CHICAGO (CBS) — With overtime winding down after the Bears blew a late lead to the Ravens by giving up a punt return touchdown with less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, running back Jordan Howard put the team on his back and rumbled 53 yards to set up the game-winning field goal in overtime in Baltimore on Sunday.
“We’ve seen him in that mode before,” Bears coach John Fox told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss on Monday. “He’s a tremendous young player and really a warrior on game day.”
Howard finished the game with 167 rushing yards on 36 carries. While he didn’t find the end zone in overtime, the Bears wouldn’t have been in position to win if the second-year back hadn’t broken Eric Weddle’s arm tackle at the Bears’ 7-yard line and broken loose all the way to the Ravens’ 40-yard line.
Six plays later, Connor Barth kicked a 40-yard field goal for the victory.
“Just finding a way to win, Monday morning’s always a lot easier to deal with, with a win,” Fox said.
A week after punter Pat O’Donnell threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Benny Cunningham, the Bears also pulled another big play out of their trick bag in the second quarter, with running back Tarik Cohen slinging a touchdown to a wide-open Zach Miller to give the team an early 10-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the defense made a couple huge plays of its own, picking off Joe Flacco twice – the unit’s first two interceptions of the year. The first one set up Cohen’s touchdown throw, and safety Adrian Amos returned the second pick 90 yards for a touchdown.
“It’s something we’ve been stressing all year,” Fox said. “You know, we were weak in that phase as far as takeaways a year ago. I know (defensive coordinator Vic) Fangio and the defensive staff have been preaching that, and finally we get some opportunities and capitalized on them,”
Still, there was plenty of room for improvement for the Bears, especially on special teams. The Bears gave up the late 77-yard punt return for a touchdown when the Ravens lined up as if they were trying to block the kick, and the coverage unit left the sidelines vulnerable to the speedy Michael Campanaro, who scored untouched after hurdling the punter.
“We’ve done some things to shoot ourselves in the foot,” Fox said. “We always make it interesting.
“We had a couple late-game faults there that made it interesting, but glad we were able to overcome that. You know, momentum changed in that stadium, and our guys weathered it, and were able to close out the game.”
You can listen to the full interview with Fox in the audio player above.
The Bears (2-4) play the Panthers (4-2) next, at noon Sunday at Soldier Field.