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Late interception dooms Texans in loss to Bears

Texans rookie running back Dameon Pierce scored his first career touchdown in the second quarter but it wasn't enough as the offense struggled down the stretch.
Credit: AP
Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, right, is tackled by Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) after intercepting a pass during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO — Roquan Smith set up Cairo Santos’ game-ending field goal when he intercepted Davis Mills deep in Houston territory, and the Chicago Bears beat former coach Lovie Smith and the Texans 23-20 on Sunday.

Khalil Herbert ran for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago.

The Texans had third-and-1 at their 26 when defensive tackle Angelo Blackson tipped a pass intended for Rex Burkhead. Smith, who missed practice all week because of a hip injury, intercepted it at the 30 and returned it to the 12.

Chicago had Herbert run, then downed the ball twice before Santos nailed a 30-yarder as time expired.

The Bears (2-1) angered their fans with conservative calls at times and were booed loudly at the end of the first half when they opted to run out the clock rather than use any timeouts with Houston (0-2-1) leading by one.

Justin Fields had another difficult game. Running back David Montgomery exited in the early going with knee and ankle injuries, but the Bears came away with the win after losing at rival Green Bay.

The Texans dropped their second in a row after blowing fourth-quarter leads in a season-opening tie with Indianapolis and loss to Denver.

Herbert, whose previous high was 100 yards as a rookie last season, made it 10-0 when he scored from the 11 in the first quarter. He also broke off a 52-yard run early in the third and ran it in from the 1 to give the Bears a short-lived 20-17 lead.

Fields was 8 of 17 for 106 yards. The former Ohio State star threw two interceptions and had a 27.7 rating.

Montgomery walked off the field in pain on Chicago’s second possession after his right leg got rolled up on while he was pass-blocking.

Eddie Jackson intercepted a pass in the end zone in the second quarter.

Smith, who led the Bears to an 81-63 record and a Super Bowl appearance from 2004-12, is 0-3 against his former team. That includes losses with Tampa Bay in 2014 at Soldier Field and 2015 at Raymond James Stadium.

Mills threw for 245 yards, completing 20 of 32 passes. He had a touchdown and two interceptions against a defense missing top cornerback Jaylon Johnson because of a hamstring injury.

Dameon Pierce ran for 80 yards and a TD. Chris Moore had a 52-yard reception.

Jalen Pitre became the second rookie in Texans history to record two interceptions in a game, joining Dunta Robinson against the Raiders on Oct. 3, 2004. He also had a sack in the closing minutes.


Texans: No injuries were reported.

Bears: WR Byron Pringle (calf) was injured on the same play as Montgomery and left the game.


Texans: Host the Los Angeles Chargers on Oct. 2.

Bears: Visit the New York Giants on Oct. 2.

Game recap


The Bears got started early with a 47-yard field goal by Cairo Santos to take an early 3-0 lead.

Chicago was able to extend their lead to 10-0 on an 11-yard touchdown run by Khalil Herbert before the Texans closed out with a touchdown of their own.

Davis Mills threw a dart to tight end Jordan Akins for Houston's first score of the game.

And don't forget the defense! Jalen Pitre, a rookie out of Baylor, notched his first career interception at the end of the first quarter.


Houston took a 14-10 lead after a 1-yard run by rookie running back Dameon Pierce.

A second field goal by Santos, this time from 50 yards out, cut Houston's halftime lead to 14-13.


Texans kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn knocked through a 39-yard field goal to start the third quarter, putting Houston up 17-13.

The field goal capped off a 7-play, 54-yard drive to start the second half.

After a Herbert TD put Chicago up 20-17, Fairbairn knotted the game once again with a 23-yard kick.


The only scoring in the final quarter was a 30-yard kick as time expired to give the Bears the win.

The game turned with just over a minute to go when Mills threw an interception that set the Bears up for the game-winning kick.

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