Grossman leads Bears to victory over Vikings in nail-nibbler

After the first three weeks of the 2006 National Football League season, the Chicago Bears are a perfect 3-0. The best thing about that record is, all three wins are against their division opponents.

Two of those three wins have come on the road. They opened with a big 26-0 win against the Packers in Green Bay. Then, they defeated the Lions 29-7 at Soldier Field in week two. Last week, they were able to travel to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis and manage a great come-from-behind win over the Vikings, 19-16.

Quarterback Rex Grossman has been a welcome addition to the Bears’ offense. He started week three with the No. 1 passer rating in the NFL. Grossman went largely unchallenged during the first two games against the Packers and the Lions. He was able to complete a large number of passes to wide-open receivers.

Week three was significantly different, however. The Minnesota defense was able to keep Grossman and the Bears’ offense in check for the first 55 minutes of the 60-minute game.

During the first three-and-a-half quarters, Grossman was only able to guide the offense close enough to score four field goals. It wasn’t until 1:53 left in the fourth quarter that he came up with his biggest pass of the young season, a 24-yard touchdown strike to an open Rashied Davis in the end zone. It gave the Bears the lead for good.

Despite being intercepted for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth quarter, Grossman was able to re-commit and keep the Bears close. In addition to his late-game heroics, he also led the team to an earlier field goal in the quarter.

In his three-year career with the Bears, this is the only time Grossman has completed a pass for a touchdown during the fourth quarter of a game. He certainly picked a prime time for his first one, a come-from-behind game-winner against a division rival on the road.

Nice piece of drama, Rex. Thanks for the nail-nibbling manicure, and the extra gray hair.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Sept. 27-Oct.3, 2006, issue

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