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Analysis Bears

Bears Lose to Dolphins 31-28 Behind Ugly Defense and Conservative Play Calling

The Chicago Bears lost a game they should have easily won on Sunday to the Miami Dolphins.

Everything seemed to go the Bears’ way in the week leading up to this game. They were coming off a bye. Mitch Trubisky announced that he’d be wearing his lucky sleeve again. And they were about to face an already offense-starved Dolphins team led by Brock Osweiler.

Three and a half hours of mistakes later, the Bears have added a tally to the loss column with a 31-28 defeat in overtime.

The first half was typical of this year’s Chicago team. Mitch Trubisky played poorly and scored nothing (with a big assist from a Jordan Howard goal line fumble) and the defense surrendered very little to Osweiler.

After the break, however, things started getting weird.

Trubisky came out of the locker room on fire, starting with a 23-yard run and finishing the drive with a shovel pass to Trey Burton. He fired a strike to Allen Robinson to take the lead by a score, then after a Miami field goal, Tarik Cohen went 21 yards untouched to pay dirt to push the Dolphins’ deficit to 11 points.

Two possessions later, Trubisky had the offense rolling again and scored a touchdown but it was negated by an offensive pass interference call that was not offensive pass interference. On the next play, he threw an ill-advised pass into the waiting arms of the Dolphins, and that was when the defense started to collapse.

Putrid tackling efforts and no hustle whatsoever plagued Chicago as they allowed two 40+ yard catch-and-runs to Albert Wilson to tie the ballgame. The Bears started to drive down the field to win the game in regulation but Tarik Cohen fumbled around midfield to sent it into overtime.

Miami drove down the field and was on the verge of winning it with a touchdown on their first possession of overtime, but Kenyan Drake inexplicably dropped the ball at the one-yard line to give it and an extra life back to the Bears. They were in Miami territory but head coach Matt Nagy decided to play it safe and give kicker Cody Parkey a 53-yard field goal attempt, which he predictably missed.

The Dolphins advanced it 30 yards after the miss, where kicker Jason Sanders nailed a 47-yarder for the win.

Plenty of blame will go around for this loss but ultimately, the downfall of their seemingly elite defense and Nagy’s inexcusable decision to settle for a 53-yard field goal cost the Bears the game, as did the red zone turnovers. They’ll seek redemption next week when the New England Patriots come to town and look to stave off a .500 record on their home turf.

Follow Jack on Twitter-Featured Photo Credit: Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

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