CHICAGO, SEPT. 20 -- Walter Payton scored his NFL record 107th career rushing touchdown and Neal Anderson, had his first to lead the Chicago Bears to a 20-3 victory today over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Payton's rushing touchdown -- he also caught a nine-yard pass for a touchdown -- gave the NFL's all-time rushing leader outright title to the record he had shared with Jim Brown. It is his 10th NFL rushing record. Payton, 33, gained 24 yards in 15 carries.
Anderson, 23, gained 115 yards in 16 attempts to lead a Bears offense that sputtered with two fumbles and two interceptions.
"Once you perform well, the fans will expect it out of you all the time," said Anderson. "I don't compare myself to Walter Payton and I can't help it if anyone else does.
"Walter and I complement each other. When I carry the ball, Walter blocks for me. When he carries the ball, I block for him. He's one of the best blocking backs in the league."
Payton, who played nearly the entire game despite an ankle injury from last Monday's win over the New York Giants, did not talk to reporters. "He was angry because he didn't think the press treated him well this week," said a Bears spokesman.
Why did he play?
"Because he wanted to play," Coach Mike Ditka said. "We made adjustments on offense. They took some things away from Walter and Neal made some great plays."
The Bears (2-0) clinched it when Mike Tomczak hit Payton with the nine-yard touchdown pass with 3:20 left after Tomczak had connected for 46 yards to Willie Gault.
The Bears' defense sacked Steve DeBerg and rookie Vinny Testaverde four times and held the Buccaneers to a first-half field goal. Tampa Bay (1-1) lost two fumbles and DeBerg threw two interceptions. Tampa Bay got inside the 30 four times without reaching the end zone. DeBerg completed 18 of 36 passes for 195 yards before leaving late in the game. Testaverde completed one of four passes for 14 yards.
Midway through the first quarter, James Wilder caught a DeBerg pass but fumbled and Chicago's Mike Singletary recovered on the Chicago 22. Helped by a 49-yard pass interference penalty against Rod Jones, the Bears moved to a 7-0 lead on Payton's touchdown.
The Bears went 76 yards in nine plays as Tomczak (15 of 27 for 150 yards, two interceptions) completed two passes for 29 yards, ran 10 yards for a first down and handed off from a shotgun formation for Anderson's touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
Tampa Bay 0 3 0 0 3 Chicago 7 7 0 6 20
C -- Payton 1 run (Butler kick), 9:14 Second Quarter
TB -- FG Igwebuike 43, 2:37
C -- Anderson 27 run (Butler kick), 6:29 Fourth Quarter
C -- Payton 9 pass from Tomczak (run failed), 11:40
A -- 63,551
Buccaneers Bears First downs 18 18 Rushes-yards 25-89 36-166 Passing yards 173 133 Return yards 11 82 Passing 19-40-2 15-27-2 Sacked-yards lost 4-36 1-17 Punts average 7-48 5-43 Fumbles-lost 2-2 2-2 Penalties-yards 9-100 8-65 Time of possession 28:21 31:39
RUSHING -- Tampa Bay: Wilder 17-80, Austin 7-9, DeBerg 1-0. Chicago: Anderson 16-115, Payton 15-24, Sanders 2-11, Tomczak 1-10, Thomas 2-6.
PASSING -- Tampa Bay: DeBerg 18-36-2, 195 yards; Testaverde 1-4-0, 14. Chicago: Tomczak 15-27-2, 150.
RECEIVING -- Tampa Bay: Carter 4-55, Austin 4-36, Wilder 4-29, Magee 3-34, Carrier 2-27, Hall 1-14, Freeman 1-14. Chicago: Moorehead 6-53, Anderson 4-28, Payton 2-2, Gault 1-46, Morris 1-15, McKinnon 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS -- Tampa Bay: Igwebuike 46. Chicago: Butler, 50, 55.