Final

Cardinals 23

(2-1, 1-1 away)

Bears 16

(1-2, 1-1 home)

8:00 PM ET, August 25, 2006

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 0 10 10 323
CHI 3 3 0 1016

QB tests: Cards' Leinart aces as Grossman fails Bears 

CHICAGO (AP) -- Matt Leinart had one request for his head coach.

"Call anything," he told Dennis Green.

The rookie clearly was confident.

Leinart showed why the Arizona Cardinals selected him with the 10th pick in the draft, and the Arizona Cardinals beat the Chicago Bears 23-16 in Friday's preseason game.

He took over for Kurt Warner in the second quarter and completed 15-of-21 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown.

"I feel comfortable with the offense for the most part right now," Leinart said. "So they called a lot of stuff, and I just went out there and tried to execute."

He entered the game with 5:13 left in the second quarter and completed 12 consecutive passes at one point, while leading the Cardinals (2-1) to a field goal at the end of the first half and a touchdown early in the third quarter.

Leinart completed all six passes on his second possession as the Cardinals drove 54 yards in the final minute of the half, Neil Rackers' field goal extending their lead to 10-6.

After Antrel Rolle intercepted Rex Grossman on the opening possession of the third quarter, Leinart went 4-for-4 as the Cardinals drove 42 yards against the Bears' first-string defense for a touchdown that made it 17-6.

"It's awesome," Leinart said. "It's good reps and experience for me just in case I'm thrown into the mix or if something happens. I can play at a high level, like Kurt plays at."

Warner wasn't bad, either, going 8-for-11 with 73 yards and touchdown pass.

As expected, the Cardinals' Edgerrin James did not play much. He carried three times for minus-2 yards on the game's opening possession and did not return. In three preseason games, he has 1 yard on seven attempts.

Grossman was 13-of-21 for 117 yards and an interception after two rough preseason games for Chicago (1-2) but did little to end the quarterback debate among fans.

Grossman was booed, and backup Brian Griese was cheered when he entered with about five minutes left in the third. Then, he went 10-for-14 for 131 yards and a touchdown, and heard a "Griese! Griese!" chant late in the game.

"Every time he's in there, I see the same looks and he makes nice passes," Grossman said. "I congratulate him, but as far as looking over my shoulder, you can't. You just can't. As soon as you do that, you're done."

Coach Lovie Smith said there's no reason for Grossman to look over his shoulder.

"He's our No. 1 quarterback," Smith said.

Bears running back Thomas Jones did little to distinguish himself, rushing for 3 yards on four attempts in the first half after missing the first two preseason games with a pulled hamstring.

Jones, who rushed for 1,335 yards last season, was dropped from No. 1 on the depth chart for missing voluntary offseason workouts. But the anticipated competition between him and Cedric Benson hit a snag before the first practice at training camp.

Jones pulled his hamstring while running during a physical on July 27.

Benson, meanwhile, got hurt and got into trouble.

The No. 4 overall draft pick in 2005, he missed his third game with a sprained left shoulder and is questionable for the preseason-finale at Cleveland. And the Bears disciplined Benson for leaving the sideline last week against San Diego and missing a mandatory postgame meeting.

After completing 10-of-25 passes for 130 yards in the first two preseason games, Grossman hit his first five and led a first-team offense that was scoreless in the preseason to a field goal on the Bears' first possession.

The Cardinals took a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter, the 67-yard drive culminating with Warner's 4-yard pass over two defenders to a leaping Leonard Pope in the right corner of the end zone.

Chicago's Robbie Gould kicked his second field goal -- a 39-yarder -- with 5:21 left in the half to make it 7-6, and he lined up for a 32-yarder with 1:00 left in the half. But the Bears called time, went for it on fourth-and-1, and Adrian Peterson got hit for a loss.

Leinart, who reported late and passed for 45 yards against New England last week in his preseason debut, hit Larry Fitzgerald for a 27-yard pass that helped set up Rackers' 49-yard field goal. Leinart's 4-yard touchdown pass to Bryant Johnson made it 17-6 early in the third.

"Matt had a lot of poise going in there," Green said. "When they gave him time, he stood in there and delivered. When they were all chasing our guys, he stood in there and scrambled for yardage at some key times. He had a good, solid performance."

Game Notes
Bears defensive end Alex Brown left with a dislocated shoulder after being taken down by two Cardinals while chasing James on the game's second play from scrimmage.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNChicago.com 

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERARICHI
chiFG7:06Robbie Gould 42 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 48 yds, 4:40
03
SECOND QUARTERARICHI
ariTD10:29Leonard Pope, 4 yd pass from Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers kick is good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 59 yds, 7:01
73
chiFG5:26Robbie Gould 31 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 35 yds, 4:49
76
ariFG0:04Neil Rackers 41 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 54 yds, 0:51
106
THIRD QUARTERARICHI
ariTD9:50Bryant Johnson, 4 yd pass from Matt Leinart (Nick Novak kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 42 yds, 3:48
176
ariFG5:08Nick Novak 43 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 28 yds, 4:05
206
FOURTH QUARTERARICHI
ariFG11:28Nick Novak 11 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 14 plays, 65 yds, 6:53
236
chiTD7:24J.D. Runnels, 2 yd pass from Brian Griese (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 73 yds, 3:58
2313
chiFG2:13Robbie Gould 19 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 60 yds, 2:09
2316