By Adam Caldarelli and Chris King
4:08 PM EST, December 28, 2003
Dangerous return man Dante Hall returns the opening kickoff 44 yards, but the Chiefs go three-and-out on their first possession. Priest Holmes was unable to get going after a 7-yard run on the first play. He was stuffed by Mike Brown on the second play and Trent Green threw incomplete on third down.
The Bears took over at the 20 and managed one first down on a nice run up the middle by Anthony Thomas. Rex Grossman led Marty Booker too much and the Bears started their first possession with a punt.
The Chiefs showed a little life after getting the ball back. Green completed three straight short passes but then punted the ball back on the next series.
After a short Thomas gain, Grossman hit Booker on an out pattern. Booker ducked under a tackle and got the first. Thomas was stuffed for a loss and then caught a pass for 4 yards as Grossman rolled left and threw back right. On third-and-7, Grossman was sacked for an 18-yard loss by linebacker Gary Stills. To make matters worse, Brad Maynard's punt went off the side of his foot and out-of-bounds at the Chiefs' 49.
The Bears, with the help of an illegal formation penalty, had the Chiefs going nowhere until Green found Eddie Kennison on the near sideline for 18 yards on third-and-15. Jerry Azumah then was called for pass interference, a gain of 10 yards. A guy named Marc Boerigter catches a short pass to get inside the 5. And you just know Priest Holmes will get the ball here. He tries to go over the top but is knocked back by Lance Briggs. On second-and-goal Holmes runs left, cuts inside Warrick Holdman and does a little dance into the end zone. That's a NFL record 26th rushing touchdown for the season. Real humble guy, too. As the P.A. announcer relates the feat over to the stadium, Holmes is up off the bench waving his arms in the air as if to say, "Cheer for me more!"
Chiefs 7, Bears 0
Thanks to a penalty on the Chiefs on the kickoff the Bears start in Kansas City territory. Grossman hits tight end Desmond Clark for 10 yards on first down. Even though Dez White's on IR, doesn't mean John Shoop can't call the dreaded wide-receiver screen. This one goes to David Terrell, who picks up 5 yards. Thomas is stuffed on second-and-5 and on third down Grossman takes a shot in the end zone for Bobby Wade, but it's too long. Paul Edinger's 52-yard kick hits the "F" in Chiefs in the end zone. Way short.
The Chiefs take over around midfield. Why not punt that last ball? Green completes two big passes. The first to Johnnie Morton (In your face, Matt Millen!) and the second to Tony Gonzalez. Just like that, they're at the 20. Holmes then runs three straight times, trying to break another record for most TDs in a season. But he's stuffed for a loss by Urlacher on second-and-goal. Green hits Kennison for a touchdown on the next play.
Chiefs 14, Bears 0
The Bears go three and out on some kind of dump to fullback Stanley Pritchett and two Grossman incompletions. Grossman also appeared to hurt his throwing hand on the series. He's left the field. It's Kordell Stewart time!
The Chiefs punt the ball back. It's not like the Bears have done anything with it. After the punt the Bears are called for a personal foul, the result of a minor dust-up. So they start at the 12 and Thomas nearly breaks one. He gains 17 yards. After that, it's just ugly. Stewart throws a ball off Terrell's back and then rolls on third down and throws the ball in the crowd. This is where Dante Hall could break one. Well, not yet. He's run out of bounds at the 45.
With just over two minutes remaining, Green hits Morton for 29 yards down the sideline. Morton slipped a Mike Brown tackle and picked up about an extra 10 yards. Green throws it to the end zone but Jerry Azumah steps in front of the receiver and picks it off.
The Bears have the ball at their own 20 with about a minute remaining. So what do they do? Hand the ball to Rabih Abdullah. The Chiefs call timeout, thinking they could get the ball back if this keeps up. Stewart throws to Booker over the middle for 18 yards. The Bears call time. Booker catches another ball by the sideline but can't get out. The Bears call another timeout with :38 on the clock with the ball at the Chiefs' 32. Stewart hits Abduallah over the middle and then spikes the ball to stop the clock with 19 ticks. Stewart hits Bobby Wade in the flat and the clock expires without getting anything. Horrible clock management by the Bears.
Chris King here taking over for Adam. Azumah returns the second-half kick to his own 18. Rex Grossman has an injured finger and will not return, but the finger is not broken. On first down, Thomas finds running room and picks up 20. Thomas runs again for a gain of 4. No gain on 2nd down and it's third-and-6. The Chiefs jump offsides and now it's third-and-1. Thomas runs and comes up inches short. The Bears will go on 4th down and Stewart keeps it and barely makes the first down at the Bears 48.
On first down, Thomas is drilled by John Browning and that's a loss of 2. On second down, Stewart hits Clark on a big play to the Chiefs' 30, a gain of 24. Thomas carries for no gain on first down and then Stewart tries a short flip to Thomas that falls incomplete. On third down, Stewart's pass is knocked down at the line of scrimmage. Edinger puts the Bears on the board with a 48-yard field goal that barely cleared the crossbar.
Chiefs 14, Bears 3
Dante Hall takes the kickoff and returns it to the Chiefs' 38. It was a bouncing kick that didn't go very far. Screen pass to Hall on first down for no gain. Green hits Gonzalez for a gain of 3 to the 41. On third down, Urlacher blows in and sacks Green for a loss of about 6. KC punts and the Bears will start at their own 35.
Thomas sweeps left on first down, but goes no where. Stewart tries to avoid a blitz and throws incomplete. Scott Fujita was in his face immediately on that play. On third-and-10, Fujita picks off Stewart's pass and brings it back to the Bears' 35.
Holmes carries for no gain on first down and then on second down, Holmes gets tripped up after a gain of 5. On third down, the Bears put pressure on Green and he runs for the first down, but the Chiefs are called for holding. So it'll be third-and-15 at the Bears' 40. Holdman blitzes and Green throws incomplete. Nice defense on that set of downs. The Chiefs punt and pin the Bears back on their own 2. Look out here. About 4:30 left in the third.
The Chiefs are called for a penalty on first down so it's first-and-5 and the 7. Thomas carries for no gain to bring up second-and-5 at the 7. Greg Wesley picks off Stewart after a deflected pass near the sideline. Brutal. On first down at the Bears' 25, Green hits Gonzalez for 15 yards to the 10. Holmes carries down to the 6 and then loses a yard to bring up third-and-6 just outside the 6. Green hits Gonzalez, but they're short of the first down at the 2.
Bears will start at their 34 and Thomas runs up the middle for a gain of 10. The Bears are flagged for a false start and it's first-and-15 at the 39 and the quarter ends.
Chris Chandler replaces Stewart. Thomas carries and then after a 5-yard completion, it's third-and-10. Chandler throws a wobbly pass that is almost picked off near the sideline. The Bears punt and KC will start at its own 7. After an incompletion, Green goes to Gonzalez for an 11-yard gain to the 19. Derrick Blaylock carries and picks up 10. Green throws one for Johnnie Morton and Tillman bumps Morton and that's interference, giving the ball to KC at the Bears' 47. After a short run, the Bears are called for another interference call at the Bears' 35. This is getting ugly.
Now R.W. McQuarter's is called for unsportsmanslike conduct and that's 15 more yards. Green goes to Marc Boerigter in the end zone and it's called incomplete, but the Chiefs will challenge the play. Looks like Boerigter was juggling the ball as he went out of the end zone. The call stands. After a loss of a yard, Green tries again for Boerigter in the end zone and that's incomplete. Morten Andersen boots a short field goal.
Chiefs 24, Bears 3
Azumah makes a brilliant return of 44 yards to the Bears' 48. Chandler goes long to David Terrell and that's a 35-yard gain to the KC 17. On first down, Chandler throws incomplete and his pass on second down is batted away. On third down, Chandler is sacked by R-Kal Truluck and it'll be fourth-and-17. The Bears go for it and Truluck nails Chandler again and the Chiefs will take over. Wow. Ugly.
Todd Collins replaces Green at QB for KC. Johnson carries twice for 6 yards. On third down, Collins hits Morton to the Bears' 46. Under 7 minutes to play in the Bears' season and maybe Dick Jauron's tenure in Chicago. After a penalty, Collins completes a couple of throws and KC moves to the Bears' 14. On second down, Larry Johnson runs to the 5 and it's first-and-goal. Johnson starts left, reverses field and scores.
Chiefs 31, Bears 3
This one couldn't end fast enough. Following Azumah's return, Chandler hits Booker for a short gain. Fujita is called for a unnecessary roughness penalty on second down and the Bears are at their own 41. Chandler goes to Booker for a gain of 12 to the KC 47. After two incomplete passes, Chandler completes one to Booker to the Chiefs' 24. KC is called for interference, so the play stands. After an incompletion, Terrell makes a catch to the KC 18. On third down, Chandler hits Wade for a 3-yard gain. On fourth-and-one, Chandler keeps it for the first and we're at the two-minute warning.
Chandler tries for the end zone, but that pass is knocked away and then Chandler is sacked on second down. The Bears actually called a timeout here. Third-and-17. Chandler tosses one over everybody and this could be the final play of the Bears' season with 1:36 left. Chandler scrambles and throws a pass too high for Booker in the end zone and that's gonna do it. A blowout loss to start the season and a blowout to end it. Bears finish 7-9. The Dick Jauron watch is on.
Thanks for reading.
Final: Chiefs 31, Bears 3
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