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Bears get the message
By Bob LeGere | Daily Herald Staff

Robbie Gould celebrates with Brad Maynard after Gould's field goal in overtime completed the Bears' comeback.


Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

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Published: 12/23/2008 11:40 PM

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Trailing 14-3 at halftime and having been outgained 221-48 while possessing the ball for only 9:53, the Bears didn't look like a team that even belonged in a discussion about the playoffs as postseason elimination seemed imminent.

"In the first half we played terrible, especially at home," running back Matt Forte said. "Coach (Lovie) Smith challenged us not to go out like that. It was just time to take care of business."

Smith said he was disappointed with the lack of production on both sides of the ball but that he didn't have to elaborate on the poor performance.

"I didn't expect it in a game with so much on the line, in a rivalry game against a team that had beaten us so bad the first time around," Smith said.

"Luckily, you have a halftime to get a chance to start it over again, and for all of us to get a chance to look at ourselves and think about all we've gone through this year to get ourselves in position.

"I guess you can take a loss if you do everything you possibly can and play your best game. We knew that wasn't the case. Guys knew exactly how we played."

Diminishing production: The offense has had its two worst outputs in the past two games, managing just 226 total yards against New Orleans and 210 Monday against Green Bay, even though both games went into overtime and were against mediocre defenses.

"The offense didn't do a lot for most of the (Packers) game," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "But, just like the week before, when we needed them to score a touchdown and then follow it up with a field goal in overtime, they came through."

The Bears' offensive drought has gone on much longer than the past two weeks. Their five least productive games have all come in the past seven weeks, and in all five the offense failed to accumulate 250 total yards. The NFL average is 325.

Fortunately for the offense, the Houston Texans, Sunday's opponent, rank 23rd in the league in yards allowed and 27th in points allowed.

Injury list: Safety Mike Brown (calf), cornerback Marcus Hamilton (ankle), linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer (ankle also) and running back Kevin Jones (hamstring) all were unable to finish the game Monday night. Cornerback Charles Tillman suffered an ankle injury but returned after a brief spell.

No other useful information was provided on any of the injuries, but Tillman is expected to play Sunday at Houston.