|ESPN.com: NFC North||[Print without images]|
The Chicago defense was on the field for only 10 minutes, 48 seconds in the first half Sunday. That's about half as much as the Tampa Bay defense, for you non math-majors. (Me: History. Helps a lot).
And yet the Bears looked tired, old and a half-step slow during the fourth quarter and in overtime in their 27-24 collapse. Unable to get a consistent pass rush from their front four -- paging Tommie Harris -- the Bears blitzed liberally and opened themselves up to slant and crossing patterns over the middle of the field.
As a result, Bucs quarterback Brian Griese actually dinked and dunked his way to a 407-yard day. (He needed 67 attempts and 38 completions to get it).
A few fingers should be pointed toward the Bears' offense, which couldn't run out the clock late in the fourth quarter. But a 24-14 lead with 6:38 remaining in regulation should have been enough.