The Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions, 30-13, today, then thanked emergency quarterback Greg Landry, 37, who played his first football game in five months and first NFL game in almost three years.
He passed for a touchdown and ran for one and his new teammates helped by sacking the Lions' quarterbacks 12 times.
Landry, who played 11 seasons for the Lions, most recently had played in the USFL. The Bears signed him as a free agent Dec. 5 because Jim McMahon and Steve Fuller were hurt. Today, he completed 11 of 20 passes for 199 yards with three interceptions.
"It's great to see his work ethic," Landry's coach, Mike Ditka, said. "He's in the office at seven o'clock in the morning looking at film. He's in there at night looking at film. He works at it. He'll make a good coach."
"Except for a couple of times we let him roll out and pass," Ditka said, "which we never should have done, his passing was excellent."
"After the third rollout," Landry said, "I went over to the bench and told them, 'Don't call that any more.' At 38, I guess I can't roll out and pass like I used to.
"It was exciting to come back to Detroit and play. After all, I spent most of my adult life playing career here."
Ditka said Fuller probably could play in the first round of the NFC playoffs in two weeks.
"I don't know if I'll play any more the next couple of games," Landry said, "so it's great to end my career in Detroit."
"It was embarrassing the way we played today," said Detroit's coach, Monte Clark, who traded Landry in 1979. "They ran right through us."
The Bears' 72 sacks this season broke the NFL mark of 67 by the then-Oakland Raiders in 1967. The 12 sacks equaled a single-game high set by two other teams.
Steve McMichael led the way with three sacks.
Walter Payton of the Bears became the first to total more than 2,000 yards rushing and receiving in consecutive seasons.