Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kramer's Big Passing Day Gives Bears Something to Pin Hopes On

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Kramer's Big Passing Day Gives Bears Something to Pin Hopes On

Article excerpt

Erik Kramer had the best regular-season game of his National Football League career Sunday against the Rams, completing 27 of 38 passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns.

"He played perhaps the best he has played since he has been a Bear," Chicago head coach Dave Wannstedt said. "And that's real encouraging. We've just got to build on that and go from there. Unfortunately, we can't really feel good about that because we didn't win the game."

Kramer is in his sixth NFL season and second with the Bears, who lost 34-28 to the Rams (4-0) at Busch Stadium. His fumble on the second play of the game led to 73-yard touchdown return by the Rams' Toby Wright.

"I feel the frustration for the whole team," Kramer said. "We played well enough to win. We just didn't. And we gave them some gifts that we shouldn't have and that's why we lost."

So much for great numbers.

The Bears (2-2) amassed 364 yards on offense. Kramer, who was signed as a free agent two seasons ago, has thrown 92 consecutive passes without an interception. Kramer wasn't sacked for the second consecutive game.

Despite early turnovers and trailing most of the first half, the Bears clawed back and took a 21-17 halftime lead.

Yet the Bears managed only 47 yards rushing, their lowest total of the season. Heisman Trophy winner Rashaam Salaam, the Bears' first-round draft pick, gained 40 yards on 16 carries. Salaam made his first start because of ankle injuries to running backs Robert Green and Lewis Tillman.

The Bears' defense, which forced seven turnovers last week against Carolina, thad no takeaways against the Rams.

And Chicago turnovers in the first quarter - Kramer's bobbled handoff to Salaam and a subsequent fumble by Salaam at the Bears' 24 - led to Wright's touchdown return and a 45-yard field goal by Steve McLaughlin.

Ten points on two turnovers.

"The ball just slipped out out of my hand," said Kramer, who needed stitches on left forearm to close a first-half wound. …

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