Ryan Tannehill was in the eye of a windy storm at Soldier Fieldas the Dolphins secured their third win of the season – while the Bears wait for a first home win of the season continues.
The 26-year-old quarterback enjoyed an impressive first half performance that did not see him throw an incomplete pass until his fifteenth attempt just inside the final minute of the second quarter. His start to the game was the best start by any quarterback in the NFL so far this season.
Tannehill in action
Ending on 25/32 (to six different receivers!), Tannehill threw for two touchdowns and until late on was the Dolphins best rusher of the game on 48 yards.
But the former Texas A&M Aggie was not without his usual problems as several moments of indecision cost him four sacks – three of them at the hands of Jeremiah Ratliff.
Joe Philbin, however, will be happy to see his side close out the game after losing to the Packers in such dramatic fashion the previous week and he will be particularly impressed with how his side defended.
“Our defence set the tone early in the game. When you have a plus three turnover margin on the road it’s a great day,” the head coach said after the game.
And to contain a team renowned for its strength and size offensively will also be a great positive for a team that had struggled to defend against the run earlier in the season.
There was some great defensive coverage on the Bears receivers while the pressure of third down conversions was consistently thrust upon Jay Cutler as the Dolphins remained imperious on first and second down.
In the first half the Bears four drives ended in three punts and one interception and it was a second half 39 yard penalty that ended up being Chicago’s biggest gain of the day.
There were also notable performances from Rashad Jones, who battled through several tackles to return an interception for 50 yards early on – his first interception in the NFL.
And Cameron Wake made an important sack on Jay Cutler that resulted in a fumble recovery on the Bears 16 yard line within minutes of the Bears receiving the ball after a Dolphins’ touchdown.
Field goal issues
But not every Dolphin was at his best as Caleb Sturgis missed two vital field goals that could have helped put the game beyond the Bears reach. And the fact that several late drives resulted in field goal attempts will also be something of a worry for Joe Philbin’s team.
The Dolphins have now broken even on their record (3-3) and continue to sit third in the AFC East after a late Buffalo victory against the Vikings while a Green Bay blowout of Carolina widens the gap between them and the Bears (3-4) in the NFC North.
UPDATE: 11:59am Monday 20th October
Late Sunday evening Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre's NFL touchdown record, throwing four touchdown passes in the Broncos' victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
The four-TD performance saw Manning leapfrog Favre (508 touchdown passes) and the 38-year-old former-Colts gunslinger is now on 510 touchdown passes. There's bound to be many more to come.