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OK, everybody. Let's hope this game is as exciting as last week. If you're joining us for the first time, welcome. If you're joining us for the second time, well, welcome to you, too. Hopefully this play by play will be of help to you. Football soon.
As always, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. It gets lonely here on Sundays.
Please doff your crewcuts for a moment of silence for Johnny Unitas, probably the greatest quarterback who ever played. ... Atlanta kicks and Bears return to the 31. ... Anthony Thomas runs for a short gain and then Jim Miller throws to Dez White but it's incomplete. ... On third down Miller tries for White again down the sideline but Dez can't make the catch. ... Brad Maynard to punt and he just shanks it off the side of his foot. A 20-yard punt.
Falcons take over and Pat Summerall warns that Michael Vick is now going by Mike Vick. ... Mike Vick hands off to T.J. Duckett for a big gain up the middle to the Bears' 40. ... Warrick Dunn tries to run outside but is tackled by what looked like the entire Bears defense. ... Vick scrambles and runs around Keith Traylor like Traylor's a potted plant for a gain of about 5. ... Vick goes for the end zone but the ball is dropped. The action is coming fast now. Not only does Vick run fast he apparently runs the huddles fast. Sorry but I failed to get a number on that receiver. Atlanta punts and it goes through the end zone.
The Bears start at the Falcons' 20 and Thomas runs up the middle for 4 yards. Thomas runs again and Big Cat Williams moved the entire Atlanta defensive line out of the way. Third and 1. ... Leon Johnson runs and Atlanta end Ed Jasper beats Olin Kreutz and stuffs Johnson. ... The Bears punt and Larry Whigham is called for holding. The Falcons decline the penalty. Commercial break.
Not sure what's going on but apparently a Falcon was called for holding during the commercial break. I think it was on the punt. Either way, it moves Atlanta way back. They start from their own 10. ... Vick throws a short pass to receiver Shawn Jefferson and then hits Dunn on the next play. Dunn picks up the first down. ... Dunn runs this time and the Falcons move to their own 30. Summerall is making bad Warrick Dunn puns like "Dunn isn't done on that play." I thought he retired. .... Atlanta picks up a first down and Vick scrambles and has to throw the ball away. ... Vick runs on second down and looks like Barry Sanders running through the Bears' defense during that Thanksgiving game. He takes a shot but picks up a first down. Summerall is back to calling him Michael Vick. ... T.J. Duckett runs right and Urlacher stuffs him in the backfield. ... On third down, Vick hits Brad Finneran but the Falcons' Bob Whitfield is flagged for head-butting Brian Knight. Yes, head-butting. First down counts but Atlanta is moved back 15 yards to the Bears' 35. ... Vick throws two incompletions and out comes the field goal unit. ... Jay Feely misses short on the 52-yard kick. Summerall said Brad Maynard was holding. Maynard's the Bears' punter. A long drive and Atlanta got nothing.
Miller throws incomplete on first down and Thomas runs for 2 yards on second down. Ball on the 41. ... Nickel back Fred Weary picks off Miller's pass and the Bears are called for a personal foul at the end of the play. Make that two personal fouls. Atlanta accepted one and declined the other. Is that possible? Bernard Robertson flattened Keion Carpenter on the play. ... Now the official is saying the other foul was on Weary. If you're confused, you're not alone. Not sure what's going on and I don't think the official does either. Anyway, Atlanta ball.
Vick scrambles and runs for 4 yards on the play as the first quarter ends.
Duckett runs up the middle on second and 6 and won't go down. This guy's a load. First down. ... Dunn runs for a short gain and big Ted Washington is down. That's not good. Another commercial. Garth Brooks singing about Dr. Pepper. Have you ever seen anyone in real life get this excited over a soft drink? We're back. Ted Washington is up but has his shoe off. He walked to the sideline, which is a good sign. ... Back to the game. Warrick Dunn runs on second down for 3 yards and then Vick hits tight end Alge Crumpler for a first down. Ball on the Bears' 11. ... Vick rolls left and hits Crumpler on the goal line but Crumpler falls and the ball comes out. The ref signaled incomplete. Review coming on this one. After a 10-minute explanation by the official, the play stands. Third and 9. ... Vick hits Dunn on a screen pass and Dunn runs through three guys for a touchdown.
Falcons 7, Bears 0
Vick made a great play there, duping the linebacker with a pump fake and then hitting Dunn on the move.
The Bears start from their own 20 and Thomas runs for 3. ... Thomas again for a couple of yards. ... Bernard Robertson is called for a false start and now it's third and 8. ... Patrick Kearny beats Big Cat around the end and sacks Miller. The Bears punt.
