Here we go again. Another Monday night experience for the Bears.
Players always say Monday Night Football is a chance to prove something to your peers, a chance for the entire country to watch you play. This Bears team is out to prove they're not one of the worst editions in franchise history by avoiding an eighth straight loss.
Marshall Faulk's ankle isn't up to it and he'll sit out the game. That means the running duties fall to rookie Lamar Gordon. Quarterback Kurt Warner is out, too. But this isn't good news because his backup, Marc Bulger, has led the Rams to four straight victories, putting up Warner-esque numbers in the process.
ABC's sports promotion department had to dig deep to come up with something nice to say about the Bears in commercials leading up to this game. They went with: "The resurgent Rams (true) take on Brian Urlacher and the tough Bears defense (a stretch).
The Rams take the kick and start on the ground with Gordon, who doesn't get much. ... The Bears pressure Bulger on second and he throws it away. ... Third down, Bulger finds Gordon, who picks up 17 yards.
I love how all the Ohio State guys have to stress the "the" in the player introductions. As in "Orlando Pace, The Ohio State University." Of course the Bears' R.W. McQuarters became the first guy in the history of Monday night intros to over-stress the "the" in Oklahoma University. R-Dubs.
OK, Gordon picks up a yard on first down and Bulger goes deep to Torry Holt but it's over-thrown. Jerry Azumah got his feet tangled with Holt but no flag. ... Gordon fires one to a wide-open Isaac Bruce for a first down. Ladies and gentlemen, they're not booing, they're saying "Bruuuuuce" ... Bulger hits Bruce again to the 3 and Rams fans are Brucing again. ... First and goal and Gordon slips a Brian Urlacher tackle and gets back to the line of scrimmage. .... Gordon dives into the pile and gets to the one, bringin up third down. ... Bulger fakes to Gordon inside and then hands it to tight end Ernie Conwell, who dives into the end zone. That was a cool play. Conwell came in motion from his spot on the line and took the handoff in stride. ... Whoa, five yards on me for excessive italics. Sorry about that. It's fixed.
Rams 7, Bears 0
More football after the obligatory beer commercials.
Ahmad Merritt takes the kick, bounces off a few guys and is tackled at the 25.
This coming back from commercials just for the kickoff and then going to another two minutes of ads has to go. David Letterman does this sometimes. Of course, they don't have a kickoff, but they show the band for five seconds and then go back to commercial.
Here we go, Chris Chandler throws on first down and hits Marty Booker at the 50. I don't have the stats handy but that had to be the first time the Bears threw on the first play of the game in two years. ... Anthony Thomas runs for a couple on second and Chandler throws incomplete, intended for Booker. The Bears are flagged for 12 men in the huddle. Too bad they couldn't have gotten away with that. ... On third and 11, the Rams' ends come hard and Chandler has to unload an ugly pass that's almost intercepted by a defensive tackle. Al Michaels says the Bears have gone 10 straight games without scoring on their opening possession. That sounds about right.
The Rams start at their own 8 and Bulger finds Conwell on first down for a big gain. Conwell just knocked Mike Green out of the way with a hand. A 52 yard gain and tack on 15 yards for a personal foul against McQuarters. ... Gordon gets nothing on first down, but Holt takes an end around with Bulger out front blocking and gets to the 10. The 10. Seriously. You get the feeling the Bears will be lucky if they cover. ... Hey, Rosevelt Colvin strips Bulger at the 15 and the Bears recover. Let's see. The 15. That means the Rams should get the ball at midfield after the Bears punt.
Rookie Alex Brown recovered that fumble. Leon Johnson runs on first down for a yard. ... Grant Wilstrom hit Chandler from the blindside as he unloaded to Booker for a short gain. ... Chandler goes to Booker again for a first down. The Rams are called for a 15-yard facemask. John Madden is already ripping the Bears. "It's too bad Marty Booker doesn't have better players around him." ... Chandler throws deep to Marcus Robinson but it's way overthrown--and out of bounds. ... Chandler fakes to Johnson and keeps it himself for six yards. Is that a designed play? ... Chandler trips on center Kevin Dogins' foot, gets up and is sacked. Here comes the punt. ... Fake punt straight out of the '40s. Maynard put the ball behind his back, kicks in the air and runs for the first. Old skool. ... Speaking of which, Thomas runs hard on first down for a first down. ... Chandler is sacked again, this time by the extra cornerback. ... Chandler is almost sacked again and draws a roughing the passer call. First down the hard way. The Rams are blitzing every other play, trying to get to Henry Burris, no doubt. ... From the 11, Thomas gets nothing. ... Chandler rolls left and is sacked by Wistrom at the 23. Penalty on "Big Cat" Williams for something. A chop block, I believe. End of first quarter.
Third and 20 and John Madden is imploring the Bears to take a shot at the end zone. Of course the Bears run the dreaded wide-receiver screen to Robinson for nothing. I thought Gary Crowton was in Utah. ... Paul Edinger's kick is good.
Rams 7, Bears 3