Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

November 5, 2012

NFL: Ballhawking Bears rout Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —  Lovie Smith demanded a fast start from his Chicago Bears after a sluggish performance a week ago.

They certainly responded.

Charles Tillman forced four fumbles. Brian Urlacher scored on a 46-yard interception return. Plus, Chicago turned a blocked punt into a touchdown.

Jay Cutler threw three TD passes to Brandon Marshall just for good measure and the Bears put up their highest point total since 1980, routing the Tennessee Titans 51-20 on Sunday for their sixth straight win.

“We didn’t want to have a repeat of last week against Carolina,” Tillman said. “This week our whole motto was, ‘Let’s start fast.’ To create a turnover on the first play of the game was the mindset going into the game.”

Tillman did just that, stripping Titans receiver Kenny Britt on Tennessee’s first offensive play and proving how exceptionally dangerous these Bears are even when they don’t start with the ball.

The Bears (7-1) scored a franchise-record 28 points in the first quarter. They took control by creating three turnovers in the first 13 minutes, resulting in 14 points.

Urged on by its coach, Chicago wound up with takeaways, beginning with the first Tennessee snap.

“It has to be upsetting when you know our reputation coming in,” Smith said. “It’s not like it’s the first one we’ve done. Every team we’ve played has the mindset that this team will strip the ball. That’s who we are.”

Urlacher became the latest Bears defender to score on an interception return. They have done it a club record seven times — no other NFL team had returned six for TDs through the first seven games of any season.

The Bears had already topped the 50-point mark with 10 minutes still left. They posted their highest-scoring game since matching a team record in a 61-7 win over Green Bay on Dec. 7, 1980. Chicago fans took over LP Field, booing any video highlights featuring the rival Packers and frequently chanting “Let’s go, Bears.”

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