Despite jumping out to an 11-point third quarter lead, the Chicago Bears fell to the Miami Dolphins in overtime. A game marked by weirdness and Brock Osweiler throwing 380 yards leaves much to discuss. So, let’s.
The Bears had their share of chances to put the game on ice, and their first missed opportunity can be traced back to the second quarter when Jordan Howard fumbled at the goal line on a potentially game-tying touchdown. To blame the loss on that play would be foolish though.
Trey Burton was called for a controversial pass interference call that nullified a touchdown that would have put the Bears up 28-14. The next play, Mitch Trubisky threw an interception right into double coverage and the Dolphins scored on the ensuing drive. A Tarik Cohen fumble late in the fourth quarter ended what looked like a promising Bears drive, but the defense clamped down to force a punt that would send the game to overtime.
The Bears’ response to the Green Bay loss showed how Matt Nagy and his coaching staff can use a negative to create a positive. Players took to social media to support one another and assure fans that they will be back ready to play. Everybody has a bad day at work at times. It’s how you respond. If the last three games are any indicators, the Bears should respond to this adversity, ready to take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots next week.
Trubisky got off to a sluggish start against Miami, but he came alive in the second half, throwing three touchdowns in the final two quarters.
The difference between the first and second half was noticeable. The offensive line struggled to start the game, and Trubisky was clearly rattled. Once they settled in, however, Trubisky’s full capabilities could be put on display.
Trubisky’s biggest deficiency this season has been his deep-ball ability, but he seems to be putting that together. He missed Anthony Miller on the third play from scrimmage, but he twice found Taylor Gabriel, hitting him for 54 and 47 yards. He delivered a perfect back shoulder throw to Allen Robinson to set them up at the Miami three.
On his third touchdown, Miami sent their nickel corner on a blitz, which left Anthony Miller, who was lined up in the slot, wide open. Trubisky hung in, waited for Miller to clear the linebacker, and hit him in stride for a walk-in touchdown. Sunday proved to be a game where the offense had to pick up the defense, and they did for the most part. Most games where the offense scores 28 points are wins; Sunday just wasn’t their day.
There were two bad plays he will want back: An overthrow to a wide-open Anthony Miller and the interception in the end zone. He’ll have to clean those up, but there was more good than bad. He completed 22 of 31 passes for three touchdowns and 316 yards. He now has nine touchdowns in his last three games and has put together consecutive games of a passer rating above 120. The arrow is up for Trubisky, and that should not be overlooked.
Fuller’s big day
While the defense struggled to get a pass-rush and proved unable to tackle in open space, Kyle Fuller played his part, recording two interceptions that prevented the Dolphins’ momentum from growing to insurmountable heights. The first came late in the second quarter on a deep shot from Osweiler that Fuller nabbed at the Bears’ four. The ball was underthrown, but Fuller stayed in
Devante Parker’s hip pocket the whole, putting him in position to make an easy pick. The second interception came early in the third quarter following the Bears’ opening touchdown. Osweiler attempted a pass towards a curl route on his right, and Fuller jumped the route to take the ball to the Dolphins’ four. One play later, Trubisky hit Allen Robinson to take a 14-7 lead, swinging the momentum straight towards the Bears.
The Dolphins had the formula to beat the Bears’ defense: Quick throws and easy screens to get the ball to their playmakers in space and let the Bears try to tackle in the open field. They couldn’t, and it’s a big reason why they lost. However, when Miami tried to deviate from that gameplan, they had no luck. The Bears’ defense has aggressive, physical players in their back end that typically make the tackles they need to. The offense played well enough to win, and if those two units can play harmoniously as they did against Tampa Bay, the Bears will continue to be a force.
Twitter: @crbevins11 @radiomogul