Bears End Skid Against Steelers, 30-6 : Interconference: The Chicago losing streak ends at six in Singletary’s final game at Soldier Field.
With linebacker Mike Singletary playing his final home game, the Chicago Bears’ defense played what was probably its best game of the season.
Singletary, a nine-time Pro Bowl linebacker who is retiring at the end of the season, inspired the Bears to a 30-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers that ended the Bears’ six-game losing streak.
“That’s something we’ve been thinking about all week,” Bear quarterback Jim Harbaugh said. “Mike has been so good over the years for Chicago and all of the NFL. It feels good winning.”
Harbaugh pledged to give his $70,000 weekly paycheck to charity until the Bears won again. After the victory over the Steelers, Harbaugh said he will still make a full donation after he took his teammates out for dinner.
The Bears (5-9) forced three turnovers and held the NFL’s leading rusher, Barry Foster, to 25 yards in 12 carries.
“I have been around for a while and I don’t know if I have ever seen a defense play more aggressively,” said Bear Coach Mike Ditka, who got into a heated argument with offensive lineman Stan Thomas on the sideline during the third quarter.
The Bears’ defense entered the game ranked seventh in the NFC, 11th against the rush.
Foster wasn’t talking to reporters in the Steelers’ locker room, but center Dermontti Dawson said the line was to blame.
“We played sloppy,” Dawson said. “It seemed we didn’t get a block down.”
Steeler Coach Bill Cowher called the loss a complete breakdown in every phase of the game.
“I didn’t think we did very well offensively, defensively or with the kicking game,” said Cowher, whose Steelers (10-4) slipped into a tie with Buffalo for the best record in the AFC but clinched the AFC Central title when Green Bay defeated Houston Sunday night.
The Bears gained 212 yards on the ground and Harbaugh passed for 90.
“I can’t remember passing so poorly,” said Harbaugh, who sailed a couple of passes over receivers’ heads. “Maybe it was in high school.”
Neal Anderson gained 56 yards for the Bears and scored two touchdowns.
The Bears used two fumble recoveries and an interception to take a 13-3 halftime lead.
At the end of the third quarter, Harbaugh connected with Anderson for a 15-yard touchdown pass play to put the Bears ahead by 17 points.
As the final quarter began, Shaun Gayle intercepted a pass by Bubby Brister and returned the ball 30 yards to the Pittsburgh 14. Chicago settled for a 38-yard field goal by Kevin Butler, his third of the game.
Pittsburgh, which had won four in a row, moved into position for a 38-yard field goal by Gary Anderson three minutes later.
Butler opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 37-yard field goal, giving Chicago a 3-0 lead. Lemuel Stinson’s block of Mark Royals’ punt had given the Bears the ball on the Pittsburgh 40.