Miami pressed all the right buttons en route to an impressive road win at Chicago on Sunday.
In a tense locker room after the game, former Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall had only one word to describe the 27-14 loss by the Bears (3-4), their third this season at home: unacceptable.
“Listen, we gotta do a better job. This is unacceptable, unacceptable, unacceptable,” Marshall said. “You could be anywhere else. I’m not going to name any other ball clubs, but this is a special ball club, this is a special organization, this is a special city. You have to love what you do, you have to love playing, you have to leave it all on the field.”
Miami (3-3) took advantage of Chicago’s flailing offense and held the Bears’ four best receivers — Marshall, receiver Alshon Jeffery, running back Matt Forte and tight end Martellus Bennett — to 175 combined receiving yards.
Never miss a local story.
The Dolphins, in comparison, racked up 277 in the air.
A visibly frustrated Marshall pushed cornerback Cortland Finnegan toward the end of the game, and didn’t appear to calm down after the final whistle.
“I’m not sure what happened, I know we won the game,” Finnegan said. “That’s all that matters.”
The receiver could be heard yelling in the Bears’ locker room after the game, along with other players.
“There should be a lot of frustration … you should hear frustration. It’s 3-4, this means everything to a lot of guys in this locker room, it means a lot,” Marshall said. “Shouldn’t have lost today. Shouldn’t be 3-4. Offense gotta play better. It’s as simple as that.”
Chicago’s offense has been struggling this season, especially at home — Chicago’s last home win was on Dec. 9, 2013 — and the Dolphins defense hit the Bears everywhere it hurt.
Miami sacked Jay Cutler three times.
The Dolphins forced two fumbles.
They held Forte, who leads the league with 46 receptions, to six receptions and 49 rushing yards.
Cutler added 3 yards to bring the Bears’ grand total on the ground to 52, compared with the Dolphins’ 137.)
Miami’s defensive backs also made things particularly hard on Marshall, who’s currently tied for fourth in the league with five receiving touchdowns. Marshall racked up only 48 yards and didn’t have a reception that gained yards until the third quarter.
“I think again our defensive staff had a good plan going into the game,” coach Joe Philbin said. “I thought we mixed up our coverages well, and I thought that we had adequate pressure on the quarterback. I don’t know how many sacks we ended up with, but I thought we were forcing their quarterback out of the pocket and he didn’t have a lot of time.
“The rhythm of their passing game never got on track, so that’s a testament to a lot of things: good coverage, good pass rush — I think both of those worked together real well.”
Miami’s defense aside, Marshall said Chicago beat itself Sunday.
“You have to be able to play with an edge on your shoulder, and it has to mean something to you,” Marshall said. “The Chicago Bears should not be 3-4 right now, absolutely unacceptable. And it starts on the offensive side of the ball.”