Stand-in Miller puts Bears back on track

Nothing can ever be taken for granted in the National Football League, and so it proved on Sunday, when the Chicago Bears, winners of only one previous contest and without their injured first-choice quarterback, entertained the fancied Indianapolis Colts.

Nothing can ever be taken for granted in the National Football League, and so it proved on Sunday, when the Chicago Bears, winners of only one previous contest and without their injured first-choice quarterback, entertained the fancied Indianapolis Colts.

Common sense and current form suggested a routine Colts victory, but Jim Miller, Chicago's replacement quarterback, thought otherwise. He im-pressed throughout, his touchdown pass to Marcus Robinson helping his side to a 20-0 half-time advantage.

When Walt Harris returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown early in the second half, the upset was confirmed, and although Indianapolis mounted a late rally, the Bears had done enough to cling on to a 27-24 triumph.

"We weren't ready to play emotionally," said the Colts' pragmatic coach, Jim Mora. "We didn't play with any sense or urgency. We didn't play physical or tough. In the first half, they just kicked our tail."

Another upset saw the Washington Redskins, pre-season Super Bowl favourites, fall to lowly Arizona. The key play came early; the Redskin running back Stephen Davis fumbling at the goal line, with the ball recovered by Arizona's Aeneas Williams, who returned it 103 yards for a touchdown. The effort was the second longest return of a fumble in league history, and was sufficient to inspire the Cardinals to a 16-15 win.

After failing to score a touchdown in their last five games, the Baltimore Ravens turned to their back-up quarterback, Trent Dilfer, for inspiration. Dilfer duly obliged, throwing three second quarter touchdowns, including two to the tight end Shannon Sharpe, as the Ravens returned to winning ways, 27-7 at the expense of the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Tennessee Titans have never lost at the Adelphia Coliseum stadium in Nashville but came within seconds of losing that record to the rugged Pittsburgh Steelers. The visitors, who have not conceded a touchdown in five games, were clinging to a 7-6 advantage, only to be confounded by Al Del Greco's 29-yard field goal with four seconds remaining.

The Titans, winners of eight of their nine games to date, looked poised for a return to the Super Bowl, but this was a less than impressive effort. "As long as we're getting the wins, we can't complain about how we win or how many points we win by," said their receiver Derrick Mason.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers maintained their marked improvement with a comfortable 27-14 verdict in Atlanta. The quarterback Shaun King threw three touchdowns, while their defence literally knocked out Atlanta's passer Chris Chandler, who was forced from the game with concussion.

The same fate befell the Detroit quarterback Charlie Batch, hit hard and often by Miami defenders in a 23-8 loss, while New England's passer, Drew Bledsoe, was forced from the field with a broken hand in his side's 16-13 overtime loss against the Buffalo Bills.

The Kansas City quarterback Elvis Grbac threw for a career high 500 yards against the Oakland Raiders but his efforts were in vain as the Raiders scored at will against their bitter rivals. Grbac's counterpart, Rich Gannon, threw four touchdown passes as Oakland accumulated 49 points and continued to catch the eye.

Equally dominant were the New York Giants, who prevailed 24-3 in Cleveland thanks to three touchdown passes for their quarterback Kerry Collins. Unfancied at the start of the season, the Giants have quietly won seven of nine games.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments