Bears fall to Tampa Bay

Maybe going with Brian Griese makes sense, after all. Griese set up Matt Bryant’s winning 21-yard field goal in overtime with a 38-yard pass to Antonio Bryant, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to beat the Chicago Bears 27-24 on Sunday.

Maybe going with Brian Griese makes sense, after all. Griese set up Matt Bryant’s winning 21-yard field goal in overtime with a 38-yard pass to Antonio Bryant, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to beat the Chicago Bears 27-24 on Sunday. OK, the latest win was as ugly at times as it was dramatic, but the Buccaneers are 2-0 since the veteran replaced Jeff Garcia as the starting quarterback. "We’re very lucky," Griese said. "This is not the recipe for success later in the year, but at the end of the day, our guys fought and came out with a win." After blowing a 14-point lead in a 20-17 loss at Carolina last week, the Bears couldn’t protect a 24-14 advantage in the fourth quarter. The Buccaneers got a 35-yard field goal from Bryant with 3:11 left, and Griese orchestrated a 79-yard touchdown drive in the final 1:49, hitting Jerramy Stevens with a 1-yard pass in the closing seconds of regulation. Several key mistakes cost Chicago (1-2) in overtime. After Tampa Bay (2-1) punted, Rashied Davis dropped a third-down pass near the Buccaneers 35. Tampa Bay then took over at its own 7 and had third-and-9 at the 8 when Griese hit Stevens with a 2-yard pass. There was a pileup and Charles Tillman jumped in late, leading to an unnecessary roughness penalty that gave the Buccaneers a first down at the 24. Tampa Bay was at the Chicago 44 when Antonio Bryant beat Nathan Vasher for a 38-yard pass that set up the winning field goal. "It was a costly mistake on my part," said Tillman, who had a shoving match with Tampa Bay’s Donald Penn after the game’s first play from scrimmage. Traded back to Tampa Bay in the offseason, Griese threw a franchise-record 67 passes, completing 38 for 407 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in his second straight start. Garcia was listed as the third quarterback. "(Griese’s) a professional," said Michael Clayton, who had five catches for 54 yards. "He knows everything about this offense. He keeps everybody cool." And the Buccaneers kept their cool when the game appeared to be slipping way. Chicago’s Kyle Orton led touchdown drives in the third and fourth quarters that put the Bears ahead 24-14 and finished 22-for-34 for 268 yards. Not bad, considering he passed for just 76 yards in the first half, got sacked three times and had one pass intercepted in the end zone by Barrett Ruud and another returned 45 yards by Gaines Adams for a TD. "I think we kept them off balance a little bit (in the second half)," Orton said. "Basically I think we executed, and that’s what it always comes down to is execution. And I thought we were put in good position all day. We really got it going there for a stretch, we were executing and moving the chains." Lloyd had six catches for 124 yards, and Forte caught seven for 66. The rookie also ran for 89 yards on 27 attempts. The Bears were able to get good field position because of their defense even though Pro Bowl kick returner Devin Hester was sidelined by a rib injury, but they missed several touchdown chances early on. Chicago took away the run game, holding Warrick Dunn to 31 yards on five carries and Earnest Graham to 16 on 12 attempts. Antonio Bryant caught 10 passes for 138 yards, none bigger than the last one. And Ike Hilliard added six catches and 57 yards with Joey Galloway nursing a sprained foot. That Griese led a late rally was ironic. And just to be clear: He called some plays while others came from the sideline as the Buccaneers made their run. Last year, Griese led Chicago on a 97-yard touchdown drive with no timeouts in the final two minutes of a 19-16 win at Philadelphia and mentioned afterward that he had to call all but the final play because the audio in his helmet wasn’t working. The next day, he had to clear up a "miscommunication" and say some of the plays were, in fact, called from the sideline. It was an awkward moment after his best one with the Bears. AP ______ Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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