CHAMPAIGN Chris Chandler has enjoyed greater days as a pro during his 15-year NFL career, but Sunday''s victory against the New York Jets likely was Chandler''s finest as a Chicago Bear. It was six days removed from the Bears'' Monday night embarrassment against Miami, where Chandler, who replaced Jim Miller in the second half, was accused by the Chicago media for giving up near the end of the game. Sunday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, Chandler wasn''t flashy, but he was consistent. And he expressed his feelings toward those who doubt his heart. "There was no question that Monday night was a flat night for myself and many other guys," said Chandler, who was 7 of 17 for 86 yards and two interceptions against Miami. "To jump to conclusions like that, it''s just a joke and is ridiculous. I haven''t been in this league as long as I have by deciding on occasion just to quit and know when to play." Chandler made his sixth start of the season Sunday against the Jets. He completed a season-best 23 of 28 passes for 177 yards. He didn''t throw a touchdown pass but didn''t have an interception, either. Chandler was solid. He didn''t make mistakes, and his makeshift offensive line kept him off the ground and out of the trainer''s room. "We''ve been in and out with a lot of guys this year," Bears center Olin Kreutz said. "It was nice to go out there with the same five. It helps to have the same five. And (Chandler) did some nice things." Chandler proved he''s still capable of doing things right when all the other elements of the team fall into place. The veteran was able to finish the game standing because his line has developed some chemistry after a few games together. The running game opened up slightly Sunday afternoon at Memorial Stadium, and he didn''t rush many throws or make wrong decisions that often. Chandler did show off his scrambling ability and even caught a pass from himself, showing he still has some gas left. Barring further injuries, he will finish 2002 as the Bears'' starter and possibly play the role of mentor next season (he has two years left on his contract) if the Bears decide to draft one of the many star college quarterbacks who will be available in April. That appears to be fine with Chandler, who knows at 37 he is not getting any younger. But just don''t try to attack his desire to win. Chandler doesn''t try to put himself before his team no matter how bad the situation. "You''re playing hard for those guys around you," Chandler said. "The only way you can pull yourself out of something like this is to do it for the guys on your team. You don''t do it for selfish reasons." Jeff Mezydlo is a News-Gazette staff writer.