Turning Point: 4th Quarter Drive Goes Wrong

The Bears seemed to have the game in hand into the fourth quarter. One drive appeared to clinch a victory, but in actually it sealed their fate.

Following a three and out by the Browns the Bears took the ball at the 20 with 10:34 left in the game. Thomas Jones took a first down carry for five yards. On second down he was stopped for no gain, but more importantly took a hit to his knee that forced him to leave the game.

Kyle Orton hit Desmond Clark for six yards and a first down. An Orton incompletion followed by a curious reverse call that Bernard Berrian failed to handle left 3rd and 19. The Bears had conceded the possession with a handoff to Adrian Peterson, but he broke off right tackle and picked up a first down.

Peterson was stopped for no gain on first down. Orton misfired going to Muhsin Muhammad and the drive concluded with a sack on third down.

Even though the Bears didn't score the offense took nearly five minutes off the clock and had a chance to pin Cleveland down with a good punt by Brad Maynard. He got off a 49-yard attempt and the dangerous Dennis Northcutt was held to just four yards. However, a Carl Ford illegal motion penalty wiped out the play.

Maynard's second attempt went just 36 yards and the lack of hang time allowed Northcutt to catch the ball with a full head of steam. His 15-yard return put the ball at the Cleveland 46, meaning the penalty resulted in a 29-yard shift in field position in the Browns favor.

Although the Cleveland offense struggled to move the ball all day, they took advantage of the short field.

Trent Dilfer completed a third down pass to TE Steve Heiden to move the chains. He then connected with Aaron Shea for 11 yards. The Browns took the lead for good on the next play. In cover 2, Charles Tillman didn't press Antonio Bryant as he let him go to Chris Harris. Bryant beat the rookie safety and Dilfer made a great pass to the back of the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown.

Suddenly the time took off the clock worked to the Bears disadvantage. Not to mention Jones, their best blocking back and solid receiver was out for the game.

Needing to go to the passing game, Cedric Benson sat in favor of Peterson. He is good in blitz pickup, but when Chris Crocker came free Peterson tried to impede his progress. In the process he knocked the ball loose from Orton and the Browns recovered.

Two plays later Cleveland added another touchdown on a Dilfer to Bryant connection for the second time in 38 seconds. It's the fourth time Tillman has been beaten for a scoring pass in three games.

Trying to overcome a three-point deficit proved to be a difficult challenge and trailing by double digits meant the game was over and the Bears let a victory turn into a frustrating defeat.


Bear Report Top Stories