For the first time in 37 games the Bears scored on their opening possession of the game.

Chris Chandler connected with Dez White for a 76-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game giving the Bears a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the game.

The Bears gave punter Brad Maynard a workout. He punted a season-high 11 times. Together, the teams combined for 21 punts. Although a lot, it was still 10 shy of the NFL record. Tackle Keith Traylor left the game early after aggravating a calf injury that has plagued him for three games. His status is day to day. The Bears finished 1-7 on the road.

With 11 more tackles against the Panthers Brian Urlacher broke the single-season tackle record of Dick Butkus, who had190 tackles in 1972, the middle linebacker is up to 193 on the year with one game remaining.

Bears rookie linebacker Bryan Knight made his first big play since recovering three fumbles in the first two weeks of the season.

Knight, who has been limited mostly to special teams, knocked the ball loose from quarterback Rodney Peete during a scramble in the early fourth quarter. Brian Urlacher recovered and returned it 41 yards to help set up a TD, which brought the Bears within 21-14.

"It was just real good coverage on the play because he sat in the pocket for a little bit," Knight said. "He still didn't find anybody.

"I saw him step up. I came around and saw he had the ball in one hand. Everybody else was just hustling to the ball then."

After the early fumble recoveries this year, Knight expected big things.

Now the Bears may look more at him as a possible strong side linebacker next year if they lose Rosevelt Colvin in unrestricted free agency.

"I expect a lot out of myself," he said. "I disappointed myself this year, but then again I was able to make a few plays for the defense.

"I was hoping to plant a seed for coaches. They watch film of everything you do. Every play you're out there you're being reviewed. It's like a job interview."

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