Urlacher's swipe at ball leads to fumble recovery and victory
Linebacker makes key play that should go a long way in silencing team's critics
Lance Briggs intercepts a pass to end the first half of the Chicago Bears game against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field. (Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune / September 27, 2010)
"I could give a (crap),'' the linebacker said. "I don't care what people say.''
Urlacher had the final say Monday. He didn't even know who knocked the ball out of James Jones' hand in the fourth quarter as he and Lance Briggs swooped in for the tackle of the Packers receiver.
"We both punched at it, but who got it out?'' Urlacher asked.
Replays showed No. 54 coming up with the game-changing strip that teammate Tim Jennings stayed in bounds to recover. The play set up Robbie Gould's game-winning, 19-yard field goal in the final seconds.
"Luckily it stayed in bounds,'' Urlacher said.
The Bears needed a big defensive play on a night that could have turned the other way. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did his best to carve up the Bears defense. He extended plays with his legs and completed 34 of 45 passes for 316 yards. But fortunately for the Bears, Rodgers threw just one touchdown.
"He was throwing it all over the place,'' Urlacher said. "We did kind of the bend don't break thing for a while. Good offense. Good quarterback. Good receivers. Good tight end. We just made more plays than they did.''
Jennings, who replaced Zack Bowman at left cornerback, was the most unlikely hero. He kept his body from going out of bounds and fell on the ball at the 46-yard line.
"Huge,'' Briggs said of Jennings' play. "It doesn't matter who gets plugged in. We believe in every member of this team.''
Bowman apparently was not injured and was pulled in favor of Jennings. The demotion didn't much matter to him afterward.
"Everything's OK,'' Bowman said. "We got the win. Everything's cool. Let's leave it at that.''