Dolphins make their point, stun Bears, 31-13




 
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November 6th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Dolphins make their point, stun Bears, 31-13




By Alex Marvez
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
(MCT)
CHICAGO - Defensive end Jason Taylor was right, after all.
The Chicago Bears aren't in the same class as the 1972 Dolphins.
Taylor's pregame statement was proven true Sunday when the previously undefeated Bears fell to a downtrodden Dolphins squad whose performance should finally make members of the NFL's only perfect team, including recently outspoken critics Bob Kuechenberg and Jim Langer, proud.
"A lot of guys played with a chip on their shoulder," Taylor said after the Dolphins' 31-13 upset of the Bears at Soldier Field. "We were 1-6 and had faced a lot of criticism. I don't mind if you criticize us. That's fine. But the disrespect is what bothers me. When someone questions your heart and all that . . ."
The Bears (7-1) had won their previous four home games by a 152-30 margin and entered Sunday's contest as a 13 1/2-point favorite. But Chicago fell victim Sunday to the same kinds of mistakes that have derailed the Dolphins (2-6). The Bears committed six turnovers, including five on offense, and their vaunted defense allowed Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown to rush for a career-high 157 yards while also failing to sack quarterback Joey Harrington, who threw three touchdown passes.
"It's a combination of them playing really well and us not playing up to our capability," said Bears quarterback Rex Grossman, who threw three interceptions and was sacked three times. "In this league, everyone is good. So if you make mistakes like that, bad things are going to happen."
Those bad things began happening for the Bears early in the second quarter. On Chicago's first play from scrimmage after a five-yard touchdown pass from Harrington to Marty Booker, the 6-foot-6 Taylor jumped in the air to snare a Grossman pass and return it 20 yards for a touchdown that gave the Dolphins a 14-3 lead.
"I thought it was a run play because of the way the receiver came up with the block," Taylor said. "I came back out and Grossman threw it and it landed in my hands. It was a good play. It was obviously something we needed to have happen. It gave us some momentum."
The Dolphins, though, also committed their fair share of mistakes and didn't pull away until early in the fourth quarter after safety Renaldo Hill's 12-yard return of a Grossman interception gave his team possession at Chicago's 24-yard line. On the next play, Harrington lobbed a touchdown pass to Chris Chambers that put the Dolphins ahead 28-13
"This is probably the best game we've played all year," Dolphins coach Nick Saban said. "I'm very proud of our players to stick with it and improve over the bye week, hang together as a group, believe in each other and have the confidence that you need to have to compete like that for 60 minutes in the game.
"There were obviously a lot of opportunities where if you couldn't stay focused on the next play, it would have been easy to say, `Here we go again.' We didn't do that. I think this was great for our team and its confidence. Hopefully, we can build on something like this."
If nothing else, the Dolphins have temporarily silenced their critics, including retired offensive linemen Kuechenberg and Langer. Kuechenberg told the Chicago Tribune last week that the 2006 Dolphins had "no soul" and a victory over Chicago was "not even remotely possible." Langer chimed in by asking the Bears not to "knock the fish off the helmet or something."
Taylor responded by calling Kuechenberg "grumpy" and saying "he needs a hug and a hobby."
"I heard and read in the paper how we had no chance and it was going to take a miracle for us," said Taylor, who also last week sarcastically referred to Chicago as "the almighty Bears" because of the praise being heaped on the franchise by the media. "Come on. We're professionals. We're grown men. We have a lot of pride. It's uncalled for to speak about somebody like that."
Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas said he appreciated the extra motivation provided by Kuechenberg and Langer.
"Tell Langer the fish is still there," Thomas said.
 


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