1. Bears LBs v. Wildcat - Like I said above the dolphins have some problems at QB, although Thigpen has proven to be a decent QB, so the bears will be seeing a lot of the wildcat. The key will be for the bears LBs to make the correct reads. The LBs have to try and delay their breaks on the ball for as long as possible to confuse whoever is running the wildcat option. If the LBs are too apparent with their breaks, the person running the wildcat has an easy read on the defense and choose the best run from the wildcat. The dolphins' game plan is pound the ball anyway and they will only do it more this week.
2. Omiyale v. Cameron Wake. Omiyale has actually played pretty well as a LT but has had some problems with speed rushers. Wake has been one of the surprises of the NFL season. He is a 2nd year undrafted free agent and has 8.5 sacks. He is thriving in Miami's system as playing the rush LB position. If Frank can control him somewhat Culter should have time to thow because the dolphins dont have a pass rushing threat besides Wake.
Keys for the Bears:
1. Pound the ball. Yes the bears werent that effective with the run against the vikings but their commitment to the run had a huge impact on the game. They had over 35 mins in time of possession and Cutler was 7 for 7 on play action throws. The dolphins try to make it a grinding game so the bears are gonna have to control the clock and keep running the ball.
2. Defensive Penetration. The one thing that can kill the wildcat is penetration by the defensive line. It can disrupt the play before it even starts and can frustrate the motion and confusion the wildcat is trying to create. Pressure this week is probably more important in the run game than it is on passing downs.
3. Field position. The dolphins play tight games and try to grind it out. They are a field position team just like the bears. This game will be about defense and special teams both phases where both teams excel. The bears need to win the field position battle in order to score some points and win this game.
Hero of the Day:
Matt Forte. I think the bears are gonna run the ball a good amount and i really look for screens and flat passes to Forte to try and control the clock. Also, look for Martz to call the wheel route for him a couple times out of the backfield because against the dolphins 3-4, it will probably get him matched up against a LB which should be a recipe for a big play. I'm looking for some big plays out of him and think he will get them in the pass or run game.
I've said above this game is not gonna be pretty. In fact, I think the # of punts could be greater than the teams final scores. With that said, the bears strength on defense and special teams and the dolphins injuries at QB should add up to a win for DA BEAR. This is probably the easiest game the bears have left and 7-3 would look pretty awesome. Go Bear!
Bears 17-Dolphins 13