Waddle Is Bears’ Unlikely Star in 10-6 Victory
What a week for Tom Waddle.
He was cut last Monday, reinstated Tuesday, and caught a 37-yard pass for his first career touchdown Sunday in the Bears’ 10-6 victory over the Vikings.
Waddle’s reception and a second-chance 22-yard field goal by Kevin Butler with 5:54 left was all the scoring the Bears needed to win their eighth consecutive opening game, the longest such current streak in the NFL.
Marcus Paul’s second interception of the game with 1:19 to play on the Bears’ 11-yard line ended any hopes the Vikings had of getting into the end zone against the unyielding Bear defense.
“It’s been difficult at times,” said Waddle, who has been cut three times by the Bears but who keeps coming back. “If you’re not a proud person, you wouldn’t be playing this game. But the big part is everything worked out. My first touchdown pass was great but not as satisfying as winning the game.”
The Bears might not have won if Butler hadn’t made his second-chance field goal.
Butler attempted a 42-yard field goal after an interception by Donnell Woolford but Audray McMillan was called for roughing the kicker as Butler went up in the air and landed on his right leg.
That gave the Bears a first down on the 12 but they couldn’t get a first down and Butler limped back on the field and booted the field goal that gave the Bears enough margin to force the Vikings to go for a touchdown that they never got.
“I don’t know what happened, I went up in the air and came down on my leg,” said Butler, whose injury was diagnosed as a severe right ankle sprain.
Moments later, the Vikings put on another march on the passing of Wade Wilson and moved to the Chicago 13-yard line. But a deflection by tackle Steve McMichael helped Paul intercept to clinch the victory.
“I never saw him (McMichael),” said Wilson, who completed 21 of 37 passes for 248 yards but had three intercepted.