Stud of the Week: Brian Urlacher

Although he was tied for the team lead in tackles after five games, defensive captain Brian Urlacher was still without a signature performance so far in 2006. That wait is over as the former Lobo took over the game in Arizona and willed his team to an incredible victory. Urlacher is the Bear Report Stud of the Week.

The Chicago Bears had absolutely no business winning that game on Monday Night Football.

Quarterback Rex Grossman turned the ball over six times and produced only three points. From Thomas Jones to Muhsin Muhammad and everybody in between, none of the skill position players on offense made any sort of impact. The defense surrendered 20 first half points against a 1-4 football team with perhaps the worst offensive line in the NFL.

Nevertheless, reigning Defensive Player of the Year Brian Urlacher decided to take over the game in the second half and led his team to three defensive/special teams touchdowns to escape from the desert with a 24-23 win over the Cardinals.

After Grossman threw his fourth interception of the ballgame, Arizona was in position to run out the clock with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter. But on second down, normally sure-handed tailback Edgerrin James was stripped by Urlacher as he was stood up in the pile. Charles Tillman pounced on the ball and took it 40 yards for a shocking touchdown that pulled the Bears within six.

Arizona again had a chance to run out the clock on the ensuing possession, and although quarterback Matt Leinart was able to pick up one first down, Urlacher & Company completely shut down the Cards' running game and gave punt returner Devin Hester his chance to save the day. James had seven carries for 31 yards on the first drive of the game, but thereafter, the perenniel 1,500-yard back managed just 24 yards on 29 attempts.

Urlacher was all over the field in the second half and simply refused to let that game slip away, making him the Bear Report Stud of the Week.

JC


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