INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Chicago’s backups were better than Indianapolis’ starters.

Adrian Peterson and Antoineo Harris each ran for a touchdown, the Bears returned a punt for another TD and the Colts’ high-scoring offense never got in sync as Chicago held on for a 24-17 victory Saturday night.

The Bears played without injured quarterback Rex Grossman and their top two running backs – holdout Cedric Benson and incumbent starter Thomas Jones, whom the coaches kept out – and they were still better than the usually efficient Colts.

Chad Hutchinson, Grossman’s replacement, recovered from two early interceptions to finish 5-of-8 for 40 yards. He also led the Bears on one touchdown drive. Rookie Kyle Orton was 6-of-10 for 67 yards in relief and guided the Bears on their go-ahead drive, while Peterson carried 14 times for 60 yards and scored on a 4-yard run in less than a half.

For the second straight week, the Colts self-destructed. They drew five penalties on their first series – including one that led to a TD on the punt return, lost four yards on the next possession and then lost two fumbles. And all that came in the first quarter.

The second quarter included Peyton Manning fumbling a snap, two more punts, a missed 50-yard field goal and a scrap between defensive end Robert Mathis and Bears backup tackle Marc Colombo.

Fans booed several times during the first half, saving their biggest ovation for Manning’s MVP trophy presentation at halftime. A brief flashback to the Colts typical offense – Manning’s 25-yard TD pass to Dominic Rhodes to make it 14-7 midway through the second quarter – quieted the crowd.

Manning was 8-of-13 for 80 yards with one touchdown, and Edgerrin James ran six times for four yards as the offense stumbled. The Colts have now run for 52 yards in three weeks and are 0-3 in the preseason for the first time since 1990.

The Bears were as advantageous as the Colts were bad.

After Indianapolis was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on a 50-yard punt, Bobby Wade fielded the next one at the Bears 46, started up the field and broke free for a 54-yard TD. It was the second straight week the Colts’ special teams gave up a touchdown.

James’ second fumble led to Peterson’s 4-yard TD run and a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.

After trading field goals to start the third quarter, Orton fumbled at the Chicago 12 and three plays later, the Colts tied the score at 17 on James Mungro’s 1-yard run. It was Indianapolis’ first rushing touchdown of the preseason.

Orton rebounded, leading the Bears on an 80-yard drive that culminated in Harris’ 1-yard run with 13:05 to go.

The Colts never challenged again.

Chicago lost two backups – safety Bobby Gray and linebacker Rod Wilson – to injuries. Gray was carted into the locker room for X-rays on his injured left knee. There was no immediate word on the severity. Wilson also limped into the locker room with a left knee contusion.

AP-ES-08-20-05 2338EDT


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