Tue, Nov 07, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Dolphins hand Bears first loss

HUGE SURPRISE Although Miami had won just one game so far, they took advantage of six turnovers to pull off the biggest upset in the NFL this year


The Miami Dolphins stunned the Chicago Bears on Sunday, leaving the Indianapolis Colts to emerge from the day's action as the lone unbeaten team in the National Football League.

The Dolphins, who had won just one of their first seven games, took advantage of six turnovers and the ineffective play of Rex Grossman to pull off the biggest surprise of the NFL season, a 31-13 triumph over the previously undefeated Bears.

Turnovers were key in Miami's defeat of Chicago, as the Dolphins turned the six Bears miscued into 28 points.

"We didn't take advantage of some opportunities, didn't play really well," Grossman said. "The Dolphins played extremely well, so it's just a combination of them playing extremely well and us not playing up to our capability. In this league everyone is good so if you make mistakes like that, bad things are going to happen."

The Dolphins were led by defensive end Jason Taylor, who returned an interception 20 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. He also forced a fumble and a sack to go over 100 in his career.

"A lot of people in the country and in this room did not give us a chance," Taylor said. "It is nice to hear people admit that they were wrong."

"Chicago is a great team," Dolphins coach Nick Saban said. "We just wanted to come in here and earn some respect. We need to play 60 minutes and I think we did that today."

The upset called to mind Chicago's Super Bowl winning season of 1985, when the Bears won their first 12 games before being ambushed in a 38-24 loss at Miami.

The 1972 Dolphins are the only team to finish with a perfect season (17-0).

Meanwhile Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning outshone his New England counterpart Tom Brady as the Colts beat the Patriots 27-20 to improve to 8-0.

Indianapolis completed a perfect first half of the season, something the team did last year before eventually losing to San Diego in its 14th game.

Manning completed 20-of-36 passes for 326 yards in improving to 4-10 all-time against New England.

Brady, the two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, was uncharacteristically sloppy, matching a career high for interceptions with four.

It was a wild finish in Washington, where the Redskins held off NFC East rivals Dallas 22-19.

Washington's Troy Vincent blocked an attempted field goal by Mike Vanderjagt before Nick Novak drilled a 47-yard field goal on the final play of the game to give the Redskins the win.

The Cowboys appeared poised for victory when Vanderjagt lined up for a 35-yard field goal attempt with six seconds left.

But Vincent, who was signed by the Redskins on Oct. 16 after being released by Buffalo, blocked the kick and Sean Taylor recovered the ball and returned it to the Dallas 45 yard line.

Time should have elapsed at that point, which would have sent the game into overtime. But Kyle Kosier was called for a 15-yard facemask penalty and the Redskins were awarded with one more down, which set up the field goal attempt for Novak.

The NFC East-leading New York Giants survived a scare but emerged with a 14-10 victory over Houston.

Jon Kitna threw for 321 yards and a touchdown and Kevin Jones rushed for 110 yards and two scores to lead Detroit to a 30-14 victory over Atlanta, who fell a game behind NFC South leaders New Orleans.

The Saints' Drew Brees enjoyed his fourth 300-yard passing game of the year as New Orleans beat Tampa Bay 31-14 in another NFC South duel.

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