One indication of the Bears' frustration may have been Smith's forearm to Miller's head just after he unloaded a pass early in the fourth quarter. The blow knocked him out of the game and thrust the burden of victory on the Rams' defense.
Trailing by six points, the Bears faced a fourth-and-eight at their own 49 with 1:49 remaining. The game had come down to this play. Wideout Curtis Conway ran a six-yard hook pattern and was hit by two things in rapid succession: Kramer's bullet, which he caught, and linebacker Carlos Jenkins, who freight-trained him in the direction opposite of that which Conway needed to go. Game over. "At that point I was so sky-high," said Jenkins, "if a big lineman had caught the ball, I would have knocked his butt off, too."
Across the room Miller winced as he struggled to get his shirt over his head. Originally diagnosed with a mild concussion, his injury, he insisted, was only a bruised neck. "It feels like someone hit me with a baseball bat," he said.
A few minutes later, out in the corridor, he introduced a reporter to his wife, Jennifer, and then posed a question to which there was only one correct answer: "Can you believe how good she looks for having had a baby two months ago? I've got a gorgeous wife, two beautiful kids, I'm playing with some great guys in a great town. I'm truly blessed."
Then he and Jennifer headed out to their new city, where the feeling is decidedly mutual.