NFL Game Summary - Chicago at Miami|
(Thursday, November 18th)
Final Score: Chicago 16, Miami 0
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Matt Forte rushed for 97 yards and a score
while Robbie Gould kicked three field goals, as the Chicago Bears took a
16-0 victory over the offensively challenged Miami Dolphins.
Jay Cutler completed 16-of-25 passes for 156 yards with one interception for
the Bears (7-3), who have won three in a row and moved into first place in the
NFC North. Green Bay is 6-3 and faces Minnesota this weekend.
Chicago recorded the 700th victory in franchise annals, which stands as the
highest total in NFL history.
"The story tonight was, of course, the defense," said Bears head coach Lovie
Smith. "Getting a shutout is tough, no matter where you are, especially on the
road. Thought the guys had constant pressure throughout."
Miami was playing without its top two quarterbacks, Chad Pennington and Chad
Henne, who were both injured in Sunday's win over Tennessee. Pennington
suffered a season-ending shoulder injury on his first series, while Henne
sustained a knee injury and was doubtful for Thursday's contest.
The start then fell to Tyler Thigpen, who started for the first time since
2008 and threw for 187 yards on 17-of-29 efficiency, with one interception.
However, the Bears defense sacked Thigpen six times and stifled the Miami
running game. Thigpen was the leading rusher with 27 yards for the Dolphins
(5-5), who got more bad news when receiver Brandon Marshall suffered a
hamstring injury late in the first half and did not return.
"We didn't get out of our way on offense, couldn't help ourselves there, and
really couldn't get off the field consistently on defense," said Dolphins head
coach Tony Sparano.
Both offenses struggled early, though the Bears got on the board late in the
Chicago threatened to get into the red zone before Cutler was sacked for a
nine-yard loss and fumbled. However, lineman Chris Williams recovered, and
Gould kicked a 46-yard try with 3:48 left.
Charles Tillman intercepted Thigpen on Miami's next possession, giving Chicago
the ball at the Miami 46. But again the Bears had trouble getting into the end
zone. Cutler's 16-yard scramble gave Chicago a 1st-and-goal at the nine before
the drive stalled, and Gould came out for a successful 24-yarder nearly five
minutes into the second quarter.
With under two minutes left to play in the half, Marshall caught a pass and
was running in the open field. He pivoted and planted his right foot, then
grimaced and fell to the ground in pain, grabbing his upper right leg.
Marshall then limped off the field and was not wearing his uniform when he
appeared on the sideline in the second half.
Chicago increased its lead on the opening drive of the third quarter. The
Bears had a first down at the Miami 38 before losing yards, and Gould's 50-
yard kick made it a 9-0 game.
After a Miami punt, the Bears at last got into the end zone. Faced with a 3rd-
and-7 at the Dolphin 18, Cutler completed a 10-yard toss to Greg Olsen to move
the chains. Forte then took over, running for two and four yards before
crossing the goal line.
The 13-play, 60-yard march pushed the Chicago lead to 16 points with 1:57 left
in the third, and the Bears defense completed the shutout from there.
Julius Peppers recorded three sacks, matching his career high. The Bears' six
sacks were their most since September 30, 2007 against Detroit...Brian
Hartline caught five passes for 70 yards to lead Miami receivers...The
Dolphins gained just 187 yards and totaled 10 first downs. They were 1-for-11
on third-down conversions.
11/19 02:00:53 ET