It didn’t happen immediately, but the Bears’ highly-anticipated preseason opener against the Dolphins Saturday at Soldier Field ultimately lived up to the hype. After five straight three-and-outs to start out the sport, the Bears offense generated a field goal and two touchdowns on its next three drives, turning a 13-0 deficit into a 17-13 lead on the way to a 20-13 win.
Rookie quarterback Justin Fields engineered the three scoring drives. The first-round draft pick found out Cairo Santos ‘ 53-yard field goal as time expired within the half and accounted for touchdowns on the Bears’ first two possessions of the last half on an 8-yard run and a 30-yard pass to end Jesse James. Fields played six series within the second and third quarters, completing 14 of 20 passes for 142 yards with one touchdown and a 106.7 passer rating and rushing for 33 yards and one TD on five attempts.
The Bear’s offensive line did a superb job throughout the sport, enabling the offense to seek out its groove after a sluggish start. The Bear’s defense allowed just one touchdown and produced two takeaways. The Dolphins took a 3-0 lead on Jason Sanders’ 21-yard field goal with 8:08 left within the half-moon. The key play on Miami’s 7-play, 60-yard drive was Tua Tagovailoa’s 50-yard pass to end Mike Gesicki, who beat linebacker Alec Ogletree. Three plays later, Ogletree redeemed himself by dropping back Malcolm Brown for a two-yard loss on third-and-goal from the 1.
On their next possession, the Dolphins reached the Bears’ 14. But safety DeAndre Houston-Carson thwarted the drive-by stepping ahead of end Adam Shaheen and intercepting Tagovailia’s skip the center one yard deep within the end zone. Fields then entered the sport with 12:11 left within the second quarter. The highly-touted first-round pick completed his only two passes for 10 yards on his first drive, but the Bears went three-and-out in large part because Javon Wims and Elijah Wilkinson drew back-to-back false start penalties.
Starting quarterback Andy Dalton exited after playing two series and completing 2 of 4 passes for 18 yards. The Dolphins increased their cause 6-0 on Sanders’ 35-yard field goal with 4:23 left within the second quarter. Miami settled for the kick after nickel back Duke Shelley broke up a pass intended for receiver Robert Foster on third-and-four from the 17.
After the Bears’ fifth straight third-and-out to start out the sport, Miami scored the primary touchdown on Jacoby Brissett’s 23-yard pass to back Salvon Ahmed down the proper sideline, beating linebacker Caleb Johnson with 45 left within the half. Fields followed by completing 5 of 6 passes for 42 yards, fixing Santos’ 53-yard field goal as time expired within the half, drawing the Bears to within 13-3.
“I thought it had been great to ascertain the resiliency of the offense generally of having the ability to travel down there [and produce points],” said coach Matt Nagy. “Getting that field goal probably propelled us mentally going into halftime.” Fields showed his tremendous athleticism on the Bears’ first drive of the last half, avoiding a tackler within the pocket and sprinting around the left end for an 8-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 13-10 with 9:45 remaining within the third quarter.
“It was awesome,” Fields said. “Definitely a dream come true; first NFL touchdown and have my teammates celebrate, it had been a pleasant moment. All glory to God and hopefully it had been the primary of the many needless to say .” Fields continued to shine on the Bears’ next possession. He showed his blazing speed on a 21-yard dash then lofted a 30-yard touchdown pass to a good open James, who caught the ball at the 5 and backpedaled into the top zone, giving the Bears a 17-13 lead with 3:52 left within the third quarter.
Fields were far away from the sport in favor of Nick Foles early within the fourth quarter. The Bears defense generated its second takeaway as successful by safety Marqui Christian on end Chris Myarick caused a fumble that Dionte Ruffin recovered at the Bears’ 25. Backup kicker Brian Johnson later booted a 44-yard field goal, widening the Bears’ cause 20-13 with 4:18 remaining within the game.