It was a quick night for Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but it was nearly perfect. The fourth-year passer came out on fire, torching the Chicago Bears defense in the one series in which he played during the two clubs' first preseason game. Tannehill marched the Dolphins down the field effortlessly, picking up 56 passing yards on six of seven throws, including a fourth-down two-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry.
Matt Moore took over the offense on the next drive.
That first possession saw Miami gain 101 yards of offense, with 56 from Tannehill's arm, and 45 yards on the ground, including 32 from Lamar Miller and 4 from Tannehill.
The Dolphins' first team defense then shut down the Bears, who punted the ball back to Miami after going three-and-out. Miami would start to move the ball but have to punt the ball back to the Bears after gaining 31 yards. Punter Brandon Fields did what Fields does best on the kick, pinning the Bears at their own 9-yard line.
The Bears would put together a long drive in response, assisted by several penalties from the Dolphins' defense during the possession. Giving Jay Cutler a second chance to move the offense, the Bears would take the ball 61 yards before Robbie Gould was asked to connect on a 48-yard field goal.
Miami would respond to the Bears' score with a three-and-out drive. Fields again boomed a punt, but he out kicked the coverage and the Dolphins gave up a long return; luckily it was called back for an illegal block in the back penalty.
The first half then turned into a punt fest, with both offenses stalling early in possessions.
The Dolphins, with McLeod Bethel-Thompson at quarterback, were able to put together a nice 2-minute drive at the end of the second quarter, reaching the Bears' 14 yard line before Caleb Sturgis came in and added three points to the score line, extending the Dolphins' lead back to seven at 10-3. The drive was highlighted by a diving 34 yard reception by LaRon Byrd.
The Bears attempted a 2-minute drive of their own, reaching down into the redzone before running out of time. Miami went into the locker room with a 10-3 lead.
The first half saw two injuries at linebacker for the Dolphins, with Jordan Tripp heading into the locker room with what appeared to be a right ankle injury, then Chris McCain rolled his left ankle when he stepped on Derrick Shelby's foot with a minute to go in the half.
The second half opened with the Dolphins kicking off to the Bears, who returned it 42 yards, but went 3-and-out on the possession. Miami quickly moved the ball 23 yards on five plays. Mike Gillislee carried the ball for 25 yards on the next play, only to fumble the ball back to the Bears.
After the turnover, Chicago immediately moved into the red zone after a 21-yard run from Ka'Deem Carey and appeared set to tie the game at 10. The Dolphins defense, however, held on, despite a penalty from Anthony Johnson, and Gould had to kick his second field goal of the night.
The Dolphins would go three-and-out on their next possession, with the offense seeming disjointed. Wide receivers Kevin Cone and Damarr Aultman both dropped Bethel-Thompson passes, and the team could not get going forward.
The Bears then again marched against the Dolphins' defense, only to again be forced into a field goal after a pass breakup by Zack Bowman on a Jimmy Clausen throw to the endzone. The next play saw Bethel-Thompson throw an interception, with the Bears ending their touchdown-less possession streak after the turnover. Starting at the Miami 26 yard line, the Bears marched to the Miami one-yard line and punched the ball into the endzone on a Ka'Deem Carey one-yard run on a fourth-down play.
With a successful two-point conversion, the Bears took a 17-10 lead on Miami. One play later, the game entered the fourth quarter. And Bethel-Thompson was picked off again.
This time, Bethel-Thompson attempted to throw a pass from his own endzone, only to have Sam Acho snag the pass and return it to the Miami six-yard line. The Dolphins defense, however, held and kept Chicago out of the endzone, giving Gould a chance to kick his fourth field goal of the night.
Trailing 20-10, the Dolphins turned the offense over to Josh Freeman, who would not spark anything on offense during his first possession. The team would gain 17 yards on six plays, but would again have to punt the ball back to the Bears.
The Dolphins would finally hold the Bears and force a punt, giving the ball to Freeman with six minutes to play. He then directed a three-and-out drive.
A Senorise Perry 54-yard touchdown run extended Chicago's lead to 27-10 with four minutes remaining in the game.
Freeman put together a nice drive with less than four-minutes remaining in the contest, driving from the Miami 20 down to the Chicago 8-yard line, but could not complete the drive. Going for it on fourth down, Freeman found a wide open Cone in the back of the endzone, but badly threw the ball behind the crossing Cone, who could not stop his momentum to make the catch. The Bears took over on downs, running off most of the remaining clock before punting back to the Dolphins with just 30 second remaining.
Aultman returned the punt 42 yards to the Chicago 27 yard line, only to have Freeman throw an interception on the final play of the contest. The Bears won the game 27-10.
The Dolphins and Bears were both sloppy throughout the game, especially when it came to penalties. The team tallied 12 flags thrown against them for 80 yards. The Bears had 14 penalties for 78 yards.
The final score, of course, does not matter in a preseason game. The important take away from the contest for the Dolphins was how sharp Tannehill looked in his one drive. The Miami offensive depth struggled, but Tannehill appeared in complete control of the offense during his brief appearance, and connected well with his receivers while Miller appeared ready to handle the running back duties. There will also be a lingering concern for the injured linebackers - Tripp was seen on the sidelines during the game on crutches and with his foot in a boot.
The Dolphins next face the Carolina Panthers on August 22 at 7pm ET. They will hold joint practices with the Panthers in the days leading up to the game.