JC's Live Game Blog: Bears at Cardinals

The undefeated Bears travel to Arizona and get their first look at sparkling new Cardinals Stadium. Be sure to refresh this page very 10 to 15 minutes for all the updates as your Editor in Chief checks in from the valley of the sun on a gorgeous Monday night for football. From the field to the sideline to the press box, JC will make you feel like you're there.

(7:11) Greetings, Bears fans. A lot of fans were worried about a Week 5 facing the Bills after a Week 4 smackdown of the Seahawks. So much for that, as the Monsters of the Midway destroyted Buffalo 40-7. Arizona is tonight's opponent, and considering how many Bears fans have made the trip out to the valley of the sun, don't look for that letdown to happen this evening. This is going to be a lot of fun tonight ...

(7:27) Adewale Ogunleye is inactive again this evening, as I expected he would be. Israel Idonije will get the start in his place. And since he only leads the team in sacks, look for plenty of rookie Mark Anderson once again ...

(7:34) There are Bears fans all over this place tonight. I can't imagine how many Chicagoans made the trip out here. Arizona season ticket-holders were dumping their tickets at a record pace, apparently ...

(7:41) The Bears have won the toss and elected to receive ...

(7:44) Three-and-out for the Bears on their first possession, but it was almost another long-range touchdown from Rex Grossman to Bernard Berrian. Just overthrown. Everyone's pumped up on Monday night ...

(7:53) Look at this. Matt Leinart drives his Cards straight down the field and hits Bryant Johnson for a touchdown pass and a quick 7-0 lead. Lance Briggs should have wrapped him up for a loss but overran the play and got juked. The Bears D claims that no one can run the ball on them, but Edgerrin James had 31 yards on seven carries that drive ...

(8:00) Three-and-out again for the offense. I don't know what Grossman was thinking with that deep throw on 3rd-and-2. Cornerback Antrel Rolle should have come down with an interception right there ...

(8:04) It looks like 'The Interceptor' Nathan Vasher finally got his first INT of the season as Leinart was under heavy pressure from Brian Urlacher, but I think that one bounced. The play is under review right now. It's ruled a pick on the field, but I'm expecting this one to be overruled ...

(8:10) It's ruled an incompletion as we all expected, but the Cards still have to punt. Return man Devin Hester tried to make the fair catch but ran into one of his own guys and was forced to stay away from the ball. The Bears lost about 15 yards of field position as a result ...

(8:15) Grossman has been living dangerously the last few weeks and should have been intercepted on several times, and it finally came back to bite him as Aaron Francisco steps in front of a floater intended for Muhsin Muhammad. The Bears are very flat right now. Time for the defense to come up with a big play here ...

(8:17) Wow, 14-0 Cardinals. Leinart finds Anquan Boldin on 3rd-and-long, and he shakes loose for a 26-yard touchdown reception. Arizona is hardly an old school football town, but this place is going bananas right now ...

(8:22) That's the end of the first quarter, sports fans. The Cards couldn't have imagined this good a start in their wildest dreams. Leinart looks incredible and is 8-of-9 with two TD passes. Grossman is just 5-of-10 and threw an interception that led to that second touchdown. Thomas Jones has a grand total of two carries and only has four yards so far. Time to wake up, fellas. They don't look ready to play tonight ...

(8:29) Briggs about ripped Leinart's head off blitzing on another 3rd-and-long. I'm not sure what the deal is, but ever since that touchdown return in Week 1 at Green Bay, Hester just can't squeeze loose on a punt. This is the kind of game where he can pick up the entire team if he can break off a long one ...

(8:32) There's another pick of Grossman. Berrian wasn't even close to open there. What was he thinking? He's forcing things trying to make a big play. The Cardinals are deep in Chicago territory once again ...

(8:39) The Bears dodged a bullet there as Neil Rackers hooked a 52-yard field goal attempt. Grossman needs to settle down and get his confidence back. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner needs to start establishing the run once again ...

(8:41) Jones has got to make that guy miss. He just isn't juking guys this year. Grossman was forced to check down to Jones on 3rd-and-5, but he couldn't shake a tackler and comes up a yard short. Six Bears possessions so far, four punts and two picks. Not good, folks ...

(8:48) Now Grossman doesn't step in the pocket and gets stripped of the ball. Cards ball again on the Bears' side of midfield. Grossman lost his helmet on that play and has some seriously negative body language going on right now ...

(8:54) Rackers doesn't miss this 41-yarder, though. 17-0 Cardinals. This is no longer just a fast start for Arizona. The Bears have been outplayed in every facet of the game so far ...

(8:59) What is going on out here? Grossman was stripped again and lost another fumble, his fourth turnover of the first half. The Bears are in deep trouble. They'll be lucky to go into the half only down 20-0. As Chris Berman would say, "That's why they play the games." ...

