Bears observations: Justin Fields dazzles in 35-32 loss to Dolphins

What we learned as Fields shines in Bears' 35-32 loss vs. Dolphins originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

CHICAGO – The Bears suffered a 35-32 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Soldier Field.

But they had to have left Week 9 feeling even more confident in their future after the show quarterback Justin Fields put on against the Dolphins.

Fields went 17-for-28 for 123 yards and three touchdowns while also adding 178 yards on the ground. Those 166 yards are the most by a quarterback in a regular-season game in NFL history.

The Bears' defense once again got off to a slow start, forcing Fields to come from behind for much of the afternoon. The comeback fell short, but Fields took yet another massive step forward.

Here’s what we learned in the Bears’ 35-32 loss vs. the Dolphins:

Welcome, Chase Claypool

The Bears tried to get their new wide receiver into the action early, targeting him four times in the first half.

Claypool caught two of those targets for 13 yards and did draw a 28-yard pass interference penalty. He did have one drop on a screen pass.

In his Bears debut, Claypool caught two passes on five targets for 13 yards.

Justin Fields is arriving

Fields finished the month of October on a high note, with back-to-back stellar performances against the Patriots and Cowboys.

He started November the same way.

Fields authored a brilliant first half in which he was decisive and accurate in the passing game and a big weapon in the run game.

Fields went 11-for-15 for 94 yards and two touchdowns in the first half while also adding 53 yards on the ground.

Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy dialed up a creative first-half game plan that saw the Bears utilize a variety of different screens, a tight end end-around, more QB-designed runs, and rolled pockets.

Fields has one bad miss on a screen to Claypool, but other than that, he was almost flawless.

His first touchdown pass came off a gorgeous play fake in which he expertly sold the handoff, booted to the right, and hit tight end Cole Kmet. Kmet did the rest, galloping 18 yards for a score.

The second touchdown was an absolute dot on a slot fade to Darnell Mooney.

Fields and Getsy had the Dolphins on their heels for the entire first half.

With the Bears’ defense incapable of stopping the Dolphins’ offense, Fields took it upon himself to keep Chicago in the game.

After Miami opened the third quarter with a touchdown drive, Fields pulled off an incredible escape act on third-and-5 from their own 39. Fields was flushed from the pocket, froze the linebacker with a pump fake, broke a tackle, and then turned on the jets, racing 61 yards for a score. A two-point toss to Trevon Wesco brought the Bears back within three.

On his first three touchdowns, Fields displayed high football IQ (Kmet TD pass), arm talent (Mooney TD), and elite athleticism (TD) run.

But Fields wasn't done.

Trying to keep the Bears in the game late, Fields capped off a 10-play, 65-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kmet to bring the Bears back within three with 11:38 remaining.

Fields had a chance to lead a game-tying or game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, but his pass to Equanimeous St. Brown on fourth-and-10 fell incomplete, ending the Bears' comeback hopes.

Not-so-special teams

The Dolphins came into the game ranked dead last in the NFL in special teams. But Miami flipped the script in the second quarter when Jaelan Phillips came through untouched and blocked a Trenton Gill punt. Andrew Van Ginkel scooped it up and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown to give the Dolphins a 21-10 lead in the second quarter.

No answers on defense

Things were as bad as expected on the other side of the ball.

The Dolphins’ dynamic passing attack had its way with the Bears’ defense in the first half, as Tua Tagovailoa went 11-for-13 for 162 yards and a touchdown in the first half.

The Bears struggled to get pressure on Tagovailoa, and the speed of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle did the rest.

Due to the Bears’ ball-control offense and a special teams touchdown from Miami, Tagovailoa and the Dolphins’ offense only had three first-half possessions. They scored touchdowns on the first two and missed a chip-shot field goal on the third.

Halftime adjustments did little to help the Bears’ defense. The Dolphins opened the third quarter with a four-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Waddle to stretch Miami’s lead to 28-17.

On their next drive, the Dolphins marched 75 yards in 11 plays as Tagovailoa hit Jeff Wilson Jr. for a 10-yard touchdown.

The Bears' defense got stops on their final three real possessions, but it was too late as the Dolphins hung on for a 35-32 win.

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