The Chicago Bears came into Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins looking to make a statement, but it took their second team offense to do the job as Ka’Deem Carey and Senorise Perry each ran for touchdowns in a 27-10 victory.
Jay Cutler only threw for 42 yards in the game, but Jimmy Clausen excelled as he threw for 151 yards in extended playing time.
The Dolphins had an excellent opening drive on offense, and they were able to take the early lead after a lengthy possession. Ryan Tannehill made a great pass on a corner route to Jarvis Landry, who came down just in bounds to give the Dolphins a 7-0 lead early on.
The Bears ended up going three and out thanks to a Jordan Mills penalty and a couple of lackluster running plays, but the defense was able to respond as Sherrick McManis broke up a third down pass to give Jay Cutler and company the ball back. Cutler did complete a couple of solid passes, including a lengthy slant route to Martellus Bennett, and Robbie Gould booted a field goal through to make it a 7-3 game.
A strong defensive series followed once again, with Mason Foster making the big play to tackle Matt Moore near the first down marker, but the ensuing punt return was wiped out thanks to an illegal block penalty by Demontre Hurst. Jeremy Langford was tackled on a slant pass on third and long on the following drive, and the Bears had to punt the ball away.
The Bears continued to make strong plays on defense as the second quarter wound on, with McManis making a key tackle on a run play and DeDe Lattimore followed suit with a tackle of his own. Sam Acho finished off the drive with a sack, but the Dolphins were able to boot through a field goal to make it a 10-3 contest late in the first half.
The Bears had a good drive going late in the quarter as Jimmy Clausen completed a couple of passes, but when Josh Bellamy was tackled inbounds with about 10 seconds to go, the Bears ran out of time and remained down by seven points after the first half of play.
The Bears’ offense sputtered out on their first drive of the third quarter, but the defense once again lifted them up as they forced a turnover. McManis made another huge play as he stripped the ball on a long Dolphins’ gain, and the Bears recovered the fumble to get possession back.
Carey had a great run on the next Chicago possession, but Josh Bellamy couldn’t hold onto a touchdown pass in the back of the end zone as the Bears settled for a field goal to make it a 10-6 contest.
The Bears made another field goal later in the third quarter to make it a 10-9 game, and a John Timu interception gave them the ball back deep in Dolphins territory. Carey and Cameron Meredith each made first down receptions to push the ball toward the goal line, and Carey took a run outside to get the touchdown. AJ Cruz converted on the two-point attempt, and the Bears seized a 17-10 lead.
Sam Acho made another interception to bring the Bears down within the five yard line, but after a first down false start penalty, they were forced to settle for a field goal to make it 20-10. Senorise Perry put a great cap on the evening when he rushed for a 54-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and the Bears held on for their first victory of the preseason.
The Bears will return to Bourbonnais for three more training camp practices after the victory, and they will resume the preseason next Saturday when they take on the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.