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Briggs comes up big
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (54) is all smiles as he is congratulated by teammate Lance Briggs after Urlacher intercepted a pass in the third quarter. Briggs had 2 interceptions.

 

Associated Press

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Published: 11/24/2008 12:15 AM

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ST. LOUIS - Linebacker Lance Briggs was all smiles after the first 2-interception game of his NFL career, even when he discussed the second pick, when it looked as if he might score until he tripped.

"That was what we like to call a 'toe pick,' " Briggs said, laughing. "My toe got caught on the 'ice,' and I fell. I don't know what happened; I tripped - poor return on my part."

But most of the day was anything but poor for Briggs and the defense, which allowed just 207 total yards and a season-low 3 points.

"Whatever it was that we wanted to do, we were able to do (Sunday), and that's what we need to continue for the next five games," Briggs said. "It's gonna be critical if we want to win these next five games to bring the right kind of energy - not only a want-to, but a can-do, dominant attitude. We're going to have to be aggressive, be physical, and we have to take the ball away."

The Bears' 4 interceptions Sunday tied their team high. Briggs downplayed his 2 picks. The first he caught while falling to the ground after the pass was tipped by Brian Urlacher.

"I was in the way of the ball when they threw it," he said. "That's really it. When you play your techniques the way you're supposed to, things happen."

Down and out: Mike Brown did not return to the game after going into the locker room at halftime with a lower leg injury, tight end end Desmond Clark left with a knee injury in the third quarter, and cornerback Nate Vasher left early in the fourth quarter with a thumb injury.

Vasher said the injury is in an area close to the wrist injury and subsequent surgery that kept him out for all three October games.

"It's a similar spot," said Vasher, who had X-rays taken during the game. "We still have to go get MRIs and stuff like that. It looks good for me. It doesn't hurt as bad as the first time I did it."

Rookie Craig Steltz replaced Brown, Corey Graham took over for Vasher, who he split playing time with a week earlier; and rookie Kellen Davis filled in for Clark, who tied for the team lead with 5 catches and was second with 40 receiving yards.

By the numbers: Counting the 24-3 deficit that the Rams entered halftime with Sunday, they have been outscored 98-6 in the first half of their last three games. The Rams had been outscored 74-3 in the first half of their previous two games. ... The Bears ran two plays from the Wildcat formation, with the snap going directly to Devin Hester on the first and Matt Forte on the second. Hester picked up 12 yards and Forte got 4. ... Alex Brown's third-quarter sack was his fourth, but his first in six games. ... Adewale Ogunleye's first-quarter sack was just the second by the Bears in 119 drop-backs by opposing quarterbacks, but they got 4 more after that. ... The Rams have lost all eight of the games that running back Steven Jackson missed this season and last, and another when he missed most of the game in '07. ... Kyle Orton has not been intercepted in six-plus games, not since Sept. 28 in Week Four against the Eagles. He has thrown a team-record 185 passes without an interception.

In and out: Wide receiver Brandon Rideau, who was promoted from the practice squad on Saturday, was active Sunday against the Rams, as was defensive tackle Anthony Adams, who was inactive the past three weeks and for seven of the previous 10 games this season.

The Bears' inactives were wide receivers Marty Booker (knee) and rookie Earl Bennett, running back Kevin Jones, defensive tackle Matt Toeaina, defensive end Ervin Baldwin, linebacker Darrell McClover (hamstring) and cornerback Marcus Hamilton. Caleb Hanie was the third quarterback.