The Chicago Bears visit the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. These two teams could not be in more different spots. The Bears are red-hot, coming off of a 48-10 thrashing of the Buccaneers, and are one dropped interception (Week 1 against Green Bay) away from being 4-0 on the season.
The Dolphins, on the other hand, are coming off of two heartbreaking losses to the Patriots and Bengals, respectively. They were 3-0, looking like a team that could unseat those same Patriots in their division. Unfortunately, New England took them apart en route to a humiliating 38-7 loss in Foxborough.
They held a 17-0 lead over Cincinnati last week only to give up 27 unanswered points, including two defensive touchdowns. So, the Bears are looking to use this game to make a statement that they belong atop the NFC North, and the Dolphins are just trying to keep their head above water, hoping somebody will help them out with the Patriots, with whom they are tied atop the AFC East.
The Bears are favored in this matchup by a 4 point spread with a total of 41.5.
Bears Rushing the Ball
With as historically good of a performance as last week, the Bears are still #24 in passing yards per game, with just 236.3 in each game. They rank 9th in the league in rushing, however, with Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard sharing the backfield. Overall, the Bears are 25th in total yards. On defense, they have been dominant, particularly against the run. The Bears are number one in the league against the run, allowing only 64 yards per game, and have not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season. They are also 8th in the league against the pass. They are 2nd in the league in overall yards allowed.
Dolphins Looking to Get Offense Going
The Dolphins’ offensive stats look bad, especially for a team that is tied for first place in their division. Their passing offense is ranked 28th in the league with just 211.8 Yards per game. Their running offense ranks 20th in the league with Frank Gore leading the way. Their defense isn’t much better, ranking 21st in the league against the pass and 20th in the league against the run. None of these stats look good for the Dolphins.
Tale of Two Seasons
The Bears defense has been one of the stories of this season. Every indication has shown that they will be able to stop Frank Gore, if not shut him down. Two key names that could win this game for the Dolphins are Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James. If both of these offensive linemen can have great games, they could pick up a depleted line and protect Tannehill. If they don’t both play way over their heads, Tannehill will be running for his life all game long.
Pick and Prediction
Ask any fan around the league about the headliners for the BEar defense, and they will give you three names: Khalil Mack, Khalil Mack, and Khalil Mack. The fact is, however, that they have a tremendous defensive line. Guys like Akiem Hicks, Aaron Lynch, Jonathon Bullard, and Roy Robertson-Harris will make the difference in this game, combining with Mack for at least four sacks, one forced fumble, and a defensive touchdown. The Bears should take this one easily, 35-10. Bet on the Bears to cover a 4 point spread.
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