Bears 14, Rams 10
I was just going to write how the Bears had been shutting down Faulk. He had 21 yards in the first half and was stuffed twice on that last possession. But then he busts one for 52 yards on fourth and short. Holt twisted his ankle on the TD.
Onside kick! The Bears are caught napping and...big pile up for the ball. Rams got it. Whether is went 10 yards is up to the replay guys and the refs. That is, if the Bears challenge. They will. Cue the "Jeopardy" theme music. Aren't they supposed to decide this in 90 seconds? It's been about 10 minutes. Let's go! This ain't football. Play stands. I can't even remember what the play in question was, but it stands.
Rams ball at the 41 and Bulger hits a wide-open Holt, who eventually runs out of bounds. Thirteen-yard gain. Faulk makes a great hesitation move in the backfield, freezes the defense, and then sprints through the hole for 7 yards. The Bears are offsides, to boot. Faulk gets a few to set up a third-and-1. Tillman nearly picks off his second pass. Alas, he drops it. On fourth Furrey runs right and is brought down by Briggs and Tillman. He gets a good spot; first down. Bulger throws behind Holt. Incomplete. After Faulk got 2, the Bears call timeout. Bulger hits Looker and Mike Brown sends him flying with a submarine tackle--but after he got the first. From the 23, Bulger rolls right and hits Bruce for 5 yards. End of the third.
Faulk, Faulk and more Faulk gets the Rams down to the 4, just short of the marker. On third-and-1, Bulger fakes to Faulk and hits a wide-open Brandon Manumaleuna for an easy 6 and the Rams take the lead.
Rams 17, Bears 14
Dez White dives for a Chandler pass but can't make the catch. Thomas runs into the pile, prompting some boos. On third-and-8 Chandler is sacked and this game has really swung the Rams' way.
A hold on the punt return means the Rams will start at their own 39. Faulk runs for 5 and then Bulger hits Holt for 16 more to the Bears' 33. Faulk gets 2 more and goes over 100 yards for the afternoon. Faulk catches a ball out of the backfield for 12 yards and the Rams are moving the ball like it's practice. Gordon gets a try at running the ball and picks up 6 on first down. Faulk runs right into Alex Brown in the backfield and loses 5 yards. Michael Haynes shows up on third down and sacks Bulger. Big play, considering it looked like the Bears defense was taking the series off. Jeff Wilkins' 44-yard kick is good.
Rams 20, Bears 14
Down 6 with 7:15 remaining, the Bears start from their 38 and go right to Booker for 24 yards. Chandler then hits Desmond Clark on the run and Clark makes a nice gain of it, 27 yards to the 11. Bears moving the ball quite quickly. What the? Chandler hits a leaping White in the end zone and the Bears just moved the ball 62 yards in three plays. Unheard of.
Bears 21, Rams 20
After that defensive showing, no way the Bears hire Lovie Smith as their coach.
Hear that hissing? That was the air going out of this place after Edinger's kick rolled out of bounds. Brutal. That's more like it.
Tillman cuts down Manuwhathisface after 3 yards. Azumah steps in front of Holt and picks off Bulger's pass at the 42.
The Bears get the ball back with just over 5 minutes left and run Thomas left. This is no time to run the clock out. They need first downs and a score. Thomas gets to the 50. Unfortunately the first-down marker is at the 52. Third down. Chandler's pass bounces before it gets to Booker and that was not a good series. You need a first. Wait. I'm being too hard on them. Looks like they got the first. Replay shows it might have hit Booker's hand rather than the ground and the Bears will challenge. That gets the biggest cheer of the game. The refs overturn the call and it's first down for the Bears at the 43. Huge play there, but you need another first soon. The clock runs. Thomas runs and the Rams call timeout with 3:05 remaining. Thomas runs again and again St. Louis burns a timeout, its last. Third-and-8, the ball is tipped and hits Clark right in the chest. Chandler threw into triple coverage and the Bears will punt and hope they can pin St. Louis deep. A great punt by Maynard but Merritt is on the goal line when he tries to down it. The refs already blew that call once involving Merritt. They get this one right. Rams' ball on the 20.
Bruce picks up 8 on a quick out, followed by 5 by Holt. Bulger throws two straight incompletions, bringing up third and 10 with just over 2 minutes left. Bulger threads one to Holt for a big gain, 21 yards. Two-minute warning. I hate to say it, but this has last-second field goal written all over it. Bulger is dropped but there's a flag in the secondary. Illegal contact against Briggs before the sack, 5-yard penalty and a first. Bulger throws behind Bruce, but flags again fly in the secondary. Tillman is called for hands to the face. Another first down by penalty and Greg Blache looks like he wants to jump in the lake. Bulger hits Furrey and Furrey runs out at the 29. Azumah trips up Faulk, but not before Faulk picks up the first. The clock ticks, approaching 1 minute. Bruce catches one at the 20 and ducks out. On second-and-4, Bulger's pass is tipped at the line and falls incomplete. Daniels got a hand on it. Bruce makes a sliding catch past the marker. The Rams have no timeouts and will spike the ball to kill the clock. Second and 10 at the 13 with :49 on the clock. Faulk dives for a few and the Bears burn a timeout with 41 seconds remaining. Wilkins kicks a 31-yarder to give the Rams the lead.
Rams 23, Bears 21
Azumah takes the kick at the 7 and motors to the 45. Big play there. OK, 31 seconds left, Chandler hits White, who can't get out of bounds, so the Bears hustle to the line and spike it. White got 11 there. Terrell catches a quick ball for 4 yards and there's now 11 seconds left with the Bears at the St. Louis 40. Chandler sails one over White, bringing up fourth down. Chandler drops back for a hail mary. There's no one there and Aaron Gibson is called for illegal hands to the face. Ballgame. Anticlimactic ending there.
Bears had their chances, but the same old story. The defense can't get a stop when it counts and the offense stalls at crucial moments.
Final: Rams 23, Bears 21
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