The Colts had a healthy Peyton Manning under center and a fired-up home crowd, but Indianapolis was no match for the Bears, who closed the game with 14 straight points to pull away from a 15-13 lead midway through the third quarter.
Peyton Manning lets a pass go against the Bears Sunday night
AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Chicago defenders Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs teamed up to make the backbreaking play in the game. With the Colts facing a second-and-10 from their own 16-yard line with 2:01 left in the third quarter, Manning found Marvin Harrison on a slant route in the middle of the field.
Tillman punched the ball from Harrison's hands, and Briggs was there to scoop it up and carry it into the end zone for a touchdown and a 22-13 Chicago lead.
The Bears then stopped the Colts on a fourth down to open the third quarter, and put the game away with an eight-play, 52-yard drive capped by a Jason McKie touchdown with 9:01 left in the game.
The Bears never trailed after taking a 7-3 lead with 4:59 left in the first quarter, and got a solid performance from new starting quarterback Kyle Orton, who completed 13-of-21 passes for 150 yards.
More significantly, the Bears were able to pound the Colts with their running game, racking up 183 yards on the ground. Rookie Matt Forte led the way with 123 yards on 23 carries, including a 50-yard TD jaunt for Chicago's first score.
Manning threw for 257 yards and a touchdown to Reggie Wayne, but the Colts' QB needed 49 pass attempts to reach that total. Indianapolis only managed 53 rushing yards on 15 attempts.
Chicago (1-0) visits Carolina (1-0) next week in a battle of NFC upset winners. Indianapolis (0-1) travels to Minnesota, which opens its season at Green Bay Monday night.