Without god on your side, part II | Bleader

Without god on your side, part II


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"They found a way to win," said linebacker Lance Briggs.

Uh, no, sorry. The Bears found new ways to lose Sunday in falling 13-10 to the Broncos in Denver.

After what was really a dull game—a puntfest—for most of the afternoon, the Bears held a 10-0 lead with less than five minutes to play in regulation. A meandering, 26-yard Devin Hester punt return (making WBBM 780-AM play-by-play man Jeff Joniak seem silly for urging, "Don't go backwards, Devin, please") set up a short drive in which Marion Barber's happy feet propelled the Bears down and into the end zone in the third quarter, and Robbie Gould tacked on a 57-yard field goal in the high altitude to start the fourth quarter.

Denver's Bible-thumping quarterback, Tim Tebow, was having an awful Sunday, and at one point threw 11 straight incompletions.

Yet, with 4:34 to go, Tebow marched the Broncos down against the Bears' prevent defense, which suffered a complete collapse on a touchdown pass. Even so, with just over two minutes left, linebacker Nick Roach recovered an onside kick, and the Bears had the chance to run out the clock—or at least run it down to the dregs.

Barber, however, committed the bonehead mistake of running out of bounds and stopping the clock, giving the Broncs a critical 30 extra seconds or so when the Bears had to punt. Another defensive collapse along the sideline helped Denver get into Chicago territory with time to spare, and kicker Matt Prader booted a 59-yard field goal to tie the game.

Solidifying his role as goat of the game, Barber fumbled in overtime with the Bears in field goal range, and the Broncos turned it around enough to give Prader a 51-yard attempt, and he made it to win in sudden death.

Barber had a 100-yard game in place of the injured Matt Forte and scored the Bears' only touchdown, but his mental boner at the end of regulation gave Tebow the chance to lay claim to another miracle finish. "I might have thanked the Lord when he did that," Tebow said of Barber running out of bounds.

Yet it was last week that the Bears seemed cursed, with every small break conspiring against them. This week they just plain gave away a game they should have won.

Blaming god on this one is pure bad faith.

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