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Bears Overcome Miscues To Beat Colts 27-24

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Rex Grossman's second victory in the RCA Dome wasn't nearly as pretty as his first.

As a high school senior in 1998, Grossman passed for a tourney-record five touchdowns and left with a state championship. In a little over one quarter Monday night, a preseason rematch of last February's Super Bowl loss to the Indianapolis Colts, he fumbled three times, bobbled another snap, was sacked once and threw one interception.

Still, with Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning retiring early to the Colts sideline and Devin Hester once again giving Chicago big return yardage, Grossman and the Bears backups overcame their mistakes and beat Indianapolis 27-24.

``I haven't lost any (confidence),'' Grossman said. ``I hope the Chicago fans and everyone else hasn't lost any. I'm a pretty optimistic guy. Just because I throw an interception in the preseason doesn't take away from a good camp.''

Bears coach Lovie Smith wasn't looking for excuses.

``Quarterback-center exchanges, we need to be beyond that,'' Smith said. ``But we'll get past that. ... We haven't had a problem with that, and we won't in the future.

``This was another chance to evaluate some of our players. ... We put them in some tough situations, and we'll go from there,'' Smith said.

Manning helped Indianapolis to an early lead with passes to Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne that set up Joseph Addai's 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter. But as is custom in preseason, the starters quickly departed, content with using the rest of the game to judge the backups.

``Coach Dungy mentioned about 20 plays, and we wanted to come out and have a lot of tempo and energy, and I thought we did that,'' Manning said of the starters' limited playing time. ``We'll see our most extended action (Saturday) against Detroit, and hopefully we can build on some of the momentum the starters finished the game with.

``The coaches are looking for a lot of things; they're certainly making evaluations,'' said Manning, who was 5-of-8 for 61 yards.

Backups Jim Sorgi and Josh Betts were a combined 23-of-38 for 232 yards and two touchdowns.

Grossman, harrassed by the Indianapolis defense the whole time he was in the game, was 9-of-11 for 59 yards.

``We did some good things with our first group, some very physical play on defense,'' Dungy said. ``We moved the ball offensively. We didn't score from the 1-yard line; that was disappointing. We turned it over several times with our second group; that was disappointing.

``We just didn't quite make the plays we needed to make to win,'' Dungy said.

The Indianapolis lead in the second quarter didn't last long.

Robbie Gould kicked a 32-yard field goal for Chicago (2-0). After the next possession by Indianapolis (0-2) went nowhere, Hester _ who returned the opening kickoff in the Super Bowl for a touchdown _ returned a punt 50 yards to set up the next score by the Bears. A pass interference penalty in the end zone on the Colts' Kelvin Hayden put the ball at the Indianapolis 1, and Grossman ran in for the touchdown.

Grossman headed to the sideline after that and stayed there the rest of the game.

The Colts' T.J. Rushing fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, and it took Chicago only three plays to score again on a 9-yard pass from backup Brian Griese to Bernard Berrian for a 17-7 lead. The Colts tied the game at the half with a 9-yard TD pass from Sorgi to Aaron Moorhead and a 36-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri as time expired.

Chicago quickly took control in the second half, though, scoring on a 1-yard run by Adrian Peterson and a 35-yard field goal by Nick Novak.
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