When Miami took to Soldier Field for the first preseason game of the 2021 NFL season things looked, well, just okay for the most part. While the score may not have been in the Dolphins‘ favor, it’s key to remember that means very little. This time of year is about finding out what Miami can and can’t do and work on those things before the wins and losses really count.
Again, Tua was… Okay.
Tua Tagovailoa, back for his second season, completed 8 of 11 passes for 99 99 yards in just over a quarter. Real season equivalent that’s 27/39 or so for about 335 yards. Miami’s QB1 looked in control of the offense but a little jittery.
Several of Tua’s passes were in tight windows with one to the endzone that saw that window close leading to an interception by Deandre Carson. With that play being the only one that could be put on Tua, two other incompletions were catchable balls missed by Dolphins receivers. The point of preseason is to see if that pass or this play can be made. Not only that but when, where and how. Keeping it into perspective, Tua was solid playing with four plus receivers only. No need to panic at all. Things are where they should be with the Dolphins young signal caller.
Depth shows okay with receivers as well:
Lynn Bowden, Mack Hollins and the rest of Miami’s four and after receiver options did well versus what the Bears’ starting defense played. The Tua to Mike Gesicki connection looks promising with a great touch pass that allowed him to rack up some YAC. Miami has some choices to make with a crowded WR unit.
Ford and Grant could be on the outside looking in as training camp progresses. Ford is used to it by now, and Grant has to focus on returns to guarantee his roster spot. Malcom Brown receiving a pass from Tagovailoa late in the first quarter made a questionable stutter step to avoid a defender while having a straight shot to a first down. These are things game film will help and again is what the preseason is all about. Again, perspective. The Dolphins have studs at the WR position that didn’t see any action on Saturday. This was all done with the depth Miami has at the position. A very positive sign.
Miami’s defense… maybe a little more than okay:
The Dolphins’ defense was strong against the Bears and Andy Dalton early on. Keeping them scoreless in the first quarter. Dalton looked hurried while the Dolphins secondary looked clingy. Nick Needham and Eric Rowe both broke up third-down passes with little contact to the receivers.
Dalton, presumably Chicago’s immediate starter, didn’t see much time as he went 2 of 4 for 18 yards. Dalton was hurried by Miami’s pass rush. Justin Fields looked impressive albeit vs much of Miami’s starting crew on the sidelines. While completing 14 of 20 pass attempts for 142 yards, it was Fields’ mobility that Miami has to take a look at. Fields had five rushes for 33 yards and a touchdown.