Bears
Texans
24 - 31 Final
  for this game

Texans oust Bears from the playoffs

Dec 28, 2008 - 11:14 PM By Ted Dunnam PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

HOUSTON (Ticker) -- After surviving two straight overtime thrillers at frigid Soldier Field, the Chicago Bears ran out of luck deep in the heart of Texas.

Matt Schaub threw a pair of touchdown passes to Andre Johnson in the second quarter Sunday as the Houston Texans eliminated the Bears from playoff contention with a 31-24 victory.

The loss ousted the Bears, who squandered an early 10-0 lead, from the wild card race. Chicago was eliminated from the NFC North moments earlier when the Minnesota Vikings (10-6) defeated the New York Giants, 20-19.

However, Oakland 's unlikely 31-24 victory over Tampa Bay would have kept the Bears alive in the playoff race had they taken care of business in Houston .

Instead, the Bears finished 9-7, and Sunday's late game between Dallas and Philadelphia will decide the NFC's final playoff spot.

"We didn't seize the moment," Bears cornerback Charles Tillman said. "Opportunity presented itself, and we didn't take care of it. There really is not a lot to say. They won, we lost. It's pretty cut and dried."

Houston's victory - its fifth in six games - enabled the Texans (8-8) to finish at .500 for the second straight season. Last week, the Texans suffered a 27-16 loss at Oakland , snapping their four-game winning streak.

The Texans were sluggish in the first quarter before Johnson revived Houston.

"When we're able to run the ball, it opens the pass for us," Johnson said. "We found a way to get it done.

"We learned about ourselves this year. The sky's the limit for us. We were playing a good football team today with a lot at stake. We've just got to start next season not digging a hole for ourselves."

Chicago's Danieal Manning, who lost a fumble on a kickoff return, also was beaten deep by Johnson on his first TD.

"I bit up on the run - that was it," Manning said. "I knew what coverage we had, but I just bit up on the run.

"I should have been more patient than what I was. I thought I read run and it wasn't. Good play call on them, bad play on me."

Houston put away the game with an 89-yard drive late in the fourth quarter, taking a 31-17 lead on a 2-yard TD run by rookie Steve Slaton with 3:28 remaining.

Slaton's score offset a late 1-yard TD run by Bears quarterback Kyle Orton, who passed for 244 yards and two TDs.

"I had to get my head right," said Slaton, who finished with 92 yards on 20 carries after getting benched early in the game. "I fumbled, missed a protection and endangered the quarterback.

"But I knew we had a lot of football to play. That was probably the worst first quarter we played all year, but the defense gave us a chance to get the ball back."

Orton was outplayed by Schaub, who completed 27-of-36 passes for 328 yards, including TD strikes of 43 and 3 yards to Johnson in the second period that gave Houston a 14-10 halftime lead.

Johnson's second score came after Manning fumbled the kickoff return with kicker Kris Brown pouncing on the loose ball at Chicago 's 38-yard line.

"We have a lot of pride and I think that showed throughout the game," Brown said. "We've got the right guys in this locker room."

After the teams traded scores in the third period, Brown's 22-yard field goal made it 24-17 with 11:55 remaining in the contest.

The Texans' winning score was a roller coaster of emotions for the Bears. First, Slaton appeared to score on 15-yard TD run, but a penalty negated the run.

On the next play, Slaton appeared to fumble with the Bears recovering at their 21. However, the play was reversed when Slaton was ruled down by contact.

Ironically, it was the first replay challenge won by the Texans this season.

The Bears appeared to force a field goal after a 7-yard completion on 3rd-and-12, but a defensive holding penalty gave Houston a first down at the 14.

Slaton ripped of an 11-yard gain for a 1st-and-goal and scored two plays later.

Following Orton's TD, the Texans recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock, sending the Bears into hibernation.

"We knew what was at stake," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "They played better than we did. We'll just evaluate where we are right now and go from there.

"Our team failed today. We didn't play well enought this year to accomplish our goals. It was a disappointing end to the season."






