Vikings 10

(0-2, 0-1 away)

Bears 17

(1-1, 1-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, September 23, 2001


1 2 3 4 T
MIN 3 0 7 010
CHI 0 0 3 1417

With Matthews hurt, Miller rallies Bears

CHICAGO (AP) -- There's something about Jim Miller that brings out the best in the Chicago Bears.

Marty Booker (86) and Glyn Milburn celebrate after Booker's 9-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.

Maybe it's his low-key personality or his blue-collar work ethic. Either way, the Bears seem to win when he's in a game.

Miller came on for injured Shane Matthews to throw two fourth-quarter touchdowns, and Marcus Robinson capped the comeback with a 24-yard leaping touchdown catch Sunday as the Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-10.

"That wasn't an upset, we expected to win," Miller said. "We have a good team. And in the second half we started to show that."

Miller, who came on in the second quarter after Matthews bruised his ribs, was 18-of-29 for 204 yards. Marty Booker caught nine passes for 95 yards, and Robinson had seven catches for 99 yards for the Bears (1-1).

What's wrong with the Vikings' offense?
They're not in any rhythm right now. They have two new tackles, and they desperately miss Robert Smith. Smith had 279 yards on 37 carries in two games versus the Bears last year. The Vikings had no comparable running threat Sunday. And they're seeing different defenses because opposing teams aren't concerned about the ground game of Smith. Now defenses are able to double the outside guys and confuse Daunte Culpepper with different coverages. It all boils down to the lack of a running game. NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

Daunte Culpepper threw for a touchdown, but the extra week off wasn't enough to fix the Vikings' offensive woes. Randy Moss wasn't a factor for a second straight game, and Cris Carter was visibly frustrated by Minnesota's ineptitude.

The Vikings are now 0-2 for the first time since 1984.

"We came out and had some chances to score and to move the ball, but we didn't score," Minnesota coach Dennis Green said. "The name of the game is moving the ball and scoring some points with your offensive unit, and we didn't do that."

Moss had five catches for 81 yards, but Carter had just one catch for 13 yards. Culpepper was 24-of-36 for 233 yards and also rushed for 42 yards.

Moss, Carter and Culpepper all refused to talk after the game.

"You could just see it in their eyes they were getting frustrated," said R.W. McQuarters, who was on Carter all day. "I think the whole defense got the best of all of them."

It was just the Bears' sixth victory in the last 20 tries against the Vikings.

The Vikings offense was never in sync opening week, when they were upset at home by Carolina. They spent the week off, when all games were postponed after the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, trying to find some answers.

They obviously need to look a little harder.

The height of frustration came early, when the Vikings failed on a fake punt. Needing just two yards and having two downs to do it, Bennett rushed for a yard and then no gain.

Mitch Berger tried the fake, but his pass to Harold Morrow was incomplete as Bobbie Howard shoved Morrow out of bounds. And the Vikings had an ineligible receiver downfield.

"That's something that Mitch thought was there, and he tried to go for it," Green said. "I think it comes down to when you are trying to get out there and make something happen, many times it's not going to be there."

That gave the Bears the ball at the Minnesota 45, and they didn't waste any time taking advantage. Robinson beat Robert Tate and Don Morgan in the deep left corner of the end zone. With Tate right by his side, Robinson snagged the ball with his fingertips and gave Chicago the 17-10 lead.

"That was a big catch in a crucial situation," Vikings end Talance Sawyer said. "Tate was on him as tight as could be. The other guy just made a bigger play."

The Bears got off to a poor start, crossing midfield only once in the first half and managing just seven yards rushing. They were down 10-0 midway through the third when Miller finally got them into a groove.

After Paul Edinger's 45-yard field goal, Chicago had a chance to tie early in the fourth. But Miller's pass to Robinson was picked off in the end zone.

The Bears got it right on the next try. Booker caught the ball at the 11, and leaped sideways into the end zone to tie the game at 10. It was the Bears' first touchdown of the season.

"I wasn't going to be denied," Booker said. "I knew we'd been struggling in that area. ... I was determined to get in there."

Jim Kleinsasser gave the Vikings a short spark to start the third quarter. He caught passes of 18 and 10 yards to set up Andrew Jordan's 3-yard TD catch, which gave Minnesota a 10-0 lead.

The Vikings had the ball at the Bears 1 in the first quarter, but settled for Gary Anderson's 20-yard field goal.

Game notes
Vikings SS Robert Griffith broke his right leg on the opening kickoff. "I tried to go to my right and my cleats got stuck in the turf," Griffith said. "It's all my fault, I didn't get touched." ... Fans were given small U.S. flags as they entered Soldier Field. Firefighters and police officers were at various points throughout the stadium, taking donations. ... The Bears had only 47 yards rushing.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 5 plays, 54 yds, 2:36
Drive info: 5 plays, 54 yds, 2:36
minFG7:00Gary Anderson 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 44 yds, 2:37
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yds, 3:57
chiFG6:20Paul Edinger 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 45 yds, 3:30
Drive info: 7 plays, 54 yds, 3:44
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yds, 3:57
Drive info: 7 plays, 54 yds, 3:44