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Gould Field Goal Lifts Bears in Overtime

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By ANDREW SELIGMAN
The Associated Press
Sunday, November 25, 2007; 9:16 PM

CHICAGO -- Robbie Gould salvaged the win and the Chicago Bears may have salvaged their season.

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Gould kicked a 39-yard field goal in overtime and the defending NFC champions gave their flickering playoff hopes a boost with a 37-34 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

After scoring two touchdowns in the final 5:17 of regulation, the Bears (5-6) won the coin toss to start overtime. They drove from their 24 to the Denver 18, where Rex Grossman took a knee. Gould then came in and delivered the game-winner, 3:41 into OT, bringing a dramatic game to a finish.

The Bears got two long touchdown returns from Devin Hester in the second half, but still seemed headed toward a loss until Adrian Peterson and Bernard Berrian scored in the closing minutes.

Denver (5-6) was up 34-20 early in the fourth quarter after an acrobatic 14-yard touchdown catch by Tony Scheffler, but the Bears weren't finished.

Charles Tillman blocked a punt and Brandon McGowan recovered, giving Chicago the ball on the Broncos' 18. That led to a 4-yard touchdown run by Peterson, who was pushed in by his teammates in a scrum.

More drama followed.

With their playoff hopes perhaps hanging by a thread, the Bears tied it with 28 seconds left in regulation on a 3-yard catch by Berrian that figures to show up on highlight reels. Berrian spun away from Champ Bailey and lunged to catch the pass from Grossman on the right side of the end zone, his right foot dragging as his left knee hit the ground in bounds.

That capped a 65-yard drive that Denver's Dre Bly kept alive with an illegal contact on fourth down at the Chicago 36. Grossman connected with Rashied Davis and Muhsin Muhammad for 21 and 13-yard completions that helped set up the touchdown.

The Bears managed to stay in the game despite inopportune penalties, a few breakdowns on defense and the loss of another key player to an injury _ Cedric Benson.

They can thank Hester they were still in it. He returned five punts for 81 yards and five kickoffs for 151.

With his team trailing 13-6 and desperately needing a spark, he provided a few.


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© 2007 The Associated Press

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