Bears 28, Cardinals 13: Chicago defense outscores AZ offense

2012-12-24T00:00:00Z 2012-12-24T06:49:33Z Bears 28, Cardinals 13: Chicago defense outscores AZ offenseThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 24, 2012 12:00 am  • 

GLENDALE - A week after ending a nine-game losing streak, the Arizona Cardinals were back to their bumbling ways.

Turns out, they are who we thought they were.

Rookie Ryan Lindley had an interception returned for a touchdown before being replaced, Beanie Wells lost a fumble that was recovered for another score and Arizona's offense continued to sputter in a 28-13 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

"Obviously, against a team like that, you can't give them two scores," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "That's going to make it difficult with the way we've been doing things offensively, so that got us behind the 8-ball, which hurt."

The last time the Bears came to Arizona was a Monday night game in 2006, when they rallied for a 24-23 win and then-Cardinals coach Dennis Green went on one of the NFL's more memorable postgame rants, pounding the podium as he yelled "They are who we thought they are!"

This time, Chicago (9-6) was clinging to playoff hopes, needing a win over Arizona and some help to get into the postseason.

The Cardinals were the perfect foil.

Arizona (5-10) got by with its inept offense last week against Detroit, riding its big-play defense to a 38-10 win despite managing less than 200 total yards to win for the first time in two months.

The Cardinals couldn't get out of their own way again against the Bears, thanks in large part to their continuing quarterback woes.

Lindley badly missed receivers twice on Arizona's opening drive and didn't get a whole lot better, throwing his seventh interception without a touchdown before being replaced after the Cardinals' opening drive of the third quarter. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 141 yards with an interception and a quarterback rating of 55.

Brian Hoyer, claimed on waivers from Pittsburgh two weeks ago, also threw an interception and finished with 105 yards on 11-of-19 passing and a rating of 51.4.

Arizona's quarterbacks have thrown 12 interceptions, including four returned for touchdowns, with no touchdowns in the past six games.

"You have to take it in stride, take what you can from it, move on and try to make yourself better from it," Lindley said.

Chicago wasn't particularly sharp on offense.

Jay Cutler completed one of his first 11 passes before hitting five straight on a touchdown drive in the closing minutes of the first half. He finished 12 of 26 and capped the late first-half drive by hitting Brandon Marshall on an 11-yard touchdown pass.

Matt Forte had 88 yards on 12 carries, including a 4-yard TD run, though didn't play in the second half due to a right ankle injury.

"It wasn't pretty," Cutler said. "(We) made some plays when we had to make some plays."

The Bears didn't need many the way their defense was playing.

Chicago held Arizona to 248 yards, had four sacks and forced three turnovers.

Zack Bowman scored on Arizona's first turnover, falling into the end zone after scooping up Wells' fumble in the first quarter. Charles Tillman turned the second into another score, picking off Lindley and returning it 10 yards to put Chicago up 28-6 on Arizona's opening drive of the second half.

Kelvin Hayden nearly had another pick-6 off Hoyer in the fourth quarter and the Bears' defense outscored Arizona's offense 14-0 to remain in the playoff hunt.

Up next

• Who: Cardinals at 49ers

• When: 2:25 p.m. Sunday

• TV; radio: Channel 11; 1290-AM

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