Another one bites the dust

The Bears placed veteran quarterback <!--Default NodeId For Jim Miller is 292233,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292233]>Jim Miller</A> on Injured Reserve Friday. Miller becomes the 11th member of the team to be placed on IR.

Miller sprained his left knee and suffered a bone bruise during the Bears' Monday Night Football contest at Miami (12/9). The nine-year veteran finishes the season completing 180 of 314 pass attempts for 1,944 yards while tying his single-season career high with 13 touchdown passes against nine interceptions.

The team used the additional roster spot to sign linebacker Marq Cerqua off the practice squad to the active roster. Terms of Cerqua's deal were not disclosed.

Cerqua, a 6-2, 223 pounder out of Carson-Newman joined the Bears practice squad on Nov. 5 after being waived by Dallas (4/30). He originally signed with Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent in 2001, was waived (12/12/01) and claimed by Dallas (12/24/01). Cerqua played for two seasons at Carson-Newman after transferring from Furman where he was named Freshman of the Year in 1996. He finished his career with 127 tackles at inside linebacker in his two seasons at Carson-Newman.

INJURY UPDATE:
S Mike Brown and DT Keith Traylor were upgraded from questionable to probable Friday. DE John Stamper was downgraded from questionable to doubtful.

TWO TO GO:
The Chicago Bears, the NFL's all-time winningest franchise with a 648-466-42 record, need victories in their final two games of the season to become the first team in League history to win 650 games. The Bears were the first to win 600, accomplishing that feat in 1997 with a 13-7 win over Tampa Bay. If the Bears can defeat the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Chicago would face the Buccaneers with a chance to win No. 650. Green Bay ranks second on the all-time wins list with 613, 35 fewer than the Bears.

COMMON INGREDIENTS:
The Bears are 3-1 this season when holding opponents to 17 points or fewer with wins coming at Atlanta, vs. Detroit and the New York Jets. During these three contests the Bears have also won the turnover battle. During head coach Dick Jauron's tenure, his Bears teams are 16-11 when they earn more takeaways than their opponents and 19-9 in contests in which the opposition scores fewer than 17 points. Other factors, although not all of the following, have showed up in each of those three wins which include a lead at halftime (NYJ, DET) and three quarters of play (NYJ, ATL), scored first in the game (NYJ, DET), scored 18 points or more (NYJ, DET) and won the coin toss (NYJ, ATL). Incidentally, the Bears had each of those seven ingredients in the win against the Jets (12/15).


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