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Windy Win

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 14, 2005 4:39PM

Any true Chicagoan knows the true origin of the Windy City nickname, but when events like Sunday's Bears-49ers game are broadcast nationwide it's no wonder that people think it has to do with our weather. Playing in winds gusting to nearly 50 mph, the game saw a number of unusual plays that impacted both teams. The Bears overcame kicking difficulties, an interception in the end zone and three Bobby Wade fumbles on punt returns to 17-9.

The Bears scored for the first time in the game on the final play of the first half when Nathan Vasher caught a short 49ers field goal attempt by Joe Nedney and then ran the ball back 108 yards for a touchdown. Just the longest TD play in the history of the NFL! That gave the Bears a 7-3 lead heading into intermission. The 49ers cut the lead to 7-6 in the third quarter before the Bears added 10 points in the forth quarter to seal up the game.

In addition to the wind knocking down the ball that lead to Vasher's record-breaking return, the day also saw the 49ers start Cody Pickett, a former rodeo cowboy at QB -- after completing just 1 pass, maybe he should stick with rodeo!

Of course, Kyle Orton didn't fare much better when it came to racking up passing yards. While he completed 8 of his 13 passes, the team gained just 67 yards on those completions. Fortunately, the Bears running game had another big day. In spite of Thomas Jones not playing because of his sore ribs, they racked up 172 yards runshing. Rookie Cedric Benson was off to a nice game with 50 yards on 12 carries when he sprained his knee and had to leave the game. Third-string running back Adrian Peterson then proceeded to gain 120 yards on 24 carries. Not bad!

The Bears may need another big performance from Peterson next week. It's possible that Benson may be unable to play for a while, and while Jones is expected to return next week rib injuries are painful and linger. The team faces a big test when they face the 7-2 Carolina Panthers at Soldier Field. The Bears are sitting pretty within the NFC North on account of their 5-game winning streak, but this game will be the first test to see whether this team has any hopes of any kind of playoff run. They've gotten to 6-3 by beating a number of horrific teams. How do they play agaist the good ones? We'll see next Sunday.