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    Bears 24, Texans 31  FinalDec 29 5:17 AM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 10 0 7 7 24
    HOUSTON 0 14 7 10 31 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CHI - TD, BRANDON LLOYD 4 YD PASS FROM KYLE
    ORTON (ROBBIE GOULD KICK), 9:03.
    Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 5:37.
    Key plays: Orton 11-yard pass to
    Hester to Chicago 35; Orton 10-yard
    pass to O

    Dec 28 4:12 PM


  • NFL
    TD CHI
    KYLE ORTON 1 YD RUN
    (ROBBIE GOULD KICK)
    CHICAGO 24
    HOUSTON 31 1:29 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bears 24, Texans 31  4th - 1:29Dec 28 4:05 PM
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    Bears 24, Texans 31  4th - 1:29Dec 28 4:05 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    STEVE SLATON 2 YD RUN
    (KRIS BROWN KICK)
    CHICAGO 17
    HOUSTON 31 3:24 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bears 17, Texans 31  4th - 3:24Dec 28 3:50 PM
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    Bears 17, Texans 31  4th - 3:24Dec 28 3:50 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 22 roots (Close Finish)

    Bears 17, Texans 24  4th - 6:31Dec 28 3:40 PM


  • NFL
    FG HST
    KRIS BROWN 22 YD
    CHICAGO 17
    HOUSTON 24 11:55 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bears 17, Texans 24  4th - 11:55Dec 28 3:25 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 10 0 7 17
    HOUSTON 0 14 7 21 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CHI - TD, BRANDON LLOYD 4 YD PASS FROM KYLE
    ORTON (ROBBIE GOULD KICK), 9:03.
    Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 5:37.
    Key plays: Orton 11-yard pass to
    Hester to Chicago 35; Orton 10-yard
    pa

    Dec 28 3:13 PM


  • NFL
    TD CHI
    GREG OLSEN 1 YD PASS FROM KYLE ORTON
    (ROBBIE GOULD KICK)
    CHICAGO 17
    HOUSTON 21 5:30 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bears 17, Texans 21  3rd - 5:30Dec 28 2:58 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    RYAN MOATS 2 YD RUN
    (KRIS BROWN KICK)
    CHICAGO 10
    HOUSTON 21 8:30 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bears 10, Texans 21  3rd - 8:30Dec 28 2:49 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 10 0 10
    HOUSTON 0 14 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CHI - TD, BRANDON LLOYD 4 YD PASS FROM KYLE
    ORTON (ROBBIE GOULD KICK), 9:03.
    Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 5:37.
    Key plays: Orton 11-yard pass to
    Hester to Chicago 35; Orton 10-yard
    pass t

    Dec 28 2:21 PM
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    Bears 10, Texans 14  HalfDec 28 2:21 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    ANDRE JOHNSON 3 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB
    (KRIS BROWN KICK)
    CHICAGO 10
    HOUSTON 14 1:54 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bears 10, Texans 14  2nd - 1:54Dec 28 2:14 PM


  • NFL
    TD HST
    ANDRE JOHNSON 43 YD PASS FROM MATT SCHAUB
    (C.C. BROWN KICK)
    CHICAGO 10
    HOUSTON 7 5:50 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bears 10, Texans 7  2nd - 5:50Dec 28 2:01 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 10 10
    HOUSTON 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CHI - TD, BRANDON LLOYD 4 YD PASS FROM KYLE
    ORTON (ROBBIE GOULD KICK), 9:03.
    Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards in 5:37.
    Key plays: Orton 11-yard pass to
    Hester to Chicago 35; Orton 10-yard
    pa

    Dec 28 1:39 PM


  • NFL
    FG CHI
    ROBBIE GOULD 37 YD
    CHICAGO 10
    HOUSTON 0 3:30 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Bears 10, Texans 0  1st - 3:30Dec 28 1:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD CHI
    BRANDON LLOYD 4 YD PASS FROM KYLE ORTON
    (ROBBIE GOULD KICK)
    CHICAGO 7
    HOUSTON 0 5:57 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Bears 7, Texans 0  1st - 5:57Dec 28 1:17 PM
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    Bears vs. TexansDec 28 6:52 AM