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Justin Fields’ legs almost boatrace the Dolphins in thrilling offensive battle

We’ve got ourselves a franchise quarterback in Chicago regardless of what counting passing statistics tell you.

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Chicago Bears
Justin on one of many casual 10+ yard runs.

The Chicago Bears came into this game with a lot of offensive momentum and a shiny new toy on offense. They were also coming off their worst defensive performance of the year and trading away their best defensive player (by Madden rating, the most reliable source for player valuation). They also welcomed one of the most explosive offenses in the league whose defense was so scared of the Bears they desperately traded for a fancy edge rusher and overpaid him. I expected a shoot out. I didn’t expect the O.K. Corral.

You can find the Box Score here. I don’t recommend looking at the Dolphins offense side of it, though,

Two Claypool targets and a PI on the first drive

Looks like this Bear isn’t going to take long to get integrated in the Bears offense. His PI penalty came on a questionably-overthrown ball, so it wasn’t even one of the freebie cheat-code PIs on underthrown balls. The cornerback just had to tug his arm because he knew he was beat by our powerful and speedy new Bear.

Update: The Dolphins got one of those freebie cheat-code PIs in the end zone. Lame.

Update: Claypool dropped a ball on the second drive. He’s fitting into the Bears receiver room seamlessly and faster than expected.

Cole Kmet, multihyphenate

In the Bears second drive, the versatile young Bear took a handoff on a sweep and followed it up with a direct snap under center, getting a first down all by himself in two plays as a running back and QB. The 3rd year Bear has had his struggles, but has become a more consistent contributor over the past few weeks. Keep it up, Cole!

Update: the burgeoning young tight end finished the drive with a great catch and RAC for the Bears first TD.

Go ahead, put a spy on Justin Fields

They’ll get a front row seat to spy him scrambling right past them for a first down. Don’t feel bad, Channing Tindall: James Bond himself couldn’t spy our elusive superstar QB.

You can pay Terron Armstead 75 million dollars

But that doesn’t make him illegible to go downfield on a passing play. The bad boy dolphin negated a good Tyreek Hill screen gain with his naughty downfield activities.

Good job getting to the passer, Dominique Robinson

The athletic young Bear didn’t get a sack, but he got a roughing the passer penalty early in the second quarter, which of course you can’t get unless you get to the quarterback. Keep working at it, Dominique!

Bears follow up their first disappointing offensive drive by giving up a blocked-punt touchdown

Yoiks. At least they get the ball back...

Fields to Mooney touchdown over Xavien Howard is what I came for

Great route, perfect pass, beautiful catch through contact. I wanted to see this week one, but the delayed gratification makes it that much sweeter. Bears are keeping up with these supercharged flippers!

Aww, Tua tried running the ball

He wants to be like Fields. So cute with his little 4 yard gain.

Bears defensive halftime adjustments not looking promising

The Bears have been good at halftime adjustments so far this season, but they gave up an easy-peasy touchdown drive for the Dolphins on their first drive in the second half. Hopefully that’s not going to be the trend.

New plan, all third down scrambles touchdowns instead

I thought it was great that Fields kept scrambling for first downs conversions on 3rd downs. I was foolish to not ask for more. Fields ran for a 61 yard touchdown on third and 6. If he’d been satisfied with a first, that would be 55 less yards. This is so much better. It’s fun when your quarterback is the best athlete on the field. Do it again, please!

Nicholas Morrow knocked a catch away from Jaylen Waddle

Impressed that he was able to be in position on such a speedy receiver. The new Bear has looked decent with increased responsibility in Roquan’s absence.

Bears defense gets a stop

It’s hard to believe the Bears are still in this game at the end of the 3rd when the Dolphins offense has been doing backflips and squeek-laughing all over the Bears today. But the Bears defense finally got a crucial stop, forcing a turnover on downs and giving the Bears a chance to make it a 1 score game in the fourth!

Update: the Bears get another 4th down stop, now with the change to take the lead. Who needs Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn.

Is this the Justin Fields “legs for days” game?

As I write this, Justin Fields has 147 yards on the ground at an average of 13.4 yards per rush. This Bear is carrying the offense on his shifty feet, his meaty calves, and his thunderous thighs. It honestly feels like cheating every time he runs.

If this wasn’t the “Justin Fields Legs for Days” game, would it be the Cole Kmet game?

This Bear just caught his second touchdown in ONE GAME? He seems to have turned a corner and not just the corner he’s turned on more than one screen pass to rumble up a 1st down.

What a dumbo pass interference call

Jaylen Waddle interfered with his own ability to catch the ball by jumping too soon. The minimal incidental contact from Eddie Jackson who was looking back for the ball wouldn’t have even batted an eye in my flag football league. It’s not like the Dolphins weren’t likely to get those yards anyway, but I don’t like it when they try to say our star safety did something bad.

Justin Fields didn’t take a sack until late 4th quarter

The line is getting better, and he’s getting better at both making quick throws and getting away when the pressure comes. Love to see it.

The non-Fields run game was uncharacteristically ineffective

The Dolphins seemed to have the Bears number on running-back runs. Let’s hope this doesn’t become a pattern, but for today, I’m just impressed the Bears were able to move the ball anyway.

The refs clearly want the Bears to get a good draft pick

After handing the Dolphins a couple silly pass interference penalties, they shrug their shoulders as a Dolphins DB yanks Chase Claypool to the ground several minutes before the ball arrives. That’s a frustrating end to an exhilarating game.

Honestly, all I wanted from this game was to see the Bears offense continue to make plays and move the ball. It would have been fun to win, but the Bears defense didn’t play a winning game. I’m thrilled the offense was able to make it close. Besides, the defense will look better next year after we lose our way into drafting Jalen Carter.

Too soon?