Tua was streaky at best. Bears offense has an absolutely brutal start, with 5 consecutive 3 & outs. Justin Fields eventually got things going as he finished with multiple touchdowns. Still a lot of unanswered questions for both teams though.
Tua Was Streaky At Best
The Miami Dolphins got the ball to start this game, so quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and the rest of the offense hit the field. A short run followed by 2 quick incomplete passes had the Dolphins punting just a minute into the game. The second drive was much better, as Tua hit tight end Mike Gesicki for 50 yards down to Chicago 7 yard line.
.@Tua letting it FLY for @mikegesicki 🎯— NFL (@NFL) August 14, 2021
📺: #MIAvsCHI on @NFLNetwork (or check local listings)
📱: https://t.co/VJzItUyljP pic.twitter.com/HXktUOGqiB
Despite the big gain and having the ball 1st & Goal at the Bear 7 yard-line, the Dolphins had to settle for a field goal following the big play. The Dolphins third offensive drive only totaled 52 yards, but the drive itself lasted over 9 minutes. The downside for Dolphins fans is that the drive ended with an awful red-zone interception by thrown by Tua:
W&M alum DeAndre Houston-Carson with the RED ZONE INTERCEPTION on Tua Tagovailoa! LET’S GO TRIBE 🔰 pic.twitter.com/idkOyvoxt3— W&M Sports Blog (@wmsportsblog) August 14, 2021
Bears Offense Has An Absolutely Brutal Start
Remember years ago when the Chicago bears first hired Matt Nagy and everyone was so excited for how good he was going to make the offense? A franchise with a consistently and historically great defense finally has the offense mind it needs to put them over the edge to make them true contenders. What the heck happened, because the Bears offense started this game looking just as awful as it has the entire time Nagy has been coaching the team.
5 Consecutive 3 & Outs to Start the Game
Yes, you read that correctly. The first five drives for the Chicago Bears went nowhere. In fact, the Bears only managed to gain a total of 15 combined yards for their first 5 drives to start the game. That is beyond bad.
Justin Fields Eventually Got Things Going
After the slow start on offense, Fields was able to heat up a bit before the half as he got the team within position to put some points on the board as they kicked a field goal with 0:45 seconds remaining in the first half. Then to start the second half Fields took the Bears back down the field on an 8-play 77 yard scoring drive that he finished himself with his legs, accounting for 63 yards (53 passing, 10 rushing). This was then followed with a 7-play 70 yard scoring drive that featured Fields throwing for 34 yards while rushing for 21, accounting for 55 of the 70 yards gained on the drive.
JUSTIN FIELDS SCRAMBLES FOR SIX!— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 14, 2021
His first TD in an NFL uniform 🔥
(via @NFL) pic.twitter.com/92xEaLt0rf
Both the Dolphins and the Bears are in the process of trying to determine a new franchise leader at the most important position in the sport. The Dolphins situation with Tua is quite interesting considering the way they would pull him in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick late in close games. Not a good sign if the team lacks confidence in his ability to help the team win close games at the end. Time will tell how things go this year, as the Fitzpatrick swap is no longer an option. It seems to be a ‘prove-it’ kind of year for Tua, and I look forward to seeing how things play out.
Jacoby Brissett sits behind Tua on the depth chart, but given his recent journeyman status it seems safe to assume his ceiling has been reached and he is not a legit longterm solution either. So if Tua does not work out, the Dolphins will be required to take another swing via the draft or try to bring in someone more experienced via trade or free agency.
As for the Chicago Bears, they should be pleased with the start from rookie quarterback Justin Fields. Head coach Matt Nagy has repeatedly said and reiterated that Andy Dalton is the starter, but based on what we saw it’s very likely that won’t be the case for long in Chicago.
IMG CREDIT: Tom – stock.adobe.com