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Bears complete Meadowlands sweep

Nov 19, 2006 - 9:02 PM EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears completed a "Meadowlands sweep" with a shutout.

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year recorded 11 tackles and a pivotal interception as the Bears posted a 10-0 victory over the New York Jets in an interconference game.

Last Sunday night, the Bears (9-1) defeated the New York Giants, 38-20, and became the first road team since the 1999 Washington Redskins to win straight two games here.

"Getting two wins in here is huge," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Defensively, any time you can get a shutout on the road it is a great job."

It was the second shutout of the season for Chicago, which has yielded an NFC-low 120 points. The Bears blanked Green Bay, 26-0, in the season opener.

The Jets (5-5) were coming off an upset win at New England last week and went toe-to-toe with the NFC's best team in the first scoreless first half of an NFL game since a September 18 contest between Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.

The Jets had the best scoring chance of the half early in the second quarter with a 3rd-and-goal at the Chicago 6.

But Urlacher dropped into coverage from his linebacker position and intercepted a pass by Chad Pennington in the end zone and returned it 33 yards with 11:12 left in the first half.

"It was cover-2 and I was just reading the quarterback's eyes," Urlacher said. "I don't think Chad saw me. With the amount of pressure our defensive line puts on the quarterback, it lets us (the linebackers) cheat a little bit."

It marked only the second time that Pennington had been intercepted in the red zone in his career. He has 44 touchdown passes inside the red zone.

Meanwhile, the Jets flustered Rex Grossman, who completed just 5-of-12 passes for seven yards in the first half.

Jets rookie coach Eric Mangini opened the second half with an onside kick, but Chris Harris recovered for the Bears at the New York 44.

"It was a good opportunity and I liked the situation," Mangini said. "There is a risk involved in everything you do. It's like anything if you don't execute."

"As we were lining up, we saw their guys lining up on the right side and those weren't the normal guys usually on that side," Harris said. "I was expecting him (kicker Mike Nugent) to kick it to the other side but then I saw him kicking it towards me and I just hoped to hold on to it."

Thomas Jones then rushed seven times for 42 yards to set up a 20-yard field goal by Robbie Gould with 10:39 left in the third quarter.

Jones finished with a season-high 121 yards on 23 carries. He produced 113 yards on 30 carries here against the Giants.

Later in the quarter, the Jets drove to the Chicago 30. But after getting heavy pressure from defensive end Alex Brown, Pennington lobbed a pass that was intercepted by cornerback Nathan Vasher at the Chicago 25.

"I was missing six inches to the right or left today," said Pennington, who completed 19-of-35 passes for 162 yards. "I really haven't had this inconsistency, but I have to battle through it. But they have a great defense."

The lone touchdown of the game - a 57-yard pass from Grossman to Mark Bradley - came 10 seconds into the fourth quarter. Grossman flicked a short pass to his right to Bradley, who stepped away from a tackle attempt by cornerback Drew Coleman as the cornerback slipped and sprinted to the end zone.

"Several times they had an all-out blitz and didn't have any safety help, kind of putting their corners out there on an island," Grossman said. "It was a three-step drop and I hit him (Bradley) with a quick hitch. He turned inside when the defender had no help and just outran everybody."

Grossman finished 11-of-22 for 119 yards. Bradley accounted for 80 of those yards on four catches.

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