Another Fourth-Quarter Collapse for Chicago

There are no moral victories in the NFL. And even though the Chicago Bears look tough on defense and can pound the football effectively on offense, this team is 1-2 and struggling to finish games. A few plays away from 3-0? Maybe. Being good for three and a half quarters, however, isn't enough.

CHICAGO (AP) – Brian Griese saved his big shot for the last moment.

Griese set up Matt Bryant's winning 21-yard field goal in overtime with a 38-yard pass to Antonio Bryant, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to beat the Chicago Bears 27-24 on Sunday.

After blowing a 14-point lead in a 20-17 loss at Carolina last week, the Bears couldn't protect a 24-14 advantage in the fourth quarter.

The Buccaneers got a 35-yard field goal from Bryant with 3:11 left, and Griese orchestrated a 79-yard touchdown drive in the final 1:49, hitting Jerramy Stevens with a 1-yard pass in the closing seconds of regulation. Several key mistakes cost Chicago (1-2) in overtime.

After Tampa Bay (2-1) punted, Rashied Davis dropped a third-down pass at the Buccaneers 35. Tampa Bay then took over at its own 7 and had third-and-9 at the 8 when Griese hit Stevens with a 2-yard pass.

There was a pileup and Charles Tillman jumped in late, leading to an unnecessary roughness penalty that gave the Buccaneers a first down at the 24. Tampa Bay was at the Chicago 44 when Antonio Bryant beat Nathan Vasher for a 38-yard pass that set up the winning field goal.

Traded by the Bears in the offseason, Griese refused to take shots at his former team during the week. The veteran threw a whopping 67 passes, completing 38 for 407 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in his second straight start. The man he replaced last week, Jeff Garcia, was listed as the third quarterback.

The Buccaneers were leading 14-9 when Vasher picked off Griese midway through the third quarter, and the Bears immediately grabbed the lead.


WR Bandon Lloyd
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Kyle Orton, who struggled throughout the first half, orchestrated an 86-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 6-yard pass to Matt Forte. Brandon Lloyd caught the conversion pass to give the Bears a 17-14 lead and added a 19-yard TD that made it a 10-point game midway through the fourth quarter.

Orton was 22-of-34 for 268 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Not bad considering he passed for just 76 yards in the first half, got sacked three times and had one pass intercepted in the end zone by Barrett Ruud and another returned 45 yards by Gaines Adams for a TD.

Lloyd had six catches for 124 yards, and Forte caught seven for 66. The rookie also ran for 89 yards on 27 attempts.

The Bears were able to get good field position because of their defense even though Pro Bowl kick returner Devin Hester was sidelined by a rib injury, but missed several touchdown chances early on.

Chicago took away the run game, holding Warrick Dunn to 31 yards on five carries and Earnest Graham to 16 yards on 12 attempts. Antonio Bryant caught 10 passes for 138 yards, none bigger than the last one. Ike Hilliard added six catches and 57 yards with Joey Galloway nursing a sprained foot.

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