Tue, Jan 17, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Steelers survive, Bears die

DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS Pittsburgh ruled Indianapolis until a fourth quarter when things began to go wrong, but the Colts were unable to capitalize on the mistakes


The loss spoiled a resurgent season for the storied Bears, who used outstanding defense to return to the playoffs for the first time in four years. Their run included the dominating November win over the Panthers, when the Bears had eight sacks and two interceptions against Delhomme.

Delhomme was much better in this one, improving to 5-1 in the playoffs.

After Chicago made it 23-21 on Jason McKie's 3-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, Delhomme remained calm to engineer yet another scoring drive.

He helped put the Bears away with his third touchdown pass of the game -- a 1-yarder to Kris Mangum. Kasay missed the point after, but it still gave Carolina the cushion it needed.

Delhomme finished 24-of-33 for 319 yards while cutting down on the mistakes that had plagued him in the first meeting. He threw one interception and was sacked only once.

"When we came a couple months ago, basically I lost the game," Delhomme said. "It was nice to come back and get on top this time. They're a good defense, but we stepped up to the challenge.

"This team has been here before. Guys want to make plays. Guys don't have big eyes in the huddle."

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