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Dec 15, 2012 7:54pm
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Michael Floyd Jersey . —Charles Tillman and
Lance Briggs have scored more touchdowns than Matt Forte this season. And the
Chicago Bears arent complaining. Tillman and Briggs returned interceptions for
touchdowns—their second in six days—and the Bears used stifling defence to
overwhelm the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-3 Sunday. Tillman and Briggs became the
first teammates in NFL history to return interceptions for touchdowns in
consecutive weeks. “This one was an easier catch,” Tillman said. “Last week, it
was, Is he really throwing me the ball? This week was normal. This one was
easier. It came at a good time. We needed a lift, and that score got us rolling
to the point the offence started putting up points after that.” The Bears (4-1)
scored 38 unanswered points in the second half to win their third consecutive
game. The streak has everything to do with defence. Chicago has returned five
interceptions for touchdowns in those games. Tillman and Briggs returned two of
the teams five INTs for scores in Monday nights 34-18 victory at Dallas.
Major Wright returned one the previous week against St. Louis. Tillmans second
of the season—a 36-yarder in the third quarter—proved to be the decisive
play in a game that saw as many punts (six) as points in the first half. What
prompted Chicagos turnaround? Players credited coach Lovie Smiths halftime
message. “He basically cursed us out without cursing,” Tillman said. “He raised
his voice and gave us that mean, surly, stern look and we responded to that. He
put a little spark in our rear end. We started getting to the quarterback in the
second half. We were a little flat in the first half and came out with a sense
of urgency.” The Bears finished with 501 yards of offence, 309 in the second
half, and held Jacksonville to 45 yards after the break. The Jaguars ran just
four plays in the third quarter. “Its been the same thing for five years,”
Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. “Obviously, were not working hard
enough. I dont know. Were just not playing well right now. We have to figure
something out. No one here is going to save us. Its the guys in this locker
room. Theres no one we can bring in to help. We got to look man to man at each
other and figure out what were going to do.” The Jaguars (1-4) never recovered
from Tillmans touchdown and played the final quarter amid a chorus of boos.
Jacksonville now heads into its bye week with serious questions about what
direction the team is headed under general manager Gene Smith, quarterback
Blaine Gabbert and maybe even first-year coach Mike Mularkey. With Smith
assembling the roster, the Jaguars have lost 18 of their last 24 games. They
have been downright pathetic in three home games this season. They managed 117
yards in the home opener against Houston, 212 last week against Cincinnati and
189 Sunday. “I can talk up here all night about what we did, but thats not going
to cure anything,” Gabbert said. “Weve got to come out in the second half and
play better football. It starts with me. When you throw two Pick 6s in a half,
thats awful. Ive got to find a way to fix that and get this offence going a
little bit.” Gabbert completed 17 of 33 passes for 142 yards, with the two
interceptions. The Bears stacked the line of scrimmage, clearly wanting to shut
down Jones-Drew. It worked, as Jones-Drew finished with 56 yards on 12 carries.
Following Tillmans score, the Jaguars allowed consecutive scoring drives after
playing stout defence in the first half. Jay Cutler hooked up with rookie
Alshon Jeffery for a 10-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter and
found Brandon Marshall for a 24-yarder with 8:37 remaining in the game. Briggs
score came after that, a 36-yard return that made it 34-3. “The defence put up
some points again,” Cutler said. “Were never really out of a game with those
guys on defence. They play such good football. They hold teams to few yards and
a lot of punts.” Cutler completed 23 of 39 passes for 292 yards, with two TDs
and an interception before giving way to backup Jason Campbell. Marshall caught
12 passes for 144 yards. Forte, who has one touchdown this season, ran 22 times
for 107 yards. Few outsiders gave the Jaguars a chance before the game. The only
thing that seemingly was in Jacksonvilles favour was catching Chicago on a short
week. The Bears got home from Dallas early Tuesday and were back on a plane
Saturday. That may have contributed to Chicagos slow start. But it mattered
little in the second half—thanks mostly to the interceptions. “I know they
know how important it is to take the ball away,” Smith said. “There is an
emphasis on it. And after a while, you see one guy doing it, you want to join in
on that action. Its discouraging to the offence. We normally win when we score
one time, and its probably safe to say we havent lost when we score a couple
times on the defensive side.” NOTES: Tillman became the franchises all-time
leader in defensive touchdowns with eight. ... Jeffery left the game with a hand
injury. ... Jaguars PK Josh Scobee tied Mike Hollis for the most FGs (175) in
franchise history. ... Jones-Drew became the third player in team history to
eclipse 12,000 all-purpose yards, joining Fred Taylor and Jimmy Smith. Patrick Peterson Pink Jersey .ca! Hi All: A
number of things happened in games during the weekend that stimulated questions.
Let me provide you with my take on a few of them. 1)  First Adam asks, “Please
explain to me the difference between the stick fouls in the third period of the
Rangers/Capitals game on Saturday. Patrick Peterson Elite Jersey . “I dont think
so,” Doug ONeill said Thursday when asked if officials were singling him out
because of his history of doping infractions. His recent 45-day suspension wont
begin until after the Belmont on June 9 when Ill Have Another tries to become
the first Triple Crown winner in 34 years. http://www.shopthecardinalsjersey.com/bobby-massie-jerseys
. Holtby, just 22 and third on the goalie depth chart to start the season, drew
dramatic Dryden-esque comparisons with his playoff performance. Smith, who was
placed on re-entry waivers by GM Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning just
last year, has been instrumental in getting the Coyotes in the Western
Conference Final. Lyle Sendlein Jersey . The Padres
right-hander allowed Clint Barmes first career grand slam in a nine-run fourth
inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat San Diego 11-5 on Sunday, ending the
Padres six-game winning streak. Dave Zastudil Jersey . The 38-year-old who
spent the last four years with the Alouettes as offensive co-ordinator and
assistant head coach under Marc Trestman has a game to play against his former
team when Toronto faces Montreal in a CFL East Division battle tonight.MONTE
CARLO —Champions League winner Chelsea will begin the defence of its title at
home to Italian giant Juventus, while Real Madrid will face Manchester City in
the tournaments toughest group. Thursdays draw for the group stage pitched the
holders against a Juventus side that stormed to the Serie A title and was
unbeaten in all competitions last season apart from the Italian Cup final. Group
E also includes Shakhtar Donetsk and Champions League debutant Nordsjaelland of
Denmark. Madrid has been handed the toughest draw—with three league champions
in Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax in Group D. The Spanish champion
beat Ajax 3-0 both home and away in last seasons competition. It begins its bid
for a record 10th title at home to Premier League champion City. “We didnt have
much luck but Im sure our rivals will think the same,” Real Madrid director and
former playing great Emilio Butragueno said. “Its a very tough group, all of the
games are going to be very close, very competitive, very tense. “We have to
prepare. Were Real Madrid and we aspire to reach the end of this competition.”
With all four teams winning their respective leagues last year, it is no
surprise Group D has been pinpointed as the toughest group. “This group is a
fantastic story. It gives you goose bumps, cramps your nerves,” Dortmund coach
Juergen Klopp said. “Of course Real and City deal in (financial) sums that we
cannot match. But this is not going to inhibit us. “We want to be an
uncomfortable opponent. We dont want to compete in the sense who is prettier,
who is bigger, who is more expensive.” Juventus should qualify for the knockout
stage, along with Chelsea, which knocked the Serie A side out of the competition
in 2009. “Were happy to be back on this stage,” Juventus general director
Giuseppe Marotta said. “All in all were satisfied with this group, although were
full of humility and weve got total respect for our opponents.” Meanwhile,
Nordsjaelland is expected to do little more than make up the numbers in Group E,
but the team is keen to enjoy its time in the competition. “It is a great
group,” midfielder Mikkel Beckhmann said. “It has got to be the second hardest
group, but also the second greatest, so I am pleased. Juventus are my favourite
team, and I am really looking forward to the away match there and the one
against Chelsea. ” Bayern Munich, last seasons runner-up, is in Group F with
Valencia—which it beat on penalties in the 2011 final—as well as Lille and
BATE Borisov. “We were in the final last season, we have to advance from the
group stage,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said. “I see Valencia as our toughest
rival but our duty is to advance and to be first in the group. Patrick Peterson White Jersey. ” Four-time
winner Barcelona faces Benfica, Spartak Moscow and Celtic. “It looks like a
footballing group, with historic teams and teams with different styles,”
Barcelona sport director Andoni Zubizarreta said. “It might not have the big
names like the other groups but its still interesting.” Manchester United, which
failed to clear the group stage last season, also has a relatively weak group
with Braga, Galatasaray and Cluj. “We have the experience of playing against
Galatasaray in the past and we will always remember the Welcome to Hell
banners,” United manager Alex Ferguson said. “So its always a difficult type of
match. “Obviously, weve never played Cluj before but, after the experience of
last year, we dont want to make any stupid errors this time. We will play our
strongest team to make sure we get through.” Seven-time winner AC Milan was
drawn with Zenit St. Petersburg, Anderlecht and Malaga—another Champions
League debutant. Milan has had a difficult off-season with the departure of
several star players, but should still progress to the knockout stages. “They
are three difficult teams, we have to be careful not to undervalue these
opponents,” Milan director Umberto Gandini said. “Milan is a squad which needs
self-esteem and these kind of opponents can help it and make it grow. “They
should be faced with the right attitude. We are a different AC Milan, but we are
always AC Milan.” French champion Montpellier makes its debut in the competition
against Arsenal, Schalke and Olympiakos. Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud scored
21 goals for Montpellier last season, finishing as the joint top scorer in the
French league. Montpellier winger Anthony Mounier said: “The group features
teams with a lot of experience and it wont be easy. Arsenal are obviously
frightening but we were expecting to come up against big teams.” Arsenal beat
Olympiakos 2-1 at the same stage last season before losing the final group game
3-1. It also met the Greek team in 2009-2010. Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain
returns to the Champions League after an eight-year absence and will play Porto,
Dynamo Kyiv and Dinamo Zagreb. “We will do our best to reach the last 16. Its a
new experience for the club,” PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti said. “Teams like Porto,
Kyiv and even Zagreb have a certain amount of international experience. “All the
matches are special in the Champions League, there is a lot of motivation, a lot
of commitment. I hope we reach the last 16 and why not finish first in the
group.” ’