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Bears 27, Vikings 23

©Associated Press
September 9, 2002

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Mike Brown needed intravenous fluids twice as the scorching heat left him nauseous, lightheaded and gasping for air.

The Chicago safety wasn't too sick, though, to make another game-turning play for the Bears, playing for the first time at the University of Illinois while Soldier Field is being renovated.

Brown intercepted Daunte Culpepper's poorly thrown pass, returned it 16 yards to almost midfield and started a winning drive, capped by Jim Miller's 9-yard pass to David Terrell with 28 seconds left.

"When we get in these situations, nobody panics," said Brown, who missed the preseason with a broken bone in his hand. "Everybody is calm because we know we can win after the success we had last year."

Brown, who scored touchdowns on returns to win in overtime in consecutive games last season, twice went to the locker room for treatment on a 90-degree day.

Chicago trailed by 10 early in the fourth, but Miller hooked up with Marty Booker on a 54-yard pass to set up Anthony Thomas' 1-yard touchdown run and Chicago trailed by three with 6:13 left. Minnesota got two first downs on its next possession but Brown got in the way of Culpepper's pass and Chicago had the ball with 2:34 left.

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