Atlanta starts at the Bears' 41. Duckett runs for 3 yards on first down and then runs right around the corner for a first down. ... Vick slips on first down and throws high on second. Third and 8. ... Vick scrambles away from two Bears and gets tagged by Warrick Holdman short of the first down. Atlanta punts and Leon Johnson makes a fair catch on the 12.
The Bears have had the ball for what, 30 seconds? On first down, Miller hits Booker for a short gain and Booker spins the ball on the turf. ... Thomas runs up the middle for the Bears' first first down. There's 5 minutes left in the half. ... Thomas runs up the middle again, this time for 4 yards. ... Miller hits Stanley Pritchett and Pritchett runs out of bounds just past the first-down marker. ... Again, Thomas up the middle. The Bears are being patient but exciting it's not. ... Miller hangs tough in the pocket and hits tight end John Davis for a 37-yard gain. ... Miller then hits Thomas and Thomas breaks a tackle and picks up 19 yards. All of a sudden the Bears are moving. It's first and goal at the 5 as the two-minute warning stops the clock. ... Miller throws to Dez White in the end zone but the ball sails high. ... Thomas runs up the middle for about two yards. Third down just like that. ... Tenth play of the drive and Thomas busts threw the line and runs almost untouched into the end zone. Kick good. Ten plays, 86-yard drive.
Bears 7, Falcons 7
Atlanta returns the kick to the 26. ... Vick hits the tight end Crumpler for a first down. Falcons call timeout. Fifty-one seconds left in the half. ... Vick throws short to Finneran. ... Rosevelt Colvin is called for a late hit and that puts the Falcons in field-goal range. ... Vick runs out of bounds at the 25. Fifteen seconds left. Second down. ... Vick hits Finneran at the 20 and the Falcons call a timeout. ... Feely on to try a 36-yarder. Kick good as the half ends.
Falcons 10, Bears 7
Travis Jervey returns the kick to the Bears' 42. ... On first down, Vick scrambles and is forced out of bounds by Mike Brown after a gain of a yard. ... Warrick Dunn runs and there's Brown again. He strips Dunn and then recovers the ball. Bears' ball on the 37.
The Bears stick to their game plan and run Thomas up the middle on first down. ... Miller throws to the end zone for Booker who lets the ball slip through his hands. He was diving but could've made that catch. ... Whoa, high snap and Miller has to throw it away. ... Edinger dings a 50-yard field goal attempt off the right upright. The Bears can't take advantage of the turnover.
Vick hits a wide-open Finneran for a gain of 35. ... Vick pitches to Dunn, who then throws to Finneran but Mike Brown breaks it up. But Keith McKenzie is called for roughing Dunn. ... Vick scrambles and runs up the middle but is stripped and Urlacher recovers for the Bears.
Miller hits Booker for 15 yards on first down. ... Thomas runs for a yard on second down. ... Short pass to Dez White for 4 yards. ... Third and 5 and Miller is rushed and has to throw it away. ... Maynard gets off a great punt and Atlanta fumbles the return. Bears recover. The Falcons have three fumbles in the last four minutes.
The Bears start from the 16 and run a halfback option with Leon Johnson. Johnson doesn't throw and runs for 2 yards. ... Miller throws to Booker in the end zone and it's off his finger tips. Overthrown just a bit. ... Third and 8 on the Falcons' 13 and the Bears call a timeout. ... Miller throws high to David Terrell in the end zone. Touchdown. Terrell stays out of the stands this time but does some strange celebration leaning against the goalpost and twiddling his thumbs. Terrell has two catches this year, both for touchdowns.
Bears 14, Falcons 10
Jervey breaks the return and finally is brought down at the Bears' 24. Sixty-seven yard return. The guy holding the down marker was taken out on the kickoff. He looks like Don Zimmer. He's bleeding a little but stays in the game. Like Zim, he's tough.
Dunn runs twice and it brings up third and 2. ... Vick zips it to Finneran for a first down at the 10. ... The ball is tipped and Mike Brown and Todd McMillon both dive but can't come up with it. Third down. ... Dunn drops a short pass and Feely runs on to kick. Twenty-six yard kick is good.
Bears 14, Falcons 13
Johnson brings the kick out to the 24. ... Thomas runs up the middle for 5 yards and then again for a couple. Another third down. ... Miller is chased out of the pocket and hits Booker for the first down. Miller is wearing black hightops like Johnny U. ... Thomas runs outside for no gain. ... Big Cat Williams is out of the game with a hip injury. He's standing on the sideline. ... Miller throws a blooper that Booker catches and then takes a lick from Johndale Carty. First down. ... A reverse to Dez White picks up 21 yards. Ball on the 19. ... Thomas runs up the middle for two yards. ... Thomas runs around the end and has the ball stripped. Atlanta recovers.
A reader asks for a Ted Washington update. Washington was taken in for X-rays on his ankle. He hasn't returned and Alfonso Boone is in at tackle.
Speaking of Boone he tips a Vick pass to start the series. ... A short gain brings up third and 7. ... Vick is hurried by Urlacher and throws low. Urlacher hurdled Dunn, a little guy, and put a hit on Vick. Unbelievable. ... Atlanta punts and the Bears take over at the 21.
Thomas runs for 12 on first down. ... The third quarter ends.
Thomas runs again, this time for 4. Ball on the Bears' 40. ... Thomas runs straight ahead for 9. Thomas is now finding holes. ... A fake reverse and Thomas again runs up the middle. Second and four. ... Miller throws long to a wide-open Dez White, who lets the ball go right through his hands. Perfect throw. Would've, should've been a touchdown. ... Miller calls timeout, probably to go scream somewhere. ... Third and 6, Miller is basically sacked, ducks out, re-grips the ball and then heaves it to Marty Booker for a first down. Huge play. ... Thomas runs for a yard. ... Miller and Thomas mess up an exhange and Miller has to fall on the ball for a loss. ... Third and 17. ... Wait. False start on the tight end. Third and 22. ... Miller rolls out and has to throw it away. ... Maynard unloads a 44 yard kick and some guy Atlanta just signed who's not even on the roster I have makes a fair catch inside the 10. Probably won't be on the roster for long after that bad judgment. Warrick Dunn runs for 3 yards. ... Atlanta tight end Reggie Kelly's jersey reads R. Kelly. That's unfortunate. ... Bob Christian picks up a first down for the Falcons on a screen pass. ... Vick riffles one incomplete. ... Vick rolls left, gets by Traylor but is cut down by Urlacher. Urlacher matched Vick's speed there. Another great play by Urlacher. ... The Bears blitz and Vick is sacked by Colvin. ... Atlanta punts and Johnson is tackled at the 27, but the Bears are called for a block in the back and penalized 15 yards. ... From the 13, Thomas runs for up the middle for a couple. ... Miller throws to Marcus Robinson, who falls down and the ball is nearly picked off. ... Miller to Thomas but Thomas is stopped just short of the first down. Bears punt.
After a false-start penalty, Atlanta starts at its own 25. Dunn runs for 6 yards. ... The Bears again are called for roughing the passer. Vick threw it away but Colvin dumped him. Questionable call. ... Vick scrambles, twists and then sacks himself. The ball comes out but he's ruled down. ... Second and 20, clock running and Vick calls time. ... Again Vick scrambling, turns and throws it downfield. It's tipped by Mike Brown and Willie Jackson makes a catch on the ground. Broken play but a big gain. Forty-two yards to be exact. The Bears are challenging it. Summerall is sure it's a catch but the ball clearly touched the ground. Summerall said it's a catch at least 10 times. Of course it was ruled incomplete after the review. ... Where were we? Right, Vick scrambling. Vick runs away from Urlacher once, but Urlacher gets up and sacks Vick for a loss of 16 yards. Guy's like a pitbull. Atlanta punts and, as usual, there's a flag on the play. Another personal foul on the Bears, the fourth. Leon Johnson, the guy who returned the kick, was just tossed for throwing a punch. Dick Jauron has lost it. He's right in the official's face like Earl Weaver.
Bears' ball. Thomas runs twice and is close to a first down. But not close enough. Third and 1, Bears on their own 34. Thomas runs up the middle but trips on Miller's feet and doesn't pick up the first down. Hey, there's former Bear John Thierry and he's taking credit for the tackle. Beat it. ... Maynard (pronounced Man-ard by Summerall) punts.
Atlanta starts from its own 27 with 2:12 on the clock. Vick hits Finneran for a gain of about 17 right before the two-minute warning. Budweiser commercial.
Here we go, one-point game, Michael, sorry, Mike Vick running the two-minute drill. Vick runs on first down and then hits Crumpler for a gain of 9. Atlanta is moving. The ball's on the Bears' 28. Dunn runs but is stopped short. On third down, Vick takes it himself into the pile and is met by Urlacher. They'll have to measure this one. Either way, the Falcons are in field-goal range. They're short. Fourth down and here comes Feely for a 46-yard attempt. Just over a minute left and the Bears call time to freeze the kicker. I don't think the they have any timeouts left. Wide left. Dan Reeves has to look away.
A couple of knees and this one's over. The Bears escape.
Bears 14, Falcons 13