Lovie Smith pretty much said it all when he admitted after this lackluster 14-9 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Soldier Field that the Bears “are not playing good football yet, but we will”. Well,the fans in attendance,who booed much of the night,did not leave convinced.
The third NFL Exhibition game these days is always considered the most significant one of the four played. The Bears had the two best scoring chances in the opening period,but on the opening drive,Jay Cutler had a pass that was intended for Johnny Knox picked off by the Cardinals Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at the Cards 31, and then a nice drive that was stalled when Cutler was sacked at the Arizona 20, came up empty when Robbie Gould had a 38 yard field goal try blocked by DE Calais Campbell.The quarter ended scoreless with Cutler getting sacked twice.Lance Briggs went off with an ankle injury during the quarter.
After the blocked field goal,Derek Anderson,who started for the Cardinals instead of Matt Leinhart,drove his team 72 yards in 10 plays and hit Stephen Williams at the ten and he outmaneuvered two Bears and ran into the end zone for a 27 yard touchdown play with 10:47 left in the half. Chester Taylor ran around right end for 32 yards which set up a 48 yard try by Gould that hit the left upright.After Cutler’s second interception of the half(by Greg Toler),Leinhart replaced Anderson for Arizona.The Cards drove to the Bears 7,but Beanie Wells fumbled and Zack Bowman recovered. That kept the score 7-0 at halftime.The Cardinals took advantage of a short field following a Brad Maynard punt and took over at the Bears 48. Leinhart took them the distance in five plays and hit Steve Breaston at the two,and he went airborne to score the Cards second TD with 6:38 to go in the third period.
Dan LeFevour took over from Cutler with six minutes left in the third quarter.He took the Bears on a 22 yard 9 play drive that ended with a Gould 22 yard field goal with 10:03 left in the fourth quarter.LeFevour then took the Bears 54 yards on a Cards defense that featured many who likely will be bagging groceries in a few weeks, and he hit Juaquin Iglesias for a three yard TD with 4:43 left,but the two point try was no good when LeFevour’s pass intended for Garrett Wolfe was incomplete.That ended the scoring.
NOTES—Attendance was 53,151 with 7683 no shows…..Parts of the field were in “mid-season” form–BAD! There were div-its between the hash marks,and it caused Cutler to slip and go down while trying to scramble midway through the first quarter. Oh that Park District!…Cutler left midway through the third quarter after hitting 10-20 passes for 129 yards, throwing two interceptions,getting sacked four times,and a QB rating of 31.0.