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Bears roll over Bills, stay unbeaten

CHICAGO (Oct. 8, 2006) -- Calling the Chicago Bears an offensive juggernaut might seem to defy logic, tradition and the lineage of gritty defenders from Butkus to Singletary to Urlacher.

Believe it.

Getting a huge boost from their trademark defense, the Bears scored the first five times they had the ball Sunday and ruined the homecoming of former coach Dick Jauron with a 40-7 drubbing of Jauron's Buffalo Bills to go 5-0 for the first time in 20 years.

Rex Grossman threw two touchdown passes, Cedric Benson scored his first two NFL touchdowns and the Bears capitalized on five Buffalo turnovers as they piled up their biggest points total since 1993.

Suddenly, the team that always counted on its defense to make up for an anemic offense in recent seasons is averaging 31 points a game, outscoring even the high-flying Indianapolis Colts through five games.

"That was a fun game," said Grossman, who sat out the fourth quarter after going 15-of-27 for 182 yards and the two touchdowns.

"Anytime you execute like that -- offense, defense, special teams -- anytime you play like that, it's so much fun."

That was the operative word for Brian Urlacher, too, enjoying his team's newly resurgent offense.

"It's fun to watch," he said. "Rex is throwing the ball pretty much wherever he wants to."

Robbie Gould aided the cause with four field goals, improving to 17-for-17 for the season, as the Bears ran their scoring margin to an eye-opening 156 points scored and 36 allowed.

Tough defense was the Bears' hallmark during Jauron's tenure from 1999-2003, but a shaky offense kept Chicago out of the playoffs every season but 2001. His teams managed 30 points just four times in five years, and never more than 37.

The 'D' remains as stingy as ever, or more so. Chicago yielded just 145 total yards to the Bills, and the last-minute touchdown it gave up was only the second TD the defense has allowed all season.

But an injury-free Grossman and the high-powered passing game have made the NFC's only unbeaten team more dangerous on offense than it has been in years.

The Bills compounded that by giving the ball away frequently after going three of their first four games without any turnovers.

"It was a long day for us, obviously," Jauron said. "We knew they were an outstanding football team coming into the game. ... All the things that we couldn't have happen, happened."

The outmanned Bills found themselves in trouble early and often against a speedy, aggressive defense. They dug themselves a hole on the opening drive when Brian Moorman fumbled the snap on a fake punt and Brendon Ayanbadejo recovered at the Buffalo 40. Six plays later, Gould kicked a 42-yard field goal to open the scoring.

Following a 43-yard field goal, the Bears blew open the game with three touchdowns in a nine-minute span of the second quarter.

Grossman hit Bernard Berrian for an 8-yard score to make it 13-0 after Thomas Jones carried five times for 35 yards on the scoring drive.

Bills quarterback J.P. Losman was intercepted by Lance Briggs on the ensuing drive. Five plays later, Benson bulled in from 1 yard for his first TD.

"It was really cool, especially on the first one," Benson said. "It's neat stuff."

Following a 62-yard bomb to Berrian on Chicago's next drive, Grossman found Rashied Davis in the end zone for a 15-yard score that made it 27-0 at halftime.

The Bears extended the rout in the second half with Gould's field goals of 32 and 41 yards, and Benson's second 1-yard TD late in the fourth quarter following a fumbled kickoff recovered by Israel Idonije.

Buffalo scored on a 5-yard TD pass from Losman to Lee Evans with 1:06 remaining.

Jones had his first 100-yard game after rushing for 1,335 a year ago, finishing with 109 yards on 22 carries. Benson ran for 48 yards on 14 attempts.

Losman was 14-of-27 for 115 yards and was sacked three times.

Willis McGahee, who came in leading the NFL in rushing, was held to 50 yards on 14 carries.

"We gave them a lot of stuff," cornerback Terrence McGee said. "They are probably one of the best teams in football, if not the best team in football, but I thought we gave them a lot of opportunities and it hurt us."

The bad news for opponents is that coach Lovie Smith thinks they will get better.

"We like what we see right now," he said. "But I don't think you can peak after five games."


The Bears shut down Buffalo despite having two defensive linemen inactive: Adewale Ogunleye, who was nursing a hamstring injury, and tackle Ian Scott, who wasn't listed as having an injury. ... Berrian entered leading the NFL with three TD catches and four receptions of 40-plus yards, and added one of each. ... Chicago has won its first three home games by a combined 111-20.

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