NFL: BEARS 16, DOLPHINS 0

Bears get 3rd win in 12 days

2010-11-19T00:00:00Z Bears get 3rd win in 12 days Arizona Daily Star
November 19, 2010 12:00 am

MIAMI - The Bears had a ready response for Brandon Marshall's taunting.

Julius Peppers and a swarming defense allowed only 187 yards and a single third-down conversion Thursday night, and the Bears won 16-0 to send the injury-ravaged Dolphins to their second home shutout in 40 years.

Marshall drew an early flag for taunting when he flipped the ball at former Denver teammate Jay Cutler, standing in front of the Bears bench.

"We don't need that to fire us up," Chicago coach Lovie Smith said. "We were fired up when we stepped on the field."

Marshall also was penalized for an illegal block and dropped two passes before he left the game in the second quarter after aggravating a sore right hamstring. He wore street clothes on the sideline in the second half and didn't talk to reporters after the game.

Miami's already depleted offensive line lost center Cory Procter with a left knee injury. And with third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen taking six sacks in his first NFL start since 2008, the Dolphins were no match for a Bears defense that took over the NFL lead in fewest points allowed per game.

"Offensively we're embarrassed what we put on the field," Thigpen said. "I put the blame on me."

Playing in Miami for the first time since losing to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl four years ago, the Bears (7-3) won for the third time in 12 days and moved a half-game ahead of Green Bay atop the NFC North.

The Dolphins (5-5) lost at home in prime time for the third time this season. Coach Tony Sparano declined to blame injuries for the dismal showing.

"Those are excuses," he said. "I'm not going to use them. I don't want my team to use them. This is the NFL. The next guy has to step up."

Peppers had three sacks, and Charles Tillman recorded an interception for the Bears, who earned their first shutout since Nov. 19, 2006, against the Jets.

Extra points

• Texans quarterback Matt Schaub is back with the team after he was hospitalized with an injury to the bursa sac in his right knee.

Schaub practiced on Thursday, and coach Gary Kubiak expects his No. 1 quarterback to start when the Texans (4-5) visit the Jets (7-2) on Sunday.

• Panthers coach John Fox picked Brian St. Pierre over rookie Tony Pike to start at quarterback against Baltimore on Sunday.

Carolina signed St. Pierre to the practice squad last week. He was promoted to the 53-man roster Tuesday after Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen were injured.

• Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is ready to play against the defending champion Saints despite two cracked bones in his left wrist.

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