134 yards on 27 carries (5.0 ypc) and one touchdown in his second NFL start, Bears rookie Brock Forsey recorded his first career 100-yard rushing game and the first by a Chicago rookie since Anthony Thomas ran for 160 yards on 33 carries on Jan. 6, 2001 vs. Jacksonville. Thomas also was the last Chicago running back to rush for 100 yards in a game, totaling 111 on 31 carries on Nov. 2 vs. San Diego. Forsey is the first Bears back other than Thomas to rush for 100 yards since James Allen ran for 107 on 27 carries on Nov. 25, 2001. Forsey is just the third running back this year to reach the 100-yard rushing plateau against Arizona's 12th ranked rushing defense, following a 100-yard game by St. Louis' Marshall Faulk last week and a 134-yard effort by Baltimore's Jamal Lewis in Week Six.

Two Ways to 100: With Brock Forsey rushing for 134 yards and Justin Gage totaling 100 receiving yards against Arizona, the Bears featured a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game for the first time since Oct. 27, 1997 when running back Raymont Harris rushed for 106 yards (25 carries) and wide receiver Curtis Conway hauled in 100 receiving yards (six catches) vs. Miami.

Passing Thoughts: Bears quarterback Kordell Stewart threw for a season-high 284 yards against the Cardinals, completion 22-of-37 passes with a season-high two touchdowns against no interceptions. The 284 passing yards is the most for a Bears quarterback since Jim Miller threw for 353 yards (27-of-49) on Oct. 7, 2002 and the most for Stewart since throwing for 333 yards (20-of-31) at Baltimore as a starter for Pittsburgh on Dec. 16, 2001. The last time a Bears quarterback completed two touchdown passes in the same game was three thrown by Miller on Oct. 7 of last year vs. Green Bay.

Four-Hundred Club: Chicago totaled a season-high 422 net yards of offense (268 passing and 154 rushing) against Arizona, the most for the Bears since posting that same figure vs. Detroit on Nov. 24 of last year (347 passing and 75 rushing) at Memorial Stadium.

Turnover Tango: With three takeaways and only one giveaway against the Cardinals, the Bears improved to 2-1 on the season when winning the turnover battle while moving to minus-one on turnovers for the season. With second-half interceptions by R.W. McQuarters and Jerry Azumah, the Bears recorded two interceptions in the same game for the fourth time this season (the third time two cornerbacks turned the trick). Chicago now has 12 picks on the season – three more than all of last year. With the fumble lost by Brian Urlacher on the fourth-down attempt in the third quarter, Chicago had its streak of six games without a lost fumble snapped. The streak was the franchise's longest since the 1992 Bears went seven games without a lost fumble (9/21 vs. NYG through 11/8 vs. CIN).

Injury Front: Chris Villarrial left the game with a strained rib cage. Terrence Metcalf replaced him at right guard and played the majority of the game.

Aaron Gibson had to be helped off the field with a right knee sprain. He was on crutches after the game and will be re-evaluated Monday. Corbin Lacina went in at left guard for Steve Edwards, who moved over to right tackle.

Granted right tackle is Edwards' natural position, but he hasn't played or gotten reps there since the middle of August.

"It was definitely a transition, but in the back of my head I've always been thinking if something happened to Gib, which you never want to happen, I just knew I would have to be that right tackle, Edwards said. "So I kept that fresh in my mind so when it happened we had a lead and that made it a lot easier transition."

Edwards added that he expects to start the week of preparation for Green Bay at right tackle.

While Anthony Thomas missed the game vs. Arizona because of viral pneumonia he's expected to make a full recovery and could be back at practice as soon as Wednesday.

Game Day Inactives: QB Chris Chandler, RB Anthony Thomas, SS Mike Green, TE Gabe Reid, T Qasim Mitchell, DT Tron LaFavor, TE Dustin Lyman and DT Ian Scott.

Line-up Changes:
Defense - Bobby Gray starting at SS for Mike Green

Offense – Kordell Stewart starting at QB for Chris Chandler
Brock Forsey starting at RB for Anthony Thomas


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