The Miami Dolphins and Chicago Bears played one of the most memorable games in NFL history in 1985, and fans can only hope their battle on Sunday is just as entertaining. Miami vanquished another NFC North team on the road last week, defeating the Detroit Lions 31-27. The Bears were throttled coming off of a short week, losing to the Dallas Cowboys by a final score of 49-29.
We’ll take a look at three things to keep an eye on when the teams get together at Soldier Field.
Miami Bringing The Heat
Although it won’t be quite as warm in Chicago as it normally is on South Beach, the Dolphins would like to turn up the temperature on Justin Fields. Miami already had some impressive talent on the edge, but their ability to get pressure on the quarterback figures to improve even more with their trade deadline acquisition of pass rusher Bradley Chubb.
He won’t have the benefit of a full week of practice or much time to acclimate himself to Miami’s defensive schemes, but head coach Mike McDaniel has said that he expects their prized acquisition to suit up on Sunday. Even if Chubb is limited to third down work in obvious passing situations, his presence on the field will force Chicago to adjust their protection to keep quarterback Justin Fields upright.
A New Weapon For The Bears
It’s been a running narrative all season that the Bears have played a conservative style of offense. Heading into Week 9’s games, Chicago is tied for last in passing attempts with the Tennessee Titans. The front offense sent a second round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday to acquire wide receiver Chase Claypool.
The former Notre Dame star had an electric rookie season with the Steelers, scoring 11 total touchdowns. Claypool had since fallen out of favor in Pittsburgh, but it doesn’t mean that he can be of great use to the Bears. Chicago has one of the least talented receiver rooms in the NFL, and anyone who has the potential to give defenses problems will be welcomed with open arms. Look for Fields to target Claypool on a couple of scripted screen passes on Sunday.
Dolphins Rushing Attack
Thanks to the connection that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has with speedy wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins have become known as a prolific passing team overnight. These players should have an impact against Chicago on Sunday, but it would be interesting to see if McDaniel tries to surprise the Bears by exposing them on the ground.
The Bears gave up an astonishing 200 yards rushing against Dallas last week, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Miami tried to utilize the same plan of attack. Hill and Waddle will probably still get their numbers, but look for running back Raheem Mostert to have a big day on the ground. Mostert has taken control of the backfield after Miami’s trade of Chase Edmonds earlier in the week.