Bears report card: How we graded Chicago in their Week 9 loss

The Chicago Bears (3-6) fell short in a 35-32 shootout with the Miami Dolphins (6-3), where quarterback Justin Fields made NFL history with his performance.

While the defense didn’t have an answer for the Dolphins’ high-powered passing attack (until the fourth quarter), the Bears offense took another step forward with an impressive outing. That was led by Fields’ 178 rushing yards, the most ever by a quarterback in the regular season, and it was actually fun (again!) watching this Chicago offense.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what we saw during the game and how we graded the Bears in this loss.

Offense: A

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Don’t look now, but the Bears offense is thriving before our very eyes. And it has everything to do with quarterback Justin Fields, who made NFL history against the Dolphins. Fields had his breakout game on Sunday, where he was successful through the air, but especially on the ground. Fields rushed for 178 yards, which is the most ever by a quarterback in the regular season. That included a 61-yard rushing touchdown that left people in awe (and Mike McDaniel frustrated). Fields also completed 17-of-28 passes for 123 yards and three touchdowns. It’s safe to say Fields is blossoming into a star before our very eyes, and the Bears might finally have their franchise quarterback. Oh, and he’s doing it with an underwhelming supporting cast around him.

But there were some familiar (and new) faces that made some plays for Fields, including tight end Cole Kmet. When Kmet is involved, good things happen in the passing game. He caught five passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns, and added two carries for nine yards. Darnell Mooney led the Bears with 43 receiving yards on seven catches and his first touchdown since last season. It didn’t take new Bears receiver Chase Claypool long to get involved on offense. He played 25 of 70 offensive snaps, where there were a small package of plays for him just five days after being traded to Chicago. Claypool had two catches for 13 yards, and he drew a pass interference call in the first half. Although, technically, he should’ve had two PI calls after the questionable no-call in the final minutes.

Defense: D

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The defense’s performance looked a lot like last week’s against the Cowboys, which didn’t really come as a surprise. Although, with one caveat — the defense came away with a fourth-quarter stop that gave Chicago’s offense the ball back with a chance to tie or beat Miami in the final minutes. Unfortunately, it was pretty ugly until right before the fourth quarter.

The Bears’ first defensive stop came at the 2:06 mark of the third quarter. Before that, the Dolphins had scored four touchdowns and missed one field goal attempt on their first five possessions. Miami’s offense totaled 382 yards, and they could do whatever they wanted through the first three quarters. Tua Tagovailoa shredded Chicago’s secondary, completing 70 percent of his passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns for a 135.7 passer rating. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle combined for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

Special teams: C-

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Things got ugly for punter Trenton Gill in the first half, when he had a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown. Khalil Herbert missed a block on Jaelan Phillips, who came in to block Gill’s punt, and Andrew Van Ginkel returned it 25 yards for the score. It came after Miami’s second offensive touchdown, and it gave Miami a 21-10 lead in the second quarter. Outside of that, there wasn’t anything too grim on special teams. Cairo Santos connected on his lone field goal and three extra point attempts. Herbert had one kickoff returned for 30 yards. Gill averaged 42.5 yards on his two punts that he got off.

Coaching: B+

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

While Justin Fields is getting a ton of praise for his bounce-back performance over the last few weeks (and rightfully so), a big reason for that is offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who called another impressive game against the Dolphins. Like Fields, Getsy had a rough start to the season. But, also like Fields, Getsy has improved drastically since the mini-bye, where he’s finally calling a game to the strengths of his quarterback. Chicago’s offense scored 96 points from Weeks 1-6. Now, they’ve scored 94 points from Weeks 7-9. It’s been an incredible turnaround for this Bears offense, and Getsy is a big reason for that.

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire