NFL Game Summary - Chicago at Carolina|
(Sunday, October 10th)
Final Score: Chicago 23, Carolina 6
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Matt Forte ran for a pair of touchdowns in
the first quarter, as the Chicago Bears overcame a poor performance from
veteran quarterback Todd Collins to beat the Carolina Panthers, 23-6, at Bank
of America Stadium.
Forte carried the ball 22 times for a career-high 166 yards for the Bears
(4-1), who bounced back from an ugly 17-3 loss to the Giants last Sunday. Jay
Cutler was sacked nine times in that game and left with a concussion.
With Cutler recovering, Collins got his first start since 2007 when he was a
member of the Redskins. Things did not go as planned for Collins, who
completed just 6-of-16 passes for 32 yards and four interceptions. The 38-
year-old was pulled at the end of the third quarter with a 6.2 passer rating.
On the defensive side of the ball for Chicago, five-time Pro Bowl selection
Julius Peppers made his return to Carolina. The star defensive end left the
Panthers in the offseason following an eight-year stint with the club.
"It was fun. I saw a lot of old faces," Peppers said. "It was just another
game once it got started."
Rookie Jimmy Clausen connected on 9-of-22 passes for 61 yards and one
interception for Carolina (0-5), which is off to its worst start since opening
the 1998 season 0-7.
Carolina, which has scored just five touchdowns this year, had only 147 total
yards of offense. The horrific start leaves head coach John Fox on the hot
"I think its just a matter of time," Clausen said. "You're not going to go
from a rookie quarterback to an All-Pro quarterback in one week or a few games
or a season. It's just a progression that you've got to go through."
Bears safety Danieal Manning got an action-packed first quarter started with a
62-yard return on the opening kickoff. On the fourth play, Forte sprinted to
the left sideline and made his way into the end zone for an 18-yard score.
The Panthers scored their only points of the frame on the ensuing possession.
John Kasay capped a nine-play, 55-yard drive with a 24-yard field goal to make
Another good return from Manning combined with Forte's 68-yard touchdown run
immediately extended Chicago's lead to 14-3 with 7:35 remaining.
Peppers came back to haunt his old team on Carolina's ensuing possession.
Clausen's pass was batted in the air by Peppers, who caught the football on
The Bears capitalized with a 28-yard Robbie Gould field goal to take a 17-3
lead with 4:37 to go in the first quarter.
Chicago drove the ball to the Panthers one-yard line on its next possession.
It seemed like the Bears were ready to put the game away when Collins was
picked off by defensive tackle Ed Johnson.
A scoreless second quarter featured a pair of Collins interceptions.
Carolina was faced with a 4th-and-1 from the Bears 28 with about 7 1/2 minutes
to play in the third. The Panthers lined up to go for it, but a false start
penalty moved the ball back five yards. That resulted in Kasay missing a 51-
yard field goal.
Collins was intercepted for a fourth time on Chicago's next possession.
Carolina was able to turn this turnover into a 53-yard Kasay field goal to cut
the gap to 17-6 with 2:15 left in the third.
The Bears pulled Collins from the game in favor of Caleb Hanie, who was signed
by Chicago as an undrafted free agent in 2008. Hanie, though, had the same
luck under center, as the Bears finished the third quarter without a first
Chicago's initial first down of the second half came with under 12 minutes to
play in the fourth. The Bears got to the Panthers 29, but a sack and false
start penalty set up a 3rd-and-20 from the 41. Hanie's incomplete pass led to
Gould made a pair of field goals in the final 3:36 to account for the final
The Bears lead the all-time regular season series with the Panthers,
3-2...Coming into the game, Chicago had zero rushing touchdowns this
season...Carolina was without All-Pro wideout Steve Smith (ankle)...Hanie
completed 2-of-3 passes for 19 yards...Matt Moore replaced Clausen in the
fourth quarter and connected on 5-of-10 passes for 35 yards and two
interceptions...The Panthers had 62 yards passing, compared to 29 for the
10/10 19:21:41 ET