1:00 PM ET, December 17, 2006
Soldier Field, Chicago, IL
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bears checked another item off their to-do list.A division title, a first-round bye and now home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs have been secured.
With everyone watching to see if Rex Grossman (right) could put together back-to-back quality performances and eliminate concerns over the quarterback position going into the playoffs, Grossman responded with an excellent effort. Chicago looked every bit the dominant NFC team until relaxing with a 24-3 lead and allowing Tampa Bay to make a run in the second half and send this game to overtime.
Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden replaced rookie Bruce Gradkowski with Tim Rattay and the Buccaneers responded. The Bucs rallied against a Bears team that mentally shut down and became complacent after dominating the game early. But Chicago and Grossman responded like a championship-caliber team to pull out the game in overtime.
Rex Grossman passed for 339 yards in the Bears' 34-31 overtime win against the Bucs. That ended Chicago's streak of 72 consecutive regular-season games without a 300-yard passer, by far the NFL's longest current streak. That distinction now falls to the 49ers (41 games).
• For more Elias Says, Click here.
The Bears were booed at the end of regulation when they ran out the clock and decided to go to overtime instead of trying to score with the ball deep in their end. ... Rattay finished 20-of-35 for 268 yards. ... The Bears also played without starting left tackle John Tait (ankle) and defensive back Nathan Vasher (hamstring), who were inactive. ... The Bucs have lost seven of eight. ... Clark's 100-yard receiving game was the first by a Bears tight end since Emery Moorehead had 114 against the Bucs in 1985.
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.3||5.4|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||7:18||Desmond Clark 24 Yd Pass From Rex Grossman (Robbie Gould Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 62 yds, 3:57
|FG||6:41||Matt Bryant 45 Yd |
Drive: 4 plays, -1 yds, 1:35
|TD||11:02||Thomas Jones 5 Yd Run (Robbie Gould Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 56 yds, 4:21
|TD||14:37||Desmond Clark 12 Yd Pass From Rex Grossman (Robbie Gould Kick) |
Drive: 6 plays, 65 yds, 1:05
|FG||9:38||Robbie Gould 38 Yd |
Drive: 10 plays, 48 yds, 3:38
|TD||14:35||Mike Alstott 14 Yd Run (Matt Bryant Kick) |
Drive: 10 plays, 57 yds, 4:57
|TD||0:47||Alex Smith 9 Yd Pass From Tim Rattay (Matt Bryant Kick) |
Drive: 3 plays, 16 yds, 1:04
|TD||5:37||Cedric Benson 4 Yd Run (Robbie Gould Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 77 yds, 4:50
|TD||8:47||Joey Galloway 64 Yd Pass From Tim Rattay (Matt Bryant Kick) |
Drive: 5 plays, 95 yds, 1:12
|TD||11:16||Ike Hilliard 44 Yd Pass From Tim Rattay (Matt Bryant Kick) |
Drive: 2 plays, 50 yds, :47
|FG||11:23||Robbie Gould 25 Yd |
Drive: 6 plays, 43 yds, 2:46