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Quick Hits: Bears offensive line steps up in win


Still missing key pieces, a depleted Bears offensive line rose to the occasion in Saturday's 20-13 preseason-opening win over the Dolphins.

Despite playing without Germain Ifedi, James Daniels, Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom, the unit provided excellent pass protection and opened holes in the running game. The Bears offense did not allow a sack or commit a turnover and rushed for 171 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries.

"Offensive line, zero sacks, got the run game going a little bit," said coach Matt Nagy. "I think that's been an emphasis from everybody here, wondering what's going to happen there, and I thought they did a great job. It still doesn't mean anything, but at the same point in time it allows us to know that they did a great job of not letting those quarterbacks get hit and getting the run game going."

The starting line consisted of left tackle Elijah Wilkinson, left guard Cody Whitehair, center Sam Mustipher, right guard Alex Bars and right tackle Lachavious Simmons. Backups who also played were Dieter Eiselen, Arlington Hambright, Dareuan Parker, Adam Redmond and Badara Traore.

"We haven't watched the tape yet, so it's hard to tell," Whitehair said. "But from the sideline, it looked good and felt good out there. Obviously protecting the quarterback is one of our main objectives as an offensive line, and to be able to run the ball efficiently too, we take a lot of pride in that.

"It's just good to get back on the field. We'll continue to work and continue to get better, and that's what this time is for. You play games and then you see where you need to make those corrections and then you move forward."

Seeing red: The Bears defense held the Dolphins without a touchdown on three red zone trips in Saturday's game. The unit forced Miami to settle for two field goals and produced a key takeaway as DeAndre Houston-Carson intercepted a Tua Tagovailoa pass in the end zone.

Jason Sanders booted field goals of 21 and 35 yards after linebacker Alec Ogletree dropped running back Malcolm Brown for a two-yard loss on third-and-goal from the 1 and nickel back Duke Shelley broke up a pass intended for receiver Robert Foster on third-and-4 at the 17.

Making up: Bears captains were quarterback Andy Dalton and outside linebacker Khalil Mack. The Dolphins sent former Bears tight end Adam Shaheen out for the coin flip. Mack and Shaheen, who scuffled during a joint practice this week at Halas Hall, hugged each other before the toss.

Sack attack: The Bears recorded three sacks—by Daniel Archibong, Mike Pennel Jr. and Charles Snowden—all in the second half against Dolphins third-string quarterback Reid Sinnett.

In a rush: After rushing for nine yards on five carries in the first half, the Bears gained 162 yards on 19 attempts in the second half. That included runs of 51 yards by Artavis Pierce and 39 yards by Ryan Nall.

Return men: Four different Bears returned a kickoff: Jordan Lucas (27 yards), Chris Lacy (27), Jon'Vea Johnson (26) and Khalil Herbert (16). Punt returns were shared by Johnson (two for 21 yards) and Lucas (two for 12).

On the sideline: Bears players who sat out Saturday's game were receivers Allen Robinson II and Marquise Goodwin; offensive linemen James Daniels, Tyrone Wheatley Jr., Larry Borom and Teven Jenkins; tight end J.P. Holtz; nose tackle Eddie Goldman; inside linebackers Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan and Josh Woods; cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Artie Burns; and safeties Eddie Jackson and Tashaun Gipson Sr..

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