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Chicago Bears Shut Out Miami Dolphins 16-0

Bears Dolphins

STEVEN WINE   11/18/10 11:37 PM ET   AP

MIAMI — The Chicago 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 Miami Dolphins to their second home shutout in 40 years.

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

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 points allowed per game.

Playing in Miami for the first time since losing Super Bowl 41 to Indianapolis, 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.

Peppers had three sacks for the Bears, who earned their first shutout since Nov. 19, 2006, against the Jets. The Dolphins were blanked for the first time since a 3-0 loss at Pittsburgh during their one-win season in 2007. Their only other home shutout since the first year of the Don Shula era came in 2001.

Matt Forte carried 25 times for 97 yards and a score for the Bears, who converted 10 of 18 third-down situations and controlled the ball for nearly 38 minutes. Miami went 1 for 12 on third down.

A 46-yard kickoff return to start the game gave the Dolphins their best scoring threat. They moved inside the Bears 35 for the first time on the game's final play.

Thigpen, pressed into duty after Chad Pennington and Chad Henne were hurt in Sunday's game, finished 17 for 29 for 187 yards, and he had 27 of the Dolphins' 39 yards rushing. But he found himself scrambling often and fell to 1-11 as an NFL starter.

With 2 minutes left, the crowd was down to mostly Chicago fans, and they chanted "Let's go Bears!" as the clock wound down. The chant continued after the game.

Robbie Gould put Chicago ahead 9-0 by finishing three short drives with field goals, one after the Bears' NFL-best 25th takeaway this season. A 7 1/2-minute touchdown drive midway through the second half sealed the win, with Forte running 2 yards up the middle to score standing up on third down.

AFC sack leader Cameron Wake reached Cutler on third down in the opening period, which forced the Bears to settle for a 46-yard field goal.

The Bears got the ball back when Charles Tillman intercepted a tipped pass, and Gould kicked a 24-yarder for a 6-0 lead.

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Filed by Michael Klopman  |