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Defense does it again for Chicago; QB change in Arizona?

September 24, 2018
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Players and coaches cheer as Chicago Bears cornerback Bryce Callahan (37) intercepts a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk, who tackles Callahan, during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Defense did it again for Chicago.

An early two-touchdown deficit in Arizona seemed to make the Bears even angrier. The Cardinals never scored again and the Bears escaped the desert with a 16-14 victory.

“Turnovers, takeaways and stopping the run,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. ”... For our defense, three weeks in a row they’ve done some special things.”

The Cardinals, 0-3 for the first time since 2004, may have a new quarterback, too.

Rookie Josh Rosen made his NFL debut in relief of Sam Bradford late in the game.

“I felt like we needed a spark,” Wilks said. “We got off to an early start, 14 points, got a little stagnant there and wanted to spark the team.”

Wilks said he will study the tape and decide who will be the starter this week heading into next Sunday’s home game against Seattle.

Larry Fitzgerald sounded as if he expects Rosen to get the call.

“I feel bad for Sam because he works his tail off every day and, you know, he gives it his best,” Fitzgerald said. “But, you have a first-round pick and I guess you’re on borrowed time when you’re in that position. So we’ve got to do everything we can to give him the confidence to go out and succeed.”

The Bears (2-1) had three interceptions and a fumble recovery — on four consecutive Arizona possessions in the second half.

“We’ve got some great players on this defense,” Khalil Mack said. “The will to win, you see it, especially in the back end, the linebackers, up front, just everybody is gelling together. It’s a brotherhood. Something special is going on.”

Arizona, which had been outscored 58-6 the first two games, took the opening kickoff and went 75 yards in 15 plays, scoring on Bradford’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Seals-Jones. After a fumble by Mitchell Trubisky, Arizona scored again on a 21-yard pass from Bradford to David Johnson and it was 14-0.

“You’ve got to know in those situations you can’t let the offense score any more points,” Mack said. “They had momentum and we had to take it away from them.”

The Bears finally took the lead 16-14 on Cody Parkey’s 43-yard field goal with 4:31 to play.

Some things to consider from Chicago’s win at Arizona.

MACK’S IMPACT: Mack had two sacks, a critical forced fumble, a tackle for loss and three quarterback hits in another big game for Chicago.

In his three games since coming to the Bears, Mack has six sacks, three forced fumbles, three tackles for loss, an interception and a fumble recovery.

“I’m thrilled,” he said. “It’s very gratifying to have these guys. I’m blessed to be in the position that I’m in.”

ROSEN’S DEBUT: Rosen was the last of the quarterbacks chosen in the first round this year to see game action and there was a standing ovation from Cardinals fans when Rosen entered the game with 4:31 to play.

The rookie got the team past midfield before his pass was intercepted by Bryce Callahan. Arizona had one more chance but the game ended when Rosen was sacked by Sherrick McManis, who also had an interception.

“I thought he looked pretty good,” Wilks said. “Inconsistent in the end. We’ve got to do a good job, forced protection, giving him time. But under the circumstances right there, being thrown into the game at that time, I thought he did well.”

TRUBISKY’S DAY: Chicago quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had another inconsistent day.

He completed 24 of 35 passes for 220 yards with one interception and no touchdown. He was sacked three times.

“We can improve, but I’m happy with where he’s at,” Nagy said. “There’s going to be some growing pains as we do this and it’s not going to happen overnight. We’re going to continue to work together and continue to keep pushing forward until this thing clicks.”

WHERE’S LARRY: The Cardinals targeted Larry Fitzgerald, one of the most prolific receivers in NFL history, only twice. He caught both for a total of nine yards.

Fitzgerald is in his 15th NFL season. Last year, he was second in the league and tied his franchise record with 109 catches.

“That’s just how the cookie crumbles at times,” he said.

KICKER’S REDEMPTION: Parkey kicked three field goals but missed a 46-yarder. That miss was on his mind after the game.

“I put us in that situation (of needing the last field goal to win) by missing the first one,” he said. “It is short-term memory. You go out and make the next one. ”

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