American Football: Bears skinned: Eagles break duck

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

WHEN Randall Cunningham is flying high, the Eagles expect to land safely. So it proved in the City of Brotherly Love on Monday night as the home quarterback earned Philadelphia their first victory over the Chicago Bears in more than a decade.

The Eagles, who last defeated the Bears in the 1979 NFC playoffs, raised their record to 1-1 with a 30-22 win. The Bears, meanwhile, dropped to 1-1 in the NFC Central Division.

Capitalising on an injury to the Bears' cornerback, Donnell Woolford, who suffered concussion in the first quarter, Cunningham emphasised his enduring quality by completing 24 of his 36 passes. Woolford's replacement, Keshon Johnson, a second-year cornerback, had his hands full containing Calvin Williams and Fred Barnett.

Cunningham kept things short but decidedly sweet, supplying Williams with touchdown passes of nine yards in the first quarter and 14 in the second. By half-time, he had also found Maurice Johnson with a seven-yard touchdown pass after a 47-yard punt return by Jeff Sydner.

Eddie Murray added three field goals to give Philadelphia a 30-0 lead in the third quarter before the Bears finally discovered their growl in the fourth. Their quarterback, Erik Kramer, orchestrated a forceful rally, Curtis Conway converting passes of 85 yards and 22 yards, Marv Cook one of 16.

Fruitless as it was, this flurry constituted a landmark, marking the first time in 15 games that Chicago had scored more than one touchdown in a quarter.