The Bears' slim playoff hopes hinge on Chad Hutchinson's continued success. He had fans all abuzz after last Sunday's three-touchdown performance against Minnesota, and he's out this week on the road against a much tougher defense.
Adam Caldarelli is at ALLTEL Stadium in the Whatever-Nickname-Jacksonville-Has City today, and you can send him your e-mail questions and he'll find out the answers in the locker room after the game. Use the form on the right. All of Adam's comments are in italics.
Jaguars to another last-second comeback last week. A 60-yard field goal attempt by Josh Scobee was just wide right. It had the distance, but the Steelers won 17-16.
Adam: Travel karma comes back to bite me big time. After a mysterious first-class upgrade on my trip to Dallas, it all came crashing down yesterday in the O'Hare United terminal. From what I can surmise the airline's computers crashed for about two hours, just as I was about to check in for my flight. No problem, the attendants unleashed to calm everyone down told me, the planes aren't going to leave without you. OK, fine. Of course by the time I get to the gate that plane was flying over Kentucky. No problem, I'm told, we'll just re-route you via Dulles and you'll get to Jacksonville around 1 a.m. Lovely.
Anyway, greetings from Jacksonville where the game time temperature is 50 degrees. The sun, however, is shining. The cheerleaders are dancing and the teal seats are quickly filling up.
The Fox announcer said that Jacksonville is where everyone wants to be at the end of the season, and "I know two teams that want an invitation back here. The Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars." Slow down, there, buddy.
Both the Bears and the Jags are pretty much in a win-out situation. The Bears are playing a meaningful game on Dec. 12. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Adam: In an interesting change of pace, instead of taking the field by running out of a big helmet, the Jags run out of a big cage tended by khaki-clad zoo keeper types. Probably wouldn't work if Ray Lewis played here.
Fox cuts to the last possible commercial before they have to show us football. Football (hopefully) is next.
Adam: Referee Bernie Kukar already is in top form. Bernie had some trouble with the coin flip. "Heads it is
whoa correction. Tails it is." Bears will receive.
Zoom takes the kickoff at the six and gets out to the 29. Thomas Jones off-guard left gets six. Chad and Olin Kreutz have a bit of trouble with the exchange, but Chad holds on, hands to Jones, who gets minus 1. Chad right to Dustin Lyman's numbers, but Lyman gets a case of the dropsies. Time to punt. Maynard punts to the 16 and David Allen returns it to the 38.
Leftwich fires incomplete on first down, nice coverage by Zoom. Fred Taylor up the middle, bounces right and crosses into Bears territory for a first down, but Leftwich tugged on Charles Tillman's face mask and the Jags are back into their own territory. They repeat the down and subtract from the spot of the foul, so on 2nd-and-15, Leftwich gets it right to Taylor, who makes like Lyman and drops it. The Bears get great pressure and nail Leftwich as he throws, fourth down. Chris Hanson, who was put in injured reserve last year with an axe injury, punts it to the 29 out of bounds.
Adam: Ton of teal seats still available in this place.
Chad gets flushed, rolls left and gets rid of it out of bounds. Jones up the middle for a couple. Chad has a quick-out to Lyman, off Lyman's hand. The throw wasn't great, but Lyman is not impressing early in this game. Punt goes to the 17, where it's fumbled out of bounds.
Fred Taylor cuts well, finds a nice hole, but gets stopped 1-on-1 by Lance Briggs for about four. Leftwich goes long on a play action, but overthrows his receiver. A short pass across the middle goes right into his receiver's bread basket that gets dropped. Some kinda bug going around. Hanson's punt gets muffed by McQuarters, but Peanut makes a head's up pickup. Bobby Gray gets flagged for unnecessary roughness, and the Bears will start on the 15.
Adam: Tough sun? That's what, four drops?
Jones up the middle for five, and then Qasim Mitchell false starts. A draw to Jones looks bad, but he makes a nice stiff-arm to make it 3rd-and-3. Another draw gets nothing. Maynard's punt goes all the way to the 22, and the Jags get to the 27 and that's it.
Leftwich complete to Reggie Williams for 12 or so for the first first down of the game. Ogunleye injured.