By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63
The 3-1 Chicago Bears are now refreshed coming off an early bye week. It was not ideally the best situation having already built a winning momentum. But the NFL gods deemed it so and now they hit the road with fresh legs against the 3-2 Miami Dolphins.
The Dolphins have just come off a terrible beatdown by the Cincinnati Bengals and continue to pile up injuries in the process. Especially with a banged up offensive line, quarterback Ryan Tannehill may be in deep trouble against a fierce Chicago defense.
As a Bears fan, I expect there to be at least 3 sacks and 2 fumbles in this game, not to mention an interception or two. But then again, that could also happen to Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky if the protection isn’t there.
Currently, the Dolphins have seven players on IR and just lost cornerback Bobby McCain for several weeks due to a knee injury. They also have six players that are questionable for Sunday’s matchup, including wide receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker, guard Laremy Tunsil and linebacker Cameron Wake.
As for the Bears, they have five players on IR, including tight end Zach Miller who was not expected to play the entire season due to last years gruesome injury. WR Anthony Miller is doubtful for Sunday’s game, but CB Prince Amukamura and Marcus Cooper Jr are questionable to play. That means a healthy, hungry Bears team ready to roll into the Hard Rock Stadium and add another scratch on the win column.
As it stands, both teams are pretty even with the exception of the defense, as the Bears are now ranked number one in the league with the Dolphins sitting at 23. The last time these two teams met was in 2014, the Dolphins won 27-14 under then Bears head coach Marc Trestman. Only three players currently remain on the Bears from 2014; Kyle Fuller, Sherrick McManus, and Kyle Long.
But let’s not ignore where the real matchup will be. The real mano-y-mano combat will be between head coaches Adam Gase and Matt Nagy. Two strong offensive minds who call their own plays and will try to outsmart the other. But if I was a betting woman I would put my chips in with Nagy on this one. He has some very inventive plays which will open up some unique passing plays and run plays as well.
The Dolphins defense has allowed 109 rushing yards and 273 passing yards with only 1.6 sacks to show for it. If the Bears can move the chains as they have been, they will continue to chew up time and give the defense time to rest. Fins will be sure to double up on Allen Robinson and TE Trey Burton.
So watch for slot receiver Taylor Gabriel to have another big day. Running back Tarik Cohen and big back Jordan Howard will gain some momentum. As a matter of fact, I predict that Howard will have a 50+ yard run and a touchdown.
As for the Bears defense, the trio of Khalil Mack, Akeem Hicks, and rookie Roquan Smith will pressure Tannehill into making mistakes. Expect Smith to have his first INT this Sunday and another forced fumble from Mack. The pressure will be intense and the Bears defense will give Trubisky every opportunity to make plays and lock in a win on the road.
Here is hoping that Trey Burton did not jinx the Bears with some type of bye week ju-ju after his statement regarding the Philadelphia Eagles struggles after their bye week meltdown. Fins will not be up this Sunday, but Chicago will #BearDown and make it 4-1 to stay on top.
Talk Bears with Wanda on Twitter @Wanda63