(9:07) The half comes to a close with another Rackers field goal as the Cardinals are shocking the football world right now with this 20-0 lead. Time for some serious adjustments in the locker room. Grossman looks like a shell of his former self out there. He looks like the rookie while Leinart is poised and polished so far ...

(9:24) The Bears D does their job coming out of the locker room and forces a quick three-and-out. Hester doesn't go anywhere though on the punt return. Grossman needs a touchdown drive right here if this team is going to get back in the game ...

(9:35) Grossman started to look like himself again on that drive, but the drive sputtered around the goalline. Robbie Gould converts a chip shot field goal and finally gets the Bears on the board. I don't know what Turner was thinking with that fullback dive play to Jason McKie on 1st-and-Goal from the 2-yardline. Seemed like a wasted call to me. 20-3 Cards ...

(9:38) A pooch kick? What kind of a call is that? This is not the same Bears team that raced out to such an impressive 5-0 start. I just don't get it. Gould can't keep the kick in bounds and gives the ball back to `Zona at their own 40 ...

(9:43) If that's roughing the kicker and a personal foul, this blog will win a Pulitzer Prize. What a horrible call. Bad break for the Bears ...

(9:46) Plain and simple, the Bears can't cover Boldin. He's got eight grabs already. What a beast ...

(9:52) 29-yarder by Rackers as the Cards will gladly trade field goals with the Bears at this point. 23-3 now with only about two minutes left in the third quarter. Time of possession is heavily in favor of Leinart & Company right now. That roughing the kicker penalty was a killer. Terrible call, no question ...

(9:59) The Bears just aren't doing what they need to do in order to win. Rashied Davis had a first down but couldn't hold on after taking a big hit. Yet another Brad Maynard punt. The defense has to get a turnover right now ...

(10:01) And just like that, Mike Brown picks up a Leinart fumble and trots in the end zone for a gift touchdown. It was the rookie Anderson again who came up with the sack and forced the turnover. That was a 180-degree momentum shift there ...

(10:12) They're still in this thing, but unless Grossman can generate some points, it won't matter. The defense is swarming all over the field right now. Where was this in the first half? ...

(10:16) Two possessions in a row for Cedric Benson on offense. Worth mentioning. Jones has been a ghost this evening ...

(10:17) Not a good time for Muhammad to discover his dropsies once again. That would have been a third-down conversion. They're just not making any plays tonight ...

(10:21) Urlacher knocks down a pass on the blitz and just about came up with the interception. Hester finds a little room on the ensuing punt and gets the Bears into Arizona territory. This wouldn't be a bad time for a quick scoring strike to Berrian ...

(10:29) Grossman has the ball deflected at the line of scrimmage on fourth down and intercepted by big Darnell Dockett. He appeared to be down at one point but got up and rumbled all the way for the touchdown. He was down, so this is coming back. Regardless, the Bears are still down 13 points with about nine minutes left. Hard to believe we were talking about Grossman as the MVP of the league as recently as yesterday ...

(10:35) The D does its job and forces another three-and-out from Arizona. Again, unless Grossman gets the ball in the end zone, it's a moot point. Where have you gone, Muhsin Muhammad? ...

(10:39) Forget it. Another Grossman INT. There may be 5:53 left in the game, but this game is over, sports fans ...

(10:41) Look at this, Urlacher strips James on second down and forces an incredible fumble. Charles Tillman scoops it up and races 40 yards untouched into the end zone for a shocking touchdown. And out of nowhere, it's a 23-17 ballgame with exactly five minutes left in this game. OK, maybe they have a chance after all. This is why I write about games and don't bet on them ...

(10:50) Leinart manages to pick up one first down, but that's it as Scott Player comes on to punt it away again. There it is! Hester goes 82 yards and hits paydirt! Unbelievable! The Bears have done the impossible and actually take the lead 24-23 with 2:58 left in the fourth quarter. Defense and special teams have now scored three second-half TDs, and the Bears lead this game despite six Grossman turnovers ...

(10:57) Leinart authored his share of comeback back at USC, and all he needs is a Rackers field goal to win this game ...

(11:01) The Bears D holds on 3rd-and-1 and looks like this will come down to a Rackers field goal attempt with less than a minute to go. And he missed it! You've got to be kidding me! This guy was nothing short of automatic last year! This place is out of control right now ...

(11:04) And that's the ballgame, people. Grossman takes a knee for the last time, and the Bears escape with one of the more improbable NFL victories in a generation. I've never seen anything like it, and I'll bet my bottom dollar that neither have any of you. Be sure to visit BearReport.com for all the game recaps, all the quotables, and the Stud and Dud of the Week. I've never been been so exhausted in all my life.

JC


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