Bears

Bears' Jeremy Langford planned for this game 'all my life'

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Bears' Jeremy Langford planned for this game 'all my life'

Running back is one of those positions where a rookie can come in and make an impact right from game one. Unlike offensive line and some other positions, you can know right away if you have something with a young tailback.

The Bears have something in Jeremy Langford, who anchored the offense with 72 rushing yards, 70 receiving yards, a touchdown and a crucial two-point conversion.

Langford had been planning for this game “all my life,” he said. “Monday night football… . I’m truly blessed to be in this situation and the coaches trusting me.”

[VIEW FROM THE MOON: Monday's win could be starting point for Bears' playoff run]

One week after a deflating late-game pass drop in the loss to the Minnesota Vikings, the fourth-round pick of the Bears in the 2015 draft became the latest rookie to explode on the NFL in his first significant action. “That was my whole point, to make up for that last game,” Langford said. “You want to forget about those plays and have the coaches trust me and have [Jay] Cutler trust in me, and he did.”

Langford didn’t start; Ka’Deem Carey opened at running back and Langford entered late in the first possession. He and Carey combined for 25 carries for 100 yards, Langford with 18 for 72 and Carey seven for 28. Langford also caught three passes for those 70 yards, 31 coming on a layout diving catch in the first half.

Compare that to the first starts of the NFL’s current five leading rushers:

Player First start Carries Yards
Adrian Peterson 2007 19 103
Devonta Freeman 2015 30 141
Chris Johnson 2008 15 93
Todd Gurley 2015 19 146
Doug Martin 2012 24 95

It's also worth mentioning that Matt Forte rushed 23 times for 123 yards in first first NFL start in 2008.

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“He’s dual-purpose,” said coach John Fox. “He can catch. The catch he made on the ‘go’ route – wide receivers have a tough time on that catch. He’s explosive. He can take short runs into longer runs. I thought he had a great night.”

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

The Bears suffered a heartbreaking defeat (that makes two of those), but the Bulls are days away from the start of a new season and the Blackhawks did something that has never happened before in sports history.

Bears

The Bears had a slow first half, failing to score against the shorthanded Dolphins, but picked things up in the third quarter. It all fell apart late in the fourth quarter and then again in overtime in a 31-28 defeat. Miami went up against the Bears without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. What does that say about the Bears' defense?

Matt Nagy was a bit chippy with the media after the game, but there were still positive signs from the offense.

Plus, Dwyane Wade was there and repped the Bears on the road.

Bulls

The Bulls wrapped up the preseason Friday with a 98-93 loss to the Nuggets. Wendell Carter Jr. and Bobby Portis both showed well in the preseason finale and Jabari Parker flashed his potential as well.

With the preseason complete, Mark Strotman graded each player on the Bulls roster. You may not want to calculate the team GPA.

The roster is being finalized as well, with Ryan Arcidiacono making the team and local product Tyler Ulis getting picked up off waivers.

Blackhawks

Saturday was an eventful day for the Blackhawks. First, it marked the 1,000th career game for Duncan Keith. Keith talked about the emotional night after the game.

As for the game itself, the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-3 in overtime. That was the second time the Hawks beat the Blues in OT this season, adding to a 5-4 OT win in St. Louis on Oct. 6.

Unbelievably, that was the fifth straight OT game for the Blackhawks. Every game has gone to overtime this season, and not one of those has even gone to a shootout. No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Overtimes are more rare in other sports, but that also holds true for the NBA, NFL and MLB.

The Hawks don't play against until Thursday, when the host Arizona.

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a game full of pivotal moments, one seemed to irk the Bears in particular following Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Driving on the Dolphins three-yard line, the Bears lined up in a T formation with Jordan Howard, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen lined up left to right in the backfield behind Mitch Trubisky, who was under center. Burton motioned out of the backfield and to the right, and ran his route into linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Trubisky threw a short pass to a wide open Cohen for a touchdown, with Alonso late getting to the running back after being hit by Burton. But that score was taken off the board for offensive pass interference, with officials ruling what Burton did amounted to an illegal pick play.

“Trey did everything I asked him to do,” Matt Nagy said, sharply.

On the next play, Trubisky forced a pass into double coverage in the end zone, which was easily picked off by Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald. Miami turned that interception into eight points on Albert Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.

The way Burton understood the rule was that offensive pass interference was only assessed on a pick play if he intentionally ran into a defender without running a true route. That’s what Burton felt he did; the officiating crew disagreed.

“I thought I ran a route and the guy ran into me,” Burton said. “I thought they changed the rule this year or last year — if you run the route, it doesn’t matter if you pick the guy or not, you’re good. Obviously they called it.”

A Rough Return

The conversations surrounding the Bears Sunday into Monday would be awfully different had a number of things happened — Trubisky doesn’t throw that interception, the Bears’ defense gets a stop, Tarik Cohen doesn’t fumble near midfield, etc. In that same group: If Cody Parkey hits what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal in overtime.

Parkey, instead, missed that kick wide right. His career long is 54 yards, which he hit last year while with the Miami Dolphins (and that was a game-winner with about a minute left against the Los Angeles Chargers).

“I had the distance, I just didn’t kick it straight enough, bottom line,” Parkey said. “But you’ve got to move on. I’ve made game winners, I’ve missed game winners. As long as I keep playing, I’m just going to keep trying to kick my best.

“… I control what I can control, and unfortunately I missed a field goal. I’d like to have that one back, but it is what it is and I’m just going to focus on the next game. That’s all I can do.”