Turning Point: Learning how to Finish

Chicago - The Bears could easily be 4-2 if they hadn't let a 10-6 lead slip away at Cleveland two weeks ago. But the team took something from the defeat to the Browns and applied it against the Ravens.

For the first time since Games 6-8 of last season, the Bears have a winning streak. The outcome was in doubt late into the fourth quarter, until the defense took down QB Anthony Wright three times on the final two possessions and the offense ran out the clock.

The Bears pressured Wright throughout the game, but got to him just once in more than 50 minutes of football. That's when reserve defensive lineman Michael Haynes, Alfonso Boone and Tank Johnson got to work.

Haynes and Boone shared a sack of Wright to open the drive with just under eight minutes left in the game. While that put Baltimore in second and 18, they converted thanks to encroachment by Boone and a 14-yard run by Chester Taylor.

The next time the Bears needed a stop Johnson came up with the play. He worked to beat his blocker and got to Wright to force a punt.

The Chicago offense took over with 5:51 on the clock and failed to move the chains. Still the Bears were lucky, on third and one of a false start on TE John Gilmore negated a fumbled snap that the Ravens recovered.

Baltimore got to their 45-yard line before two incomplete passes by Wright were sandwiched between a false start penalty on Jonathan Ogden. Johnson again reached Wright on third down and forced a punt.

Jamal Lewis was held in check all day, gaining just 34 yards on 15 carries, but stopping the 5-foot-11, 245-pound back wore on the defense and meant the backups had to play meaningful snaps.

Although the offense only put up 10 points on the board, they held the ball for 10:45 of the fourth quarter thanks to the workman like effort of Thomas Jones. The running back carried the ball 12 times in the final period for 83 yards, including a 42-yard gain that broke Baltimore's spirit. Even still, the Ravens had one last chance to get the ball back, but Jones converted a fourth and one by leaping over the line of scrimmage to pickup the first down that sealed the victory.

"We were in a situation where we needed the defense to come through, they came through. When we needed the offense to come through, they came through," said LB Lance Briggs. "So it's sort of a sentimental win."

At 3-3, the Bears haven't been at .500 this deep in the season since 2001. The two previous victories have come by a combined 57 points, so for a young team that's learning how to win, coming out on top in a close game is important.

"Obviously to start stacking up wins you want to get used to the way it feels and that's the first close game we've won," said LB Hunter Hillenmeyer. "We've either lost close or blown people out. So to prove that we can hold up in the fourth quarter on both sides of the ball is huge.

"It's big from a confidence factor to be able to shutdown a team at the end like we (did)."

The next test for the Bears will be able to prove that they can win on the road, especially going to Detroit, who is tied for first place in the NFC North.


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