for this game

Grossman, Gould help Bears rally past Vikings

Sep 24, 2006 - 8:44 PM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- After looking like he was rattled, Rex Grossman kept the Chicago Bears on a roll.

Grossman threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Rashied Davis with under two minutes remaining as the Bears rallied for a 19-16 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in a matchup of NFC North rivals.

Robbie Gould kicked four field goals and a huge turnover also helped the Bears (3-0) win their third straight divisional game to start the season.

"Going 3-0 against our division is a good head start," Grossman said.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Grossman made a critical mistake when he threw an ill-advised pass under pressure that was returned seven yards for a touchdown by cornerback Antoine Winfield, allowing the Vikings to grab a 13-9 lead.

However, Grossman received an opportunity to atone for the mistake thanks to his defense.

With the Bears trailing, 16-12, defensive tackle Tommie Harris pressured quarterback Brad Johnson before he could hand off to Chester Taylor. Defensive end Adewale Ogunleye recovered the fumble at the Minnesota 38 with 3:25 remaining.

"I saw the guard was sitting light," Harris said. "I knew I had to get off the ball and get back into the pocket. The guard pulled and I got behind him. All I could get was the ball, so I tried to knock the ball out."

"If I had gotten it quicker, I would have taken it away quicker," Taylor said. "But I lost the ball. I take the blame for it."

Five plays later, Grossman connected with Davis, a converted cornerback, over the middle with 1:53 remaining to give the Bears the lead for good. It was the first career fourth-quarter TD pass for Grossman, who is in his fourth season.

"That's what good players do," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "They play the next down. Rex played the next down and threw a great pass."

Grossman completed 23-of-41 passes for 278 yards and two interceptions. His favorite target was Muhsin Muhammad, who had nine receptions for 118 yards.

On their final drive, the Vikings were unable to convert on 4th-and-2 from their 46 after Johnson threw an incompletion on a long pass intended for Troy Williamson.

"We tried to throw it to a playmaker," Vikings first-year coach Brad Childress said. "Troy has been good for us, and he had man-to-man coverage."

After Winfield's interception, Grossman responded by directing a 10-play, 43-yard drive. The march featured completions of 14 yards to Bernard Berrian and 15 and 16-yard connections to Muhammad.

However, the drive stalled at the Chicago 31 and Gould kicked a 49-yard field goal with 10:37 remaining to pull the Bears within 13-12.

On the Vikings' ensuing drive, Johnson found Billy McMullen for 20 yards on a 3rd-and-10 play to the Minnesota 24. Taylor then raced around the left side for 24 yards, setting up Ryan Longwell's 41-yard field goal with 7:27 left that gave the Vikings a 16-12 advantage.

Johnson went an efficient 21-of-31 for 194 yards. Taylor rushed for 74 yards on 20 attempts.

Longwell also kicked field goals of 31 and 26 yards in the first half for the Vikings (2-1), who had won their first two games under Childress.

Facing a Bears defense that had allowed just one touchdown in their first two games, the Vikings moved 68 yards in eight plays on their opening drive that Longwell capped with a 31-yard field goal.

The Bears answered with a nine-play, 33-yard drive that resulted in a 41-yard field goal by Gould. Thomas Jones had a two-yard run on a 4th-and-1 play from the Minnesota 32 to keep alive the march.

An interception and 30-yard return by safety Dwight Smith set up Longwell's 26-yard field goal with 68 seconds left in the first half, giving the Vikings a 6-3 lead.

Gould kicked field goals of 24 and 31 yards in the third quarter to give Chicago a 9-6 advantage.