Disaster in Denver

Tebow strikes again as Bears fall apart in fourth quarter

December 11, 2011|RedEye

So many superlatives have been heaped on Denver quarterback Tim Tebow that he seems almost godlike. He certainly finds ways to win—often in thrilling fashion. As for the Bears, well, they needed a victory Sunday by any means possible. Yet they did not get their wish, and now their playoff hopes might need divine intervention. Here's who looked heavenly and who was hellish against the Broncos.


Heavenly: Charles Tillman made a leaping—and dare we say, miraculous?—interception with 2:26 left in the quarter, deftly planting both feet in bounds while avoiding a Broncos receiver. It was Tebow's first interception since Oct. 30 and ended a promising Denver drive. The Bears defense also stood tall in other ways: Henry Melton collected a sack and D.J. Moore broke up a pass on third down.

Hellish: Devin Hester fair-caught a punt when it looked like he had room to run. It's a shame, because Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie could use all the field position he can get—especially when the offensive line collapsed like it did on one occasion this quarter.

Score: Bears 0, Denver 0


Heavenly: Julius Peppers starred this quarter, sacking Tebow and leading the surge when the Bears blocked a 29-yard Denver field goal. Israel Idonije got a piece of the kick, too. Meanwhile, Tebow proved once again he isn't afraid of contact, charging for a first down with a bruising run on third-and-15.

Hellish: With no Jay Cutler, the Bears receivers can't afford to drop passes like the one Hester did. And Idonije canceled out his great play on the field goal by committing a roughing-the-passer penalty. Of course, neither team could be proud of how its offense played.

Score: Bears 0, Denver 0


Heavenly: After a spectacular punt return by Hester, Marion Barber took over. The running back carried five times for 36 yards and a touchdown on the ensuing drive, finally putting the Bears on the board. Peppers didn't let up, either, impressively chasing Tebow all the way to the sideline to prevent him from getting a first down.

Hellish: Although the Bears' offensive line did a much better job in the running game, Lance Louis did pick up a false start penalty—his second of the game. Hester also cost his team 15 yards when he grabbed a defender's facemask.

Score: Bears 7, Denver 0


Heavenly: Robbie Gould kicked his way into the record book with a 57-yard field goal, the longest in Bears history. And with the Broncos in field goal range, Craig Steltz sacked Tebow and forced a fumble the Bears recovered.

Hellish: As well as Barber played, he made a boneheaded mistake when he ran out of bounds while the Bears were trying to kill the clock. What, was he absent the day you-know-who passed out brains?

Score: Bears 10, Denver 10


Heavenly: Somehow, some way, Tebow strung together enough completions and a handful of rushing yards to put his team's kicker in position to end the game.

Hellish: Sigh. Barber made a terrific catch to get the Bears in field goal range—and undid his good deed by fumbling a few plays later.

Final: Denver 13, Bears 10

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