CHICAGO (Nov. 5, 2006) -- The 1972 Dolphins can breathe a little easier. And once again, they can thank a current Miami team for it.
Ronnie Brown rushed for a career-high 157 yards and Jason Taylor forced a fumble and returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown, helping Miami beat Chicago 31-13. Brown carried 29 times and eclipsed his previous career-high set last season against Carolina by 35 yards.
Besides losing their first game, the Bears (7-1) saw linebacker Brian Urlacher hurt his foot when he landed awkwardly in a pileup near the end of the game. The severity of the injury was not known.
A lot of (media) in this locker room and a lot of people in this country didn't give us a chance," Taylor said. "And I heard some of the crap that was said during the week -- that questioned people's character and everything else. You always want to hand everything with class, but sometimes you can't. People come at you the wrong way, and it's good sometimes to say, 'How do you like me now?
"It's a little overboard when you're an old football player and know how tough it can be to win," he said. "To say a team has no soul -- we've been playing hard, but we just haven't put it together. Maybe we need more of that.
The Bears lost wide receiver Bernard Berrian, their main deep threat, to a rib injury on their first possession and were buried beneath a pile of turnovers. Tied with Baltimore for the league lead in takeaways (22) and differential (11) entering the game, Chicago committed four fumbles and lost three to go with Rex Grossman 's three interceptions.
Grossman was under pressure all day and was just 18 of 42 for 210 yards and a touchdown. The running game never got going, either, with Thomas Jones carrying 20 times for 69 yards.
"If it doesn't hurt, how important is winning?" Grossman said. "So it hurts bad. We're 7-1, it hurts, we're going to think about it for a couple of days, watch the tape and get better and then put everything in perspective of what's out there for us to go get.
Quarterback Joey Harrington, who was 16 of 32 for 137 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in his fourth start for the injured Daunte Culpepper, almost single-handedly kept the Bears in the game. He overthrew -- and underthrew -- open receivers, and had his pass picked off by Nathan Vasher late in the third quarter, leading to a 38-yard field goal by Robbie Gould that made it an eight-point game.
But Grossman was no better.
He threw his third interception just under two minutes into the fourth quarter. And on the next play, Harrington connected with a leaping Chris Chambers for a 24-yard touchdown and a 28-13 lead.
One week after scoring the first 41 points in a 41-10 rout of San Francisco, the Bears were in danger of being blown out in the second quarter when Alex Brown intercepted Harrington.
Berrian said his ribs are not broken and the injury was not caused by a hit. "I just fell on it kind of weird," he said. ... Miami cornerback Eddie Jackson limped off the field with about a minute left in the game. ... Bears CB Dante Wesley injured a knee in the first quarter.