CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Rex Grossman was having fun again.
The first-round draft pick drove Chicago 50 yards in the final
2:39 to set up Paul Edinger's 38-yard field goal as time expired as
the Bears beat the Indianapolis Colts 20-18 on Saturday night in
the preseason opener for both teams.
Grossman, who left Florida early after a disappointing junior
year, was 9-of-21 for 74 yards -- including a 12-yard completion to
rookie Bobby Wade on fourth down during the game-winning drive.
"That last drive was fun," he said. "I can't say everything
else was exactly the way I wanted it to go. I think I got good
experience out of it. Hopefully I'll be better next week.
Grossman thrived running Florida's Fun 'N' Gun offense under
Steve Spurrier and was a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2001.
Things went sour, though, when Spurrier left for the NFL.
A year later, and Grossman was gone too.
The Bears aren't asking Grossman to do too much too soon.
"We really couldn't have scripted it much better for Rex,"
Bears coach Dick Jauron said. "I thought he responded really well.
When he do to, he put the ball on the money -- sometimes under
duress. He certainly doesn't seem like a guy that panics at all."
It was also the Bears debut of Stewart, who signed with Chicago
in the offseason after losing his job in Pittsburgh. The Bears gave
Stewart every opportunity to show off his running ability and his
arm on their opening drive.
The results were mixed.
Stewart completed his first pass over the middle for a 6-yard
gain, then scrambled for 9 yards -- sidestepping linebacker David
Thornton near the line of scrimmage to give Chicago a first down.
Two plays later, Stewart threw a short pass up the right
sideline that was well short of his receiver. It was nearly
intercepted as it sailed through the hands of defensive back Walt
Stewart was 7-of-8 for 29 yards and played the entire first
quarter before giving way to Chandler.
"It was exciting. It was different," Stewart said. "With the
first game and everything, sometimes you don't see everything you
need to see."
Indianapolis missed three field goals, two by Mike Vanderjagt.
The Colts grabbed an 18-17 lead with 3:54 remaining when rookie
Aaron Moorehead made a leaping touchdown grab and Brian Allen ran
up the middle for a two-point conversion.
"We didn't really want the game to go into overtime," Colts
coach Tony Dungy said. "If you don't get it, we've got to get the
ball back, so it's a chance to practice that. If we do get it, it's
a chance to practice our two-minute defense."
The Colts got that chance, but didn't like the results.
Grossman converted two fourth-down plays and was 5-for-10 for 39
yards during the game-winning drive.
Edinger also had a 29-yard field goal in the first half set up
by a two long runs by Adrian Peterson.
The second-year running back had back-to-back runs of 15 and 14
yards to put the Bears in field-goal position before Stewart was
sacked by Reagor for a loss of 6 yards on third and short.
Peterson, starting in place of Anthony Thomas, had 36 yards
rushing on six carries.
Chandler capped an 11-play, 78-yard drive in the second quarter
with a 22-yard touchdown pass to Ahmad Merritt. The Bears' backup
was 5-of-10 for 48 yards.
Colts quarterback Jim Kubiak was 12-for-20 for 121 yards. He led
the Cots to their first touchdown on a 10-yard pass to Williams,
but also threw an interception that the Bears ran in for a
touchdown to take a 17-10 lead.
Kubiak avoided a blitzing Joe Tafoya near the goal line and
tried the heave the ball out of bounds but didn't get nearly enough
on the throw. Todd McMillon picked off Kubiak's floating pass near
the sideline at the 24 and jogged in untouched for the score.
"We probably weren't as sharp as I would like to be, but I saw
some good energy and some positive things," Dungy said.
Colts backup running back James Mungro left the game in the
second quarter because of bruised ribs. He was injured on a 14-yard
run up the middle and rushed for 17 yards on four carries.
The Bears lost second-string offensive tackle Terrance Metcalf
to a broken finger on his left hand.