Chicago Holds Off Philadelphia
CHICAGO - No meltdowns for the Chicago Bears this time. Instead, they came up with a big stand. Alex Brown stopped Correll Buckhalter at the goal line late in the game, and Chicago hung on to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-20 Sunday night after head-scratching losses that raised questions about their killer instinct. After blowing big leads against Carolina and Tampa Bay, the Bears hung on. Kyle Orton threw three touchdown passes in the first half, helping the Bears take a 21-17 lead after the third quarter.Donovan McNabb threw a touchdown pass and Buckhalter ran for a score for Philadelphia, which also got a field goal from David Akers after he missed his first two of the game. Akers missed a 50-yard attempt with the score tied at 14, and Orton and the Bears took advantage of the field position. Orton found Brandon Lloyd for a 24-yard gain before Lloyd left the game with a knee injury. Then on third-and-9 on the Eagles 20, Devin Hester beat corner Asante Samuel on a fly route down the sideline to give the Bears the lead. On the opening possession for the Eagles in the third quarter, McNabb's pass was picked off by Chicago safety Kevin Payne. Payne brought the ball back all the way to the 11. On the return, Buckhalter was injured with a lower back contusion and was taken for X-rays. The Eagles were already playing without running back Brian Westbrook because of a strained right ankle. Buckhalter later returned to the game. But Orton and the Bears couldn't capitalize. His pass was intercepted in the end zone by safety Quintin Mikell. Akers and the Eagles missed another scoring opportunity when he missed a 47-yard field goal attempt. The ball banged off the right upright. On the next play, Orton was sacked and stripped by Trent Cole and Omar Gaither picked up the loose ball for the Eagles and went to the 28, which eventually set up a 24-yard field goal by Akers to cut the Bears' lead to 21-17. The Bears lost cornerback Charles Tillman for the game with a shoulder injury. Philadelphia had just gone three-and-out on the game's opening possession when Orton found Rashied Davis in the middle of the field for a 34-yard gain on Chicago's first play from scrimmage. One play later, tight end Greg Olsen beat Philadelphia linebacker Chris Gocong down the sideline for a 19-yard touchdown reception. McNabb and the Eagles regrouped the following possession. Rookie DeSean Jackson had a 23-yard catch, then later ran for 21 yards on an end around. On third down from the 22-yard line, McNabb hit Jackson in the back of the end zone, just over the hands of Brian Urlacher. Jackson muffed a punt early in the second quarter, setting up a 23-yard touchdown catch for Marty Booker from Orton. McNabb and the Eagles answered with a 57-yard scoring driving. Reggie Brown caught a 31-yard pass and Buckhalter took a screen for 19 yards to the 1 to set up his rush into the end zone. McNabb was playing despite taking limited snaps in practice because of chest contusions. The Bears had Hester back. He was forced out of Sept. 14 game at Carolina after tearing rib cartilage.
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