A franchise quarterback is a helluva drug. This game was always about Justin Fields. It’s one thing to hear beat writer’s musings from camp, and it’s great to see the occasional highlight video, but there’s no comparison to seeing your Beloved’s wildly-promising new pigslinger playing live snaps with your very own eyeballs. For me, he passed the eye test and the sniff test. Not everything went his way, yet he was consistent, calm, and effective and eventually that turned into some impressive moments and two touchdowns in two quarters of play.
Bears “1st team” lineup
Rodney Adams was a surprise receiver lined up with the ones. He rewarded the Bears for their faith by pulling in the longest reception for the first team and then pulling in a great contested catch from Justin Fields at the beginning of the second half.
Alec Ogletree was a surprise considering he was recently added to the team. Roquan and Trevathan were relaxing on the sideline, but Ogletree being the next Bear up certainly shows promise for his chances to make the team. He had a mixed performance, giving up the biggest Dolphins gain losing Mike Gesicki in coverage, but making some clutch plays in the running game immediately after.
Kindle Vildor starting at outside corner isn’t particularly surprising if you’ve been paying attention. But it’s nice to see he looked the part in at least limited time.
Nice to see Adam Shaheen is already in midseason form
The former Bears second round pick dropped a lightly contested pass early on, establishing early what the Dolphins can expect from the oversized underperformer.
I don’t like to see Bears limping
Deon Bush and David Montgomery both limped after early plays. I’m starting to worry the Bears are back on their 20-teens soft tissue injury plan.
Bears makeshift line starts off holding strong
Too strong, with a holding penalty on Alex Bars negating an early Damien Williams first down. The line only had one more penalty, and played an overall mediocre game, which is worlds above the potential disaster it could have been. To be honest, watching the live broadcast, nobody stood out in a good way or a bad way, and that’s probably for the best. Props to Juan Castillo.
Bears defense looks aggressive
The line is obviously strong and deep and the run defense stayed strong even when the backups played against Miami starters. The Bears coverage had some trouble, with the biggest gains were given up against linebacker Alec Ogletree and nickle corner Duke Shelley. The latter, though called back on a hold, was more concerning considering Shelley is a top candidate for starting nickel at this point. Otherwise, the secondary was in good position to at least attempt a break up on most passes, and perennial special-teamer Houston-Carson finally capitalized with an end zone interception.
OK, Fine. I’ll talk about Justin Fields
Justin Fields hands a ball off!
The future hall of fame quarterback touches a football for the first time in a Bears game, and flawlessly hands it off to Damien Williams for a two yard gain!!!!
Fields throws the ball!
Fields’ first throw was a short completion to Damiere Byrd. At first look, the throw seemed high. It was, but when you saw the location of the defender in front of Fields, it was actually impressive he was able to get the ball over the defender into any catchable position.
After one drive, Fields with a 100% completion percentage!
Sure, it was a three and out. It’s possible that Javon Wims’ comically early false start and Elijah Wilkonson’s failed attempt to recapture the humor by trying the joke again were both penalties caused by nervousness about playing with such a high caliber signal caller, so we can’t let Justin off the hook.
Justin Fields has his first dropped deep ball!
In his second drive, Fields hit Rodney Adams in the paws on a deep throw on third and 10. The placement was just about perfect, but 2020 Dolphins first round pick Noah Igbinoghene was in good coverage and made it too difficult of a catch for Adams. Welcome to the NFL, budding Bear!
Justin Fields has his first fumble!
The 4.4 speedster made a reasonable attempt to run for a first down on third and 12, but got swarmed by Dolphins before he could reach the sticks. He executed a graceful-yet-powerful spin move in a heroic attempt to keep the drive alive, but a rude Dolphin punched the ball out of his hands. Our burgeoning Bear didn’t waste any time dwelling in dismay, and smoothly scrambled back to the ball to protect it from lurking dolphins.
Fields deftly dodges the Trubisky curse!
The last Bears first round quarterback, Mitchell “Mister Biscuit” Trubisky, blew us away in his first pre-season start and finished the pre-season with an impressive 106 passer rating, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions. We all know how that turned out. Fields is already showing wisdom beyond his years by making sure he doesn’t peak to early in a meaningless pre-season game and keeping his performance reigned back in the first half.
The Bears offense got its first 1st down on their sixth drive against a soft end-of-half defense
It’s disappointing, but it’s going to take more than that to hurt us. We’ve lived through much worse.
The Bears offense hit its stride Justin Time
The Bears offense disappointed in the first half, but the beginning of the second half was officially Justin O’Clock. Our franchise savior came out slinging, leading a full-field touchdown drive that he capped off with an 8 yard scramble into the end zone. His second touchdown came on a way-to-easy deep ball to a wildly open Jesse James, but I’m counting it anyway. Fields’ second half performance showed a promising blend of confidence and competence that the Bears have long sought at the quarterback position.
The best version of Nick Foles...
Sliced and diced the Dolphins third team defense all the way to a three and out on his first outing.
Encouraging signs from non-Mack pass rushers
Robert Quinn stood out with the best pressure of the first team, forcing Tua Tagaviola into a short dump off to Adam Shaheen for minimal gain. Trevis Gipson beat his blocker frequently and stood out against Miami’s second team. He did give up the biggest run of the day, but the young Bear is learning and showing promise and that’s exactly where you want to see a second year 5th round pick.
Anyone else miss Cordarrelle Patterson?
Khalil Herbert didn’t do much on his first kickoff returns, but he certainly still has the chance to make an impression. But when Jon’Vea Johnson bumbled his way to a stellar one-yard line return, I couldn’t help shed a tear for our form Pro Bowl returner.
Jimmy Graham earning that 8 million...
With delightful sideline antics. It was quite a fun prank to pour water on Cole Kmet’s head while he’s doing an interview. If he also catches at least one touchdown I’m good with the Bears keeping him on the payroll.
Terrific broadcasting comedy from NFL network
When Nagy challenged a play saying a Dolphin knee was down in the 4th quarter, the broadcast showed the replay with the score graphic completely covering the knee in question. I laughed out loud.
Obviously, the Bears were right and the Dolphin was down.
You thought you could forget about Ryan Nall
Pre-season is Ryan season. This man knows how to make 3rd stringers look like 4th stringers and he showed it again in a huge run that sealed the win for the Bears.
Something tells me this is the beginning of a beautiful era. That thing is Justin Fields.