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Bears' D Continues Dominance In Jacksonville

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Oct 8, 2012 3:00PM

For the second straight game, Bears defensive scores ignited the team and led them to victory. Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs became the first pair of teammates in NFL history to each have a pick-six in consecutive weeks, as the Bears handled the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-3 Sunday.

The game started slowly in the muggy Florida heat, as the two teams played to a 3-3 tie at halftime. The Bears capped a 12-play drive with a field goal near the end of the first quarter, and the Jags answered on their next possession.

Another long Bears drive to start the second half (17 plays over 9:18) stalled out after a pair of false start penalties on Gabe Carimi, and the Bears settled for another Robbie Gould field goal to give the Bears a 6-3 lead. That's when the Bears took over the game. On the ensuing Jacksonville possession, Charles Tillman picked off a Blaine Gabbert pass intended for Justin Blackmon and returned it 36 yards for the Bears first TD of the afternoon.

With the score 13-3 heading into the final quarter, the Bears exploded for four touchdowns. Alshon Jeffery caught a 10-yard pass from Jay Cutler on the first play of the period to extend the Bears' lead to 20-3. On the Bears next turn with the ball, a nifty Devin Hester catch for 39 yards sparked a 94-yard drive capped by a 24-yard TD pass to Brandon Marshall. Lance Briggs then intercepted a deflected pass over the middle and returned it 36 yards for his second score in as many weeks. With the game in hand, third string running back Armando Allen got into the game, and promptly broke off a 46-yard TD run that should earn him a few more carries.

While the defense again helped a lot in adding to the point total, the offense did rack up 501 yards of offense on Sunday. Despite a slow start, Cutler fished the afternoon with 292 yards passing and completed 23 of 39 pass attempts. Wide receiver Marshall caught a dozen balls for 144 yards. Matt Forte rushed for 107 yards on 22 carries while Allen added 59 in his limited fourth quarter action.

The defense had another huge game, holding the Jags to just three points. In addition to the two interceptions, Julius Peppers recovered a fumble caused by Corey Wooten during a sack of Gabbert, which brings the Bears total takeaways to an NFL best 17.

The Bears improved to 4-1 with their win, but the surprising Minnesota Vikings are still keeping pace in the NFC North. The Bears now enter their bye week, which gives the team to rest some banged up players. Wide receiver Earl Bennett missed his second straight game with a hand injury and rookie wideout Jeffery left the game after injuring his hand during his touchdown catch. While Forte didn't appear to show any ill effects of an ankle sprain that forced him to miss the game in week 3, some rest can only help. The Bears close out the fist half with three opponents that currently have just three wins among them. A 7-1 first half looks possible, but the Bears schedule gets much tougher from there.