Morning Box Score: Bears Shut Out Dolphins
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 19, 2010 3:00PM
Playing in a prime time nationally televised game, the Bears were coming off their best win of the season while the Miami Dolphins were reeling from the loss of their top two quarterbacks. The short week certainly didn't work in Miami's favor, as the Bears shut down the Dolphins offense and won 16-0. The victory was the 700th all-time for the team, making the Bears the first NFL franchise to ever reach that mark.
Facing Tyler Thigpen, who was under center after Miami lost both Chad Henne and Chad Pennington on Sunday, the Bears defense shut down their opponents offensively. Miami managed just 187 total yards of offense, and couldn't establish any rhythm passing or running the ball. Running backs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown combined for just 10 yards on six carries. The Bears sacked Thigpen six times, including three by Julius Peppers. He also tipped a pass attempt that ended up being interecepted by Charles Tillman. Brian Urlacher, who recorded five tackles in the game, surpassed Mike Singletary to become the Bears' all-time tackles leader. The Bears recorded their first shutout since they blanked the New York Jets in November 2006, and by keeping the Fins off the scoreboard the Bears' defense now lead the NFL in points allowed, giving up just 14.6 per game.
Once again utilizing a more balanced offensive game plan, the Bears dominated the time of possession and, while they didn't pour on the points, scored enough to win. Jay Cutler completed 16 of 25 passes for 159 yards while Matt Forte gained 97 yards on 25 carries. In the game's first half, the Bears managed just two Robbie Gould field goals, the first coming after Tillman picked off Thigpen. In the third quarter, the Bears added another three points in their opening drive of the half and then finally found the end zone to cap off a 13 play drive that ate up half the quarter. The 16 points were more than enough to secure the victory in Miami.
After wins in a row against three sub-par teams, the Bears now enter the toughest part of their schedule. After an extended 10 days between game, the Bears face the Philadelphia Eagles and the rejuvenated Michael Vick. If you watched the Eagles pile on 59 points against the Redskins on Monday night, you know that this game has the potential to get ugly. On the other hand, a win against a legitimate playoff team might quiet some of the Bears critics. With the Jets and Patriots on the docket in addition to the Eagles, they've got some formidable opponents to get past in order to make the playoffs.