CHAMPAIGN—Late in the first quarter, Bears quarterback Chris Chandler was sacked by Jets defensive end John Abraham. Left tackle Mike Gandy, who was beaten for the sack, approached Chandler afterward.
"I have him," Gandy reassured Chandler. "Don't worry."
Chandler didn't. "That's what I wanted to know," he said. Chandler completed 22-of-27 passes for the game and watched as his backs accounted for more than 150 total yards. The key to it all: an offensive line that enabled the Bears to control the ball for nearly 33 minutes, only the fourth time this season the Bears have led in time of possession.
"Those five guys today, they were spectacular," Chandler said. "No matter what your game plan is, it doesn't work unless those guys are working, and today they were."
Part of it is the time of year. "We've got three weeks left and this is it, maybe the last time you play with the guy beside you," right guard Chris Villarrial said. "I know as a line we just said, 'Let's get it done.' And we did."
Paging Sid Luckman
The Bears chose to use backup quarterback Henry Burris for only one snap Sunday but did it with a touch of panache. Behind Burris in their "Robust" package was running back Leon Johnson, flanked by fullbacks Stanley Pritchett and Daimon Shelton, 735 pounds of backfield lined up straight across behind Burris in a T-formation. Burris played the role made popular in Chicago by Sid Luckman in the 1940s.
Burris picked up 2 yards for a first down that kept a scoring drive alive.
"I've done a little bit of everything now," Burris said, laughing. "It worked the way it was supposed to. If they come up with another wrinkle for me, so be it."
In a Bears tradition, coach Dick Jauron presented footballs to rookies Adrian Peterson, for his first NFL touchdown, and Roosevelt Williams, who capped his first start at cornerback by recovering the game's only fumble, by Wayne Chrebet in the closing seconds.
Actually, Peterson had come off the field after his third-quarter scoring run with the football. What were the chances of the officials getting that ball out of his hands? "Slim and none," said Peterson with a laugh.
Paul Edinger's 53-yard field goal in the second quarter tied him with Kevin Butler for the franchise record of 50-yard field goals in a season with five. Edinger's five have come on his last six attempts of 50 or longer.
Jets linebacker Jason Glenn made the tackle on the opening kickoffafter taking a different route to Champaign than his teammates. As the team prepared to leave Saturday, Glenn's wife Terrika went into labor and Glenn left LaGuardia Airport for the hospital, where daughter Kaidance was born at 11:25 p.m. Saturday.
The team arranged for Glenn to depart LaGuardia on the first flight Sunday morning, leaving at 8:30 and connecting through O'Hare for a flight to Champaign that arrived at 11:15. He made it to the stadium in time to stop Ahmad Merritt.
With his second reception in the first quarter, Marty Booker moved past Bobby Engram into seventh place on the Bears' all-time rankings with 246 catches. Booker finished with nine catches to give him 88 on the season and 1,144 receiving yards, fourth-highest one-year total in Bears history.