After coming out flat in the first half against the Dolphins on Sunday, the Bears offense flipped the switch in the second, and used two plays and a pass interference penalty to march down to the Miami 9-yard line in the first two minutes of the third quarter.
On a second-and-four play, the Bears set up with three receivers lined up. Instead of throwing out wide, though, they called for a shovel pass toss to tight end Trey Burton. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky delivered a perfect toss, and Burton took four steps and dove toward the goal line to knot the game at 7-7 early in the second half.
It was Burton's third touchdown reception of the year, and it looked awfully similar to his Week 2 score against the Seahawks in which the Bears used a similar shovel pass to get six points.
Bears offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich broke down the aspects of the shovel pass play Monday night on the Bears Coaches Show with Jeff Joniak.
"It has a couple elements to it," Helfrich said. "There's a perimeter element to it, whether it's a toss or a handoff to somebody running to the perimeter, and then there's an interior element to it too, basically a power-play. So there's some gray area for a defense that has to attack. They have to respond to one of those two elements, and hopefully you're throwing it or pitching it to the other, so a little bit of a triple option aspect to it makes it difficult. And quarterbacks love it because it's a touchdown pass, easiest touchdown pass they'll ever have."
The play was drawn up perfectly on Sunday as Burton flew into the end zone for the score. The score was made easier, too, because of solid blocking from left guard Eric Kush.
Kush, who has started each game this year, has been splitting time with rookie James Daniels over the last two games. Daniels saw 39 snaps against Miami, and Helfrich thinks the rotation has worked well for the team.
"They did things well, they did things that they'll watch on film and go, 'Hey, I could polish up a couple things here and there,'" Helfrich said. "But I thought they each brought their own element to it. Kush did a great job on Trey's touchdown, a great block, had a couple of key blocks, and then [Daniels] is just a guy that just needs to play. He needs every rep that he can get."
Despite the offense's slow start, it ended the day with big numbers, and Trubisky finished with three touchdowns and 316 passing yards.
Ultimately, though, the Bears first-year offensive coordinator said he's just interested in getting the win and that the offense needs to get better at executing even when the defense knows what's coming.
"You have to run when [the defense] knows you're going to run," Helfrich said. "You have to be able to throw when they know you have to throw, and we've been able to do those things at times. … It's just that constant feedback and give and take when you're developing a bunch of guys that have never played together before."