First half sets the tone

<!--Default NodeId For Brian Urlacher is 292252,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292252]>Brian Urlacher</A> was able to start his 43rd consecutive game despite the fact that there was some debate among the coaches whether or not the middle linebacker could play with a shoulder injury. However, in the end the only doubt was if <!--Default NodeId For Ricky Williams is 291497,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:291497]>Ricky Williams</A> would break the NFL's single game rushing record.

Williams went into the fourth quarter with over 200 rushing yards and with a 24-3 lead was pulled midway through the fourth quarter, but he still finished with 31 carries for 216 yards and two touchdowns.

In three Monday night games the Bears have trailed at the half, but none of the performances was worse than the one put up against the Dolphins.

Although, the score was only 14-0 after the games opening thirty minutes the Dolphins could have easily been up 28-0.

On the Dolphins opening possession of the game James McKnight caught a 33-yard pass from Jay Fiedler putting Miami deep in Chicago territory. Following consecutive runs of 11 yards the Dolphins looked poised to punch the ball in for a touchdown, but on a third down catch McKnight fumbled without being hit and the Bears recovered the ball at their seven.

As Williams went inside the red zone he was stripped by Brian Urlacher fighting for extra yardage. The ball bounced from the Bears' 11 yard line into the end zone where R.W. McQuarters recovered it for a touchback.

Miami had 293 total yards compared to the Bears pitiful 37. Ricky Williams rushed for 119 yards on just 17 carries, while a rusty Jay Fiedler threw for over 150 yards.

Poor tackling allowed several gains to go for additional yardage highlighted by Williams' first touchdown run that could have been stopped at the five yard line, but R.W. McQuarters failed to wrap up Williams.

While the defense had their problems the Bears offense was putrid.

Jim Miller completed 2-9 passes for six yards and threw an interception that led to a Dolphins touchdown. He went down in the third quarter with a left knee sprain and his replacement Chris Chandler didn't fare any better throwing two interceptions and fumbling once.

The Bears defense pressured Fielder into an interception to open the second half, but great field position was minimized because of a personal foul penalty on Bryan Robinson after the Bobbie Howard/Jerry Azumah return.

Chicago settled for a 52-yard Paul Edinger field goal that put them on the board at 14-3 early in the third quarter.

However, any bit of momentum was short lived as Ricky Williams dashed untouched for 63 yards touchdown. His second score of the night extended the Dolphins lead to 21-3.

The scamper moved Williams atop the NFL rushing list and by the end of the night he hit 1,500 yards thanks to a record-breaking performance.

Williams, who finished the game with 216 yards, set a new record for an individual rushing yards in a single game against the Bears. Earl Campbell - a back that Williams has been compared to –held the old mark of 206 yards that was set in 1980.

The Bears only touchdown on the night came in garbage time. With under a minute to go Henry Burris found Marty Booker for a six-yard TD pass. The six-play drive was set up because Miami was playing soft coverage and only rushing three players, which allowed Burris to scramble for 47 yards on three plays.

His last minute effort made him the Bears leading rusher with 52 yards on five carries.

``It's more like playing at Temple and playing at Spiro High School now,'' said Burris, who insisted the game has slowed down with the brief playing stints he's received. ``It's not like being on I-94 during rush hour anymore like it was when I first got here.''

Offensive coordinator John Shoop called all but one of Burris' runs on the final drive from the sidelines. The other was a scramble.

Burris finished 1-of-3 passing.

With Jim Miller injured and Chris Chandler trying to shake off ankle and neck injuries, the Bears may give Burris a start yet this season.

``It's something that we really have to look at, you know, weigh all the different options,'' Shoop said.

Added coach Dick Jauron, ``We'll see how Jimmy is, and see how Chris is, then see how Henry is. He's very close (to being ready).''


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