Chicago Bears vs. Miami Dolphins: 3 Keys to the Game

1.) Slow it Down
The Miami Dolphins have one of, if not the best receiver duo in the NFL. Tyreek Hill leads the league in receiving yards with 961 yards while Jaylