Robbie Gould kicked a 46-yard field goal to give the Chicago Bears a 3-0 lead over the banged-up Miami Dolphins through one quarter on Thursday night.
Gould's kick came with 3:48 left in the opening quarter for the Bears, who were looking to take a half-game lead over Green Bay in the NFC Central. A win also would move Chicago — which was visiting the Dolphins' stadium for the first time since losing Super Bowl 41 to Indianapolis — within a half-game of Atlanta for the NFC's best record.
Charles Tillman had an interception for the Bears, taking advantage of a mistake by new Miami starting quarterback Tyler Thigpen. Miami managed just one first down in its first three possessions, and Thigpen was 3 of 6 for 22 yards.
Thigpen became Miami's 15th starting quarterback since Dan Marino's reign with the Dolphins ended, and his debut as a first-stringer was under, at best, what would be classified as difficult circumstances.
A short week of preparation couldn't have come at a worse time for Miami, which lost starter Chad Pennington for the season to a shoulder injury after just one throw in its win over Tennessee on Sunday, then lost starter-turned-backup Chad Henne to a left knee injury in the same game. The Dolphins signed Patrick Ramsey on Monday and listed Henne as the third, or emergency, quarterback for Thursday night.
So Thigpen made his 12th career start. He went 1-10 in the previous ones, all with Kansas City in 2008.
Nonetheless, Miami's injury woes continued. The Dolphins lost center Cory Procter to what was announced as a left knee injury with 8:59 left in the opening quarter. Procter went down without being touched, grabbing his lower leg, and remained on the turf for several minutes before being helped to the sideline.
Chicago came in with some health woes as well. A knee injury kept strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa sidelined for the 15th time since the start of the 2009 season, and Nick Roach started in his place.
Miami came in two games behind both the New York Jets and New England Patriots in the AFC East.
It's been 25 seasons since the Dolphins beat the Bears in one of the most memorable Monday Night games ever, a 38-24 victory at the Orange Bowl that wound up preserving the franchise's legacy as the lone NFL team to finish unbeaten. It was the only loss that year for the Bears, who wound up rolling to the Super Bowl title.
This one lacked that sort of panache, though it had another nod to history.
The Dolphins added safety Jake Scott and defensive end Bill Stanfill to their Honor Roll on Thursday night, putting them in a club that already includes Marino, Doug Betters, Mark Clayton, Mark Duper, Nat Moore and coach Don Shula — all of those names playing key roles in that Miami win over Chicago in December 1985.