Chicago hangs on 14-13 as Atlanta's late 45-yard field goal try hooks wide.
September 16, 2002
ATLANTA -- Another week, another close call for the Bears.
Atlanta's Jay Feely missed a 45-yard field goal with 56 seconds left and the Bears held on for a 14-13 victory Sunday, giving Chicago its first 2-0 start since 1991.
A week earlier, the Bears rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Minnesota.
Jim Miller threw a 14-yard touchdown to David Terrell early in the third quarter to put Chicago ahead to stay.
The Bears got help from an overturned call and Feely's second miss of the game.
"Neither game has been pretty, but we'll take it," said Bears receiver Dez White, who dropped what would have been a touchdown pass.
Linebacker Brian Urlacher dominated the Falcons for the second year in a row. He recovered a fumble, sacked Michael Vick twice and had a game-high 12 tackles.
On one play, Urlacher hurdled a would-be blocker to pressure Vick into an incompletion. Another time, he dived at Vick and missed, only to crawl off the turf and make the sack.
Vick put the Falcons in position to win at the end, driving his team 44 yards with a quarterback draw and two completions.
On second and 1 from the Chicago 28 and more than a minute left, Warrick Dunn and Vick failed on conservative runs. Atlanta coach Dan Reeves decided on a field goal attempt.
Feely, whose 52-yarder forced overtime the previous week at Green Bay, hooked his kick two feet wide of the left upright, leaving the Georgia Dome sellout crowd of 68,459 in stunned silence.
"Those are easy kicks," Feely said. "I just didn't get the job done for my team."
Vick played much better than he did in last season's 31-3 loss to the Bears. In that game, Urlacher recovered a Vick fumble and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown.
This time Vick was 17-of-28 for 166 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown to Dunn. Vick had a team-high 56 yards rushing on 10 carries.
The Falcons, who had only 78 yards in the second half, were denied a big play with about four minutes left. Vick scrambled from a fierce rush and threw a pass that went through the hands of safety Mike Brown, who has been at the center of so many improbable victories.
Falcons receiver Willie Jackson, sprawled on the turf at the Chicago 22, appeared to make the catch. Vick clasped his hands in thanks and Jackson had a big smile, but the Bears challenged the call.
After reviewing the replay, referee Jeff Triplette said the ball had rolled off Jackson's left arm and touched the turf before he cradled it.