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(Sunday, September 20th)
Final Score: Chicago 17, Pittsburgh 14
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Robbie Gould split the uprights from 44 yards out with 15 seconds remaining and the Bears took advantage of two missed field goals from Pittsburgh's Jeff Reed in the final quarter to beat the defending Super Bowl champions, 17-14, in rainy conditions at Soldier Field.
Jay Cutler completed 27-of-38 passes for 236 yards with a pair of touchdowns for the Bears (1-1), who bounced back from a loss at Green Bay last week.
"We're glad to get this one off our back and move on," said Cutler. "I think we went to Green Bay with the whole city of Chicago on us. We love it, we expect it out of ourselves. To get the first one behind us and get rolling, it's going to be good for us."
Ben Roethlisberger went 23-of-35 for 221 yards with a TD and was picked off once for the Steelers (1-1), who began the season with an overtime win over Tennessee last Thursday.
Reed was wide left on a 38-yard try with 11:37 remaining, and then the Bears marched down the field to tie the game. Cutler finished off the nine-play, 72- yard march with a third down, seven-yard TD pass to Johnny Knox, who made a leaping catch in the front-middle part of the end zone with 6:21 left.
Cutler went 6-of-7 during the march, including a big 13-yard connection on 3rd-and-3 to Devin Hester to move to the ball to the Chicago 48. Cutler then hit tight end Greg Olsen for a 29-yard gain.
Roethlisberger then led his team from Pittsburgh's 29 to the Chicago 25 before the drive stalled, but Reed's 43-yard kick missed wide left, leaving the Bears with 3:18 on the clock.
"There's no excuse," said Reed. "I missed two kicks and basically what it was, I was trying too hard on both of them. As a right-footed kicker you hook them. I'm just embarrassed because the guys fought their tails off to win the game and if there's one play that can single-handedly lose the game I'll take credit for it."
The Bears avoided disaster immediately. Cutler connected with Matt Forte on a 12-yard pass. Forte fumbled, but Olsen recovered. Cutler converted a 3rd-and-4 with a five-yard pass to Hester, moving the ball to the 34. A short time later, Gould was called on the field and was good on his 14th straight field goal try.
"I think the biggest thing is it was a hometown state team, Pittsburgh or Philadelphia," said Gould, who was born just outside State College and attended Penn State. "That's what's great about it. I had a lot of people who came to the game that were Steeler fans. They were cheering for me, but I don't know if they were cheering for me on that kick."
Stefan Logan was stripped of the ball on the ensuing kickoff and Chicago recovered.
The Steelers marched 92 yards in 13 plays with their first touch of the ball and Roethlisberger found tight end Matt Spaeth for a one-yard TD pass on fourth-and-goal.
But the usually reliable Steelers defense gave up their longest drive in three years in the second quarter. Cutler moved his team 97 yards, ending the drive on a six-yard TD pass to Kellen Davis with 19 seconds remaining in the half.
Roethlisberger's two-yard run to the end zone with 5:26 left in the third put the Steelers on top again. The play occurred just after Rashard Mendenhall rumbled 39 yards off right tackle.
The Bears have 61 wins in home openers, the most in NFL history...Willie Parker rushed 14 times for 47 yards for the Steelers...Knox had six catches for 70 yards...Hines Ward caught six balls for 57 yards for the Steelers, while teammate Santonio Holmes made five grabs for 83 yards.
09/20 21:03:07 ET