CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Mike Brown needed intravenous fluids twice as the scorching heat left him nauseous, lightheaded and gasping for air.
|David Terrell has plenty of happy company after his game-winning TD catch.(AP)|
"I was just in the right position at the right time," said Brown, who returned overtime interceptions twice for game-winning touchdowns last season.
"When we get in these situations, nobody panics," said Brown, who missed the entire preseason with a broken bone in his hand. "Everybody is calm because we know we can win after the success we had last year."
Brown twice went to the locker room for treatment on a 90-degree day that saw the on-field temperatures on the grasslike artificial turf at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium reach nearly 120.
The Bears are playing in Champaign this season while Soldier Field is overhauled.
"It was like playing in Florida," said Terrell, whose lone reception was the TD. "The only ball I had all day. Jim just put it in these (hands) and I caught it."
Chicago trailed by 10 early in the fourth and the Vikings appeared on their way to celebrating a victory in Mike Tice's first game as head coach.
But Miller hooked up with Marty Booker on a 54-yard pass to set up Anthony Thomas' 1-yard TD run and Chicago trailed by just three with 6:13 to go.
Minnesota picked up a pair of first downs in an attempt to eat up the clock and seal the win, but Brown got in the way of Culpepper's pass and Chicago had the ball with 2:34 left.
"We have to work through it and hope we don't make the same mistake again," Tice said.
"We were playing a good game until the very poor decision by me," Culpepper said. "I accept that. I really feel like I owe the team one. It was a very errant throw, which I don't do maybe one out of a hundred times, but we just have to move on."
After Booker dropped a pass, Leon Johnson ran 13 yards on a third-down play and John Davis caught a 10-yard pass to set up Terrell's TD.
Miller fired the ball to Terrell for the touchdown and the emotional second-year receiver immediately sprinted out of the end zone, hopped a small security fence and ran into a set of temporary bleachers to celebrate with the fans.
Earlier, Vikings star Randy Moss hurdled the same fence after making a TD catch.
"Randy did his jump. I did mine," Terrell said
The Vikings got the ball back one last time, but Rosevelt Colvin knocked the ball out of Culpepper's hands and Bryan Knight recovered.
The Vikings had hoped to use the "Randy Ratio," a formula devised by Tice in which 40 percent of the pass offense would be directed at Randy Moss.
Moss did his part, catching six of 16 passes, including a 33-yard TD pass that put the Vikings up 20-10 at the half.
Minnesota controlled the game for three quarters-plus with its running game behind Michael Bennett and Moe Williams and with a defense that until the final quarter bottled up the Bears.
Overcoming seven first-half penalties, the Vikings forged their lead with good pass protection for Culpepper.
He completed a 46-yard pass to former Bear D'Wayne Bates that led to Doug Brien's 30-yard field goal. In the second quarter, he found Byron Chamberlain for a 61-yard gain that set up his own 2-yard TD run.
Miller, meanwhile, hit Booker, who had eight catches for 198 yards, on a 29-yard TD pass in the first quarter.
"It was a matter of pitch and catch," said Booker, whose great day would have been better if not for two drops.
"We knew we'd be open."
- Bears DE Phillip Daniels (ankle) and DB R.W. McQuarters (knee) were forced out in the second quarter with injuries.
- Chamberlain left with a knee injury, and players on both sides had cramping problems.
- A crowd of 63,266 watched the Bears' first regular-season game at their home-away-from-home on "Dick Butkus Day." Butkus, who starred for both Illinois and the Bears, was introduced at halftime and came out into the end zone and waved during a standing ovation.
- Miller finished 20-of-33 for 297 yards and Culpepper 16-of-29 for 234.
The Associated Press News Service
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