Steelers miss, Bears make and win, 17-14

Steelers lose tough one in Chicago, 17-14, after two Jeff Reed misses in the fourth quarter. Includes quotes from Coach Mike Tomlin.

The Chicago Bears have been the model for special teams coaches all over the league the last few years, and Sunday they were the difference in beating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 17-14.

After Jeff Reed missed field goals from 38 and 43 yards that would've given the Steelers fourth-quarter leads, Robbie Gould kicked a 44-yard field goal with 20 seconds left to win the game for the Bears. Reed entered the game as the Steelers' all-time most accurate kicker and hadn't missed two field goals in one game since Sept. 26, 2004 against the Miami Dolphins.

The Steelers opened the game with an impressive 92-yard touchdown drive highlighted Ben Roethlisberger passes of 24 and 19 yards to Santonio Holmes, 15 yards to Heath Miller, and 13 yards to Hines Ward. On fourth-and-goal from the Chicago 1, Roethlisberger rolled right and passed to Matt Spaeth in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.

The Steelers were poised to add to the lead, but on first down at the Chicago 38, Roethlisberger was hit in the pocket by Alex Brown and his deep pass fell woefully short of Mike Wallace and was intercepted by Charles Tillman.

The Bears scored late in the half on a 6-yard pass from Jay Cutler to Kellen Davis to tie the game at the break.

A 39-yard run by Rashard Mendenhall set up the Steelers' final points. Roethlisberger finished the drive by running a bootleg two yards around left end for a touchdown with 6:26 remaining in the third quarter.

The Steelers could've added to the lead with Reed's 38-yard attempt early in the fourth quarter, but the miss allowed Cutler to drive the Bears for the tying touchdown. As with the first Bears touchdown, Cutler's 7-yard pass to Johnny Knox came on a 3rd-and-goal play.

The Bears continued to convert third downs after Reed's second miss with 3:23 left. They converted two third downs on the game-winning drive – 7 for 14 for the game – before Gould kicked the game-winner.

After an 11 for 12 start, Roethlisberger finished the game 23 for 35 for 221 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a rushing touchdown.

Willie Parker rushed 14 times for 47 yards to lead all rushers. Ward caught 6 passes for 57 yards.

The Steelers held Bears running back Matt Forte to 29 yards on 13 rushes, but couldn't contain Cutler, who completed 27 of 38 for 236 yards and two touchdowns.

Mike Tomlin, coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

I'd like to tip my hat to Lovie Smith and the Chicago Bears. They played a very good football game. They fought until the very end and they didn't blink. They found a way to win it. Things that we desire to do of course we were unable to do today. I felt Jay Cutler was very good with the football. In the face of pressure he made great decisions, put the ball in some great locations. Guys converted third downs. They did enough to win and we didn't, so we accept responsibility for that. We congratulate them at the same time. We understand that they had a part in the outcome of this football game. We'll make adjustments, get back in the lab, and move forward. I'll answer any questions.

Q: Was it the weather or did Reed just miss them?

A: I didn't speak specifically about why he missed the kicks. Of course that's uncharacteristic of him. He just kicked the game-winner last week in overtime. That's what we're used to. It's not what we're used to in terms of what happened today.

Q: Your running game was criticized last week. What did you think of the running game this week?

A: I'm not overly concerned over what's written or said about our running game. We're trying to play to win. It's obvious that Tennessee's got a pretty good front. I think they held somebody down again today. We don't blink. We've got a commitment to doing what we do and doing it how we do it. The end result was the end result. I'm not going to pat myself on the back because we ran for a decent amount of yards today. We lost the football game. I'd rather run for no yards and win.

Q: What about the two long drives by the Bears that took a lot of time off the clock?

A: Within that, there are plays that are more significant than others; third down plays being one of them. They did a nice job. Cutler stood in there and threw some balls, drifted away from some unblocked people. They just did a really nice job.


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