Chicago Bears vs Miami Dolphins: Re-Cap and Reaction to First Preseason Game


It’s been a long wait, Bears fans. The last time we saw our team play was December 28th, 2014 in an uninspired finish to a tragically bad season. The last time we saw them win was back on November 23rd, 2014 against Lovie Smith’s worse-than-our Bears Buccaneers. It’s been a long time since we’ve experienced either, and tonight we got both.

In a typical preseason contest featuring a lot of penalties, sloppy play and guys you’ve never heard of, the Bears prevailed 27-10 over the Miami Dolphins in both teams’ first tilt of the summer. The final score matters much less this time of the year, of course, so let’s get to what really matters.

I’ll take a look at the offense first:

  • Jacquizz Rodgers took advantage of his carries with Matt Forte out (veteran rest) and after a slow start ended with 33 yards on seven carries. This included a nice 15-yard cutback run in the Bears’ first scoring drive.
  • Eddie Royal

    finished the game with two catches for 19 yards in an abbreviated night of work, but displayed the good chemistry with Cutler that was expected. Adam Gase showed a tendency to have the offense hurry to the line at times and Royal was the target on a couple of those. One was a completion from Cutler to Royal for seven yards, another resulted in an illegal formation penalty and another coupled with a hard count baited

    Ndamukong Suh

    to jump offsides. Teams don’t show much in the preseason, but perhaps we’ll see more tempo from the offense than we have in the past.

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    Jimmy Clausen

    got the bulk of the work at quarterback, so naturally he has the better statistics. He was a steady 17 of 27 for 151 yards. No touchdowns, but no interceptions. He did a nice job of spreading the ball around to receivers that we may not see much of once we get to September. Cameron Meredith (four receptions, 47 yards),

    Rashad Lawrence

    (three receptions, 25 yards) and

    Josh Bellamy

    (three receptions, 15 yards) all impacted the game in the second half.

    Aug 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears head coach John Fox prior to a preseason NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

  • Senorise Perry and Ka’Deem Carey, as backups to the defacto starter Rodgers, both had their moments. Carey had 34 yards rushing on the night and scored on a goal line run in the third quarter to give the Bears a 17-10 lead. Perry did most of his damage on a 54-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to ice the game, taking the handoff from Shane Carden on a beautifully executed read option.
  • Jay Cutler and the starting offense. We had to get to them eventually, right? They didn’t look great, but they made it thru the night without turning the ball over. The first play from scrimmage on their first possession was a false start, and the possession ended in a three-and-out. The second possession featured Cutler taking a pretty wicked sack by Cameron Wake who beat Jordan Mills on the play. They mustered three points on two possessions in just over a quarter of work.
  • Marquess Wilson didn’t do much and unless I missed it, only had one ball thrown his way. It’s more disappointing than concerning as my hope is that he blossoms into a dangerous weapon this year. Hopefully he’ll get more chances as preseason rolls on.
  • Aug 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears defensive tackle

    Jarvis Jenkins

    (96) reacts to making a tackle during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    Now some observations on the defensive side of the ball:

  • Jarvis Jenkins sure knows how to get the party started, opening the Bears preseason with a run-stuffing tackle on the first play of the game. From there it didn’t go quite as well as the Bears would’ve hoped, as Ryan Tannehill and the starting Dolphins offense marched down the field on their first drive to take a seven-point lead.
  • Antrel Rolle took a bad angle on an early run by Lamar Miller, and the Dolphins running back turned it into a 27 yard gain. It’s just the first preseason game and these are only observations, but ugh. We’ve seen too many safeties taking bad angles over the years. Still plenty of reason to think we’ll see less of that as the year goes on, but it’s at least a little worrisome.
  • Speaking of safeties having a rough go of it, I thought

    Brock Vereen

    had a tough game.

    Jarvis Landry

    completely trucked him after catching a pass during the first drive and later scored a touchdown as the second-year safety was late getting over in coverage. Coming into the season my prediction was a backup role, at best, for #45. While its way too early to say that’s where this is headed, it was not a good start for the second-year safety.

    Aug 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears linebacker Sam Acho (49) celebrates making an interception during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field. Chicago won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

    • Some Bears linebackers had their moments. Specifically I thought Christian Jones looked every bit the up-and-coming standout with some tackles early on. Sam Acho had a big game, recording a couple of tackles along with a sack and an interception. John Timu also got in on the action with an interception of his own. Defensive end-turned-linebacker Jared Allen looked nimble defending a screen pass in the first half, nearly making it four linebackers with interceptions on the day.

    All in all, it was about what you would expect from a first preseason game. Nobody stood out in quite a way to make us jump out of our seats and get really excited for how they may perform this season, but conversely nobody bombed out horrifically.

    The scoreboard says the Bears won, and that’s always important, but more importantly they got thru it healthy and are one step closer to molding a final version of this team for the regular season.

    We know the drill in the preseason. First game is about getting the feet wet, the second game is a bit more involved and the third game is the “dress rehearsal”. One game is in the books and the roster questions remain for John Fox and company. It will be interesting to see the depth chart changes that are revealed in their next time out.

    Next: Five Bears Players to Watch During Preseason

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