CHICAGO (AP) -- Bracy Walker got one of the game balls and
Needing intravenous fluids to fight off dehydration, Walker
rescued the Detroit Lions from the NFL's longest road losing streak
He rambled 92 yards for a TD after teammate Shaun Rogers blocked
a third-quarter field goal attempt. And later he preserved
Detroit's 20-16 victory over the Chicago Bears, intercepting Rex
Grossman's pass in the end zone pass with 18 second left.
"It's important to end the streak for all the obvious
reasons," Lions coach Steve Mariucci said after his team's 24-game
stretch of road losses was wiped away. "We are glad it's over,
Detroit's victory spoiled the coaching debut of the Bears' Lovie
Smith, whose team was bogged down by penalties and mistakes.
The victory was a costly one for the Lions. They lost WR Charles
Rogers to a broken collarbone for the second straight year and he
could miss most of the season. He got hurt going for a
first-quarter pass. Rogers, the second overall pick in the 2003
draft, played only five games last season.
Pro Bowl cornerback Dre' Bly will have an MRI on Monday after
spraining a knee ligament in the first quarter.
Joey Harrington tossed a 4-yard go-ahead TD pass to Az-Zahir
Hakim in the fourth quarter and Detroit held on for its first road
victory since beating the Jets on Dec. 17, 2000.
With 1:54 left, facing a difficult punt out of their own end
zone, the Lions chose to have punter Nick Harris run out of the end
zone for safety. It cut the lead to 20-16, but gave the Lions a
free kick -- a strategy that nearly backfired.
With no timeouts, Grossman was sacked and then had to spike the
ball on second down. Scrambling on third down, he threw the ball to
the corner for Terrell, but Walker made the pick.
"Grossman started to scramble and I thought he was going to try
and run it into the end zone," Walker said. "He just so happened
to throw the ball, and I looked and it fell into my hands."
Grossman, who lost a fumble and had two interceptions, took the
"I was trying to throw it up for a jump ball situation for
David in the back of the end zone. I threw it a little short,"
Grossman said. "I should have thrown it away. I didn't."
Thomas Jones' second 2-yard TD run, this one with 12:40 left ,
put the Bears up 14-13, a score set up by a roughing-the-passer
Trailing at the half 7-3, Detroit took the lead when Rogers
blocked Paul Edinger's 27-yard field goal attempt and Walker
grabbed the ball, picked up some blockers and cut back across the
field on the 92-yard return.
"I heard that dreaded sound, "the thump" and the ball just
happened to roll my way. My first instinct was to run," Walker
"It was all discombobulated and I thought about pitching it to
Andre' Goodman, but he was running so fast it would have been a
forward lateral. I didn't have any legs."
The Bears had three second-half turnovers and three big
penalties -- one on Terrell for taunting after he made a catch along
the sideline and then handed the ball to Harris. Two more were for
personal fouls, one on center Olin Kreutz and another on defensive
back Charles Tillman for shoving a scrambling Harrington after he'd
run out of bounds.
"I just dropped the ball. I didn't throw it at him," Terrell
said. "The refs called nitpicky fouls all day . The personal foul
on Olin Kreutz wasn't a personal foul. So they made bad calls."
Rookie Roy Williams' spectacular one-handed grab of a Harrington
pass went for a 26-yard gain to the Bears 17 late in the second
When McQuarters was called for pass interference on Williams in
the end zone, Detroit had first-and-goal at the 1. But Kevin Jones'
TD run was called back by holding on Schlesinger and the Lions had
to settle for Jason Hanson's 26-yard field goal with 16 seconds to
Grossman connected with Terrell on back-to-back passes of 30 and
27 yards to set up Thomas Jones' 2-yard TD run in the first quarter
for a 7-0 lead.
Former Bears coach Dick Jauron, fired in January, was
also given a game ball as the Lions' defensive coordinator. ...
There were 18 penalties, nine on each team. ... Harrington was
14-of-26 for 187 yards, Grossman 16-of-35 for 227. ... Terrell had
the first 100-yard receiving day of his career, 5-126.
Buoyed by the teamâ
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