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Jennings plays takeaway in Bears victory

Posted Sep 9, 2012

Working on his ball skills throughout the offseason and into training camp paid big dividends for Tim Jennings in Sunday’s 41-21 season-opening win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Working on his ball skills throughout the offseason and into training camp paid big dividends for Tim Jennings in Sunday’s 41-21 season-opening win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Tim Jennings had the first two-interception game of his career Sunday.

Jennings had two interceptions for the first time in his seven-year NFL career and created a third when he dove to deflect an Andrew Luck pass that was picked off by safety Chris Conte.

"It was a good day," Jennings said. "I was able to catch some of the balls. I dropped one in the end zone I wish I would have caught. Last year I struggled with that. I worked on that in the offseason with the JUGS machine. I got the opportunity today and I made some plays on the ball."

Jennings, who played three seasons with the Colts from 2007-09, leaped high to intercept a deep pass intended for receiver Donnie Avery in the second quarter. Jennings’ second pick provided an exclamation point on the victory came with 1:42 remaining in the game.

"Whenever you play your old team, you want to play a certain way," said coach Lovie Smith. "I actually just talked about the offseason Tim Jennings had throughout—great offseason work, training camp, but he’s been playing that way, competing hard.

"Last year he would tell you that he had opportunities to make a couple of picks. [Two interceptions] is a pretty good day for a cornerback, and he had a say in another. So it’s a great start for Tim."

Sack attack: All three sacks the Bears registered came in the second half after they had built a 20-point lead. Defensive tackle Henry Melton had two and end Corey Wootton recorded one.

"It was really fun," Melton said. "Jay [Cutler] came off after we got a nice lead and said, 'It’s time for y’all to eat. I was like, 'This is what I dream of.’ We know that they’re not going to run the ball. We just get to tee off and get after the quarterback."

Wootton produced a takeaway on his sack, forcing a Luck fumble that defensive end Julius Peppers recovered. It was the second career sack for Wootton, whose first came on Dec. 20, 2002, when he knocked Brett Favre out of a win over the Vikings and into retirement.

Special play: One of the Bears’ five takeaways came on special teams as linebacker J.T. Thomas forced a LaVon Brazill fumble on a kickoff return that Kelvin Hayden recovered at the Colts’ 12.

The turnover led to Robbie Gould’s 26-yard field goal, enabling the Bears to score 10 points in a 1:50 span to extend their lead to 34-14 early in the third quarter.

News and notes: Bears cornerback Charles Tillman exited Sunday’s game in the first half with a lower leg injury. He was replaced by Hayden. … The 41 points were the most the Bears have scored in a season opener since 1986 when they beat the Browns 41-31 at Soldier Field. … The Bears rushed for three TDs for the first time since Oct. 4, 2009 in Detroit, a span of 44 games.

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