Due to NFL contractual obligations we are forced to bring you the start of the Super Bowl XX rematch and miss the end of the Rams-Chargers thriller.
But first CBS will bring you 30 seconds of dead air.
OK, here we go. Champaign, Ill., the Bears, in the midst of a six-game slide, kick off to the Patriots.
A short Tom Brady pass and an equally short run by Antwan Smith brings up third and short for the Patriots on the first drive of the game. ... The Patriots snap the ball directly to running back Kevin Faulk and he's brought down by Brian Urlacher behind the line of scrimmage. ... The Pat's punt rolls into the end zone.
Amhad Merritt is called for false start and the Bears are moving backwards without even running a play. ... Anthony Thomas breaks through the line for a gain of seven. ... Thomas runs left and is brought down close to the first-down marker. ... Chris Chandler drops back to throw for the first time but he's sacked. ... Now rookie Marc Colombo is called for a false start. ... Chandler dumps one to Stanley Pritchett for about a five-yard gain to bring up third and 16. ... It looks like New England jumped before the snap; Chandler throws the ball away. Offsides on the Patriots. ... Chandler hangs around in the pocket and finally has the ball batted down right back in his face. Generally not what you're looking for on third and long. Brad Maynard punts and the Patriots' Troy Brown makes a fair catch around the 35.
The Bears have Brady but he dumps a little quasi shovel pass to Smith who makes a few yards out of the broken play. ... Smith takes off on a long gain but it's called back for an illegal crack back (no idea). That backs up New England to the 25. ... Brown runs right on an end around, see nothing, runs back across the entire field and is tackled short of the first down. Another punt. Leon Johnson fields the punt like a center-fielder and brings the ball to about the Bears' 30.
Johnson gets the ball and, according to some Illinois law, the Bears run up the middle on first down for a small gain. ... Chandler hits Dez White on a crossing pattern and it's close to a first down. Just short. ... Johnson busts through a hole for the first down. ... There's the dreaded wide receiver screen to Booker. Booker tries to make a few players miss but the play nets nothing. ... Johnson follows center Olin Kreutz up the middle for a few to make it third and 5. ... Chandler scrambles and takes off for 14 yards before safely sliding. First down. ... From the New England 35, Chandler rushes a quick pass to Booker, who can't hold on. The ball flew up in the air and could've been picked off by a linebacker. ... Chandler fakes a handoff to Johnson and lofts one to tight end Fred Baxter close to a first down. The Bears are mixing it up on offense. And you get the feeling they've lost a little confidence in Anthony Thomas with Johnson carrying the load here early. ... Johnson again up the middle and he's close. Third and 1. ... No, make that first and 10. Either way, Johnson takes it again and fights for a yard to the 24. ... The Bears set up a screen play to Pritchett on the left side, but there's no one out front blocking and Pritchett is dead meat. Man, that was a quick first quarter.
Chandler's lob to Booker in the end zone is knocked down by Ty Law. Here comes Paul Edinger and he's good from 39 yards.
Bears 3, Patriots 0
With the end of the quarter, the quick field goal and now the kickoff, CBS has managed to squeeze in an extra 15 commercials, 13 of which were for some form or another of CSI. I've forgotten what I'm watching.
The Patriots pull a page out of the Bears' playbook and run short on first, throw even shorter on second and come up short on third for their third straight three and out. ... And now they run funny stuff on fourth, lining up for a punt but Brady, still on the field, takes the snap and plunges for the first. ... Brady then goes to work, hitting Brown for 16 yards, inside the Bears' 38. ... Smith runs for 5 up the middle. ... Christian Peter, he plays for the Bears, breaks through and takes out Smith for a loss. Third and 8. ... Rosevelt Colvin and rookie Alex Brown combine for a sack on Brady. That's Brown's first NFL sack, or half sack, and it might have moved New England out of field-goal range. ... Well, not quite. Adam Vinatieri kicks a 57-yard field goal. Wind-aided--there's a tornado warning in the area--but a real boot.
Bears 3, Patriots 3
First and 10 from about the 32, Anthony Thomas jumps through a hole for six yards. ... Thomas stumbles right on second down but a hold on Booker negates the play. ... Chandler fires one to Booker, but Booker is hit hard from behind by Tebucky Jones. I've now settled on the name of my first-born son. Dez White jumped up and tipped that pass, which made it difficult for Booker. ... Fourth and 1 and the Bears will go for it. Let's hope this isn't the dumb try-and-draw-them-offsides play. ... It's not. Chandler follows Kreutz to the first down. ... Paging Henry Burris, Chandler is checking the alignment of his jaw. Jim Miller, who couldn't start because of tendinitis in his throwing arm, is now throwing on the sideline. And he's not chucking it lefty. ... Miller takes the field, but in an effort to save his arm, pitches to Johnson, who in turn throws the ball to Booker for a 20-yard gain. You can't do that every passing down, but that was fun. ... Miller throws a short dump to Pritchett for a gain of six yards. The ball traveled about three yards in the air and you get the feeling that's the extent of Miller's range. ... Chandler is walking dazed to the locker room and Edinger is good on a 40-yard field goal.
Bears 6, Patriots 3
The Patriots start from their own 22 and Brady hits Brown for a gain of 14. ... Brady swings it to Smith for no gain. ... Word on Chandler is a neck sprain. ... Reggie Austin blitzes but Smith runs right by him before being taken down by Mike Green after a gain of 7. ... Mike Caldwell knocks down a third-down pass and the Patriots have to punt again. Johnson makes a fair catch at the 13.
Johnson runs for a couple and then Miller finds Davis for nine yards and a first down. Two-minute warning, folks. ... Miller tries to thread one to a covered Booker and it falls incomplete. ... Miller rolls out right and throws to Dez White around the line of scrimmage. You get the feeling the Patriots will get wise to Miller's limited throwing range and start bringing guys up. ... On third down Miller throws another shorty to Booker, who's no where near the first down. ... CBS just showed a shot of Chandler and he's walking like Robert DeNiro in "Awakenings." It's safe to say he's not coming back. . ... Bears punt to the Pat's 33.
Faulk runs for five on first down. ... Faulk catches a screen pass, picks up some great blocks and runs out of bounds after a 26-yard gain. ... Brady scrambles a bit, points out a receiver and then hits Dejon Branch for a eight yards. ... The clock is running and Brady hits Brown for another eight and then calls his last timeout with 25 seconds remaining. ... From the 16 with no timeouts, Brady throws to Brown and then spikes the ball to stop the clock. ... Vinatieri comes on to tie the game.
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