DENVER (AP) -- Kordell Stewart could have complained and sulked
after being replaced as Chicago's starter. Instead, he kept his
mouth shut and his mind ready.
Question on the Bears: Regardless of Chris Chandler's health, is Kordell Stewart the starter next week?
No, if Chris Chandler is healthy, he's the starter. Chandler gives the Bears a better opportunity to compete and pull out victories. Stewart still doesn't seem confident and doesn't give them the best chance for a victory.
Question on the Broncos: How could the Broncos allow this to happen?
The Broncos had the same problem the Chiefs had last week against the Bengals. They played a team that wanted to play physical football, while the Broncos seemed to be content playing "technique football." The Broncos have to play more physical football if they want to win in the NFL.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
It paid off.
"It's all about being professional at this level," Stewart
said. "It's not about whining and moaning, it's about sitting back
and just waiting for your opportunity..."
Stewart opened the season as Chicago's starter after signing
with the Bears in the offseason, but was replaced by the
38-year-old Chandler after throwing seven interceptions and winning
one of the first five games.
Chandler was 8-for-18 for 79 yards in the first half, but didn't
play in the second after spraining his shoulder. Stewart wasn't
much better, but he did lead the Bears to 10 fourth-quarter points
and their first road victory in 12 games.
Stewart finished 7-for-15 for 47 yards passing and ran for 29
"He's a champion, man," Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said.
"Today he came out there and had a great performance. He didn't
get that many reps in practice all week. Just gutty."
The temperature was 18 degrees with a wind chill of 8 at kickoff
-- the second-coldest home game in Broncos history -- and it only got
worse as the game continued.
Neither team had trouble handling the ball in the frigid air --
no turnovers -- but they weren't exactly marching up and down the
The Bears (4-7) had just 217 total yards, but benefited from
good field position and two pass interference penalties against
Denver's Lenny Walls. The Bears' average starting position was the
38-yard line, while Denver averaged the 19.
Denver (6-5) clicked last week against San Diego with the return
of Jake Plummer. It didn't carry over this week.
The Broncos got off to a good start, moving 78 yards for a
1-yard touchdown reception by Rod Smith on their first drive, but
the rest of the game was filled with mistimed plays and missed
The Broncos opened the season 4-1, but have lost five of seven
to drop four games behind Kansas City in the AFC West.
"I felt good about the game going into it and I am very
disappointed in myself that we didn't play better than we did,"
Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said.
Clinton Portis had 165 yards on 14 carries for his second
straight 1,000-yard season, but he went out in the fourth quarter
with a heel injury.
As for Plummer, he was 19-for-35 for 176 yards after missing
four games with foot and shoulder injuries. He had several passes
swatted down and was even booed by the home fans after trying to
force a pass into double coverage in the fourth quarter.
"It's not devastating because there's still a shot there to get
to the playoffs," Plummer said. "That's what we are looking for.
We just put ourselves in a tough spot."
Denver took a 10-9 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Jason Elam
early in the fourth quarter, set up by Portis' 49-yard run off
Stewart followed with a 1-yard dive, squeezing into the end zone
on fourth down after being hit just as he started his jump.
Edinger made it 19-10 on a 47-yard field goal with just under
nine minutes left, capping a short drive that Walls kept alive with
a 21-yard pass interference penalty on third down.
Edinger also had three field goals in the first half, including
two in the final 1:57 that helped the Bears take a 9-7 lead despite
having just 117 total yards.
The first, from 23 yards, was set up by a 45-yard pass
interference penalty on Walls. The second, from 54 yards with three
seconds left, came after Chicago got the ball back at its 34 with
57 seconds left.
"I got some things straightened out this week," Edinger said,
who had missed four of his previous seven attempts.
The coldest home game in Denver history was against San
Diego on Dec. 10, 1972, when the temperature at kickoff was 9
degrees. ... It was the first regular-season meeting between the
teams since Nov. 10, 1996, a 17-12 win by Denver. ... Broncos WR Ed
McCaffrey returned after missing four games with a quadriceps
tendon injury. He dropped two passes, including a potential 29-yard
touchdown in the first quarter. ... Portis' 11.79 per-carry average
broke the team record of 11 set by David Rolle against Oakland on
Oct. 12, 1960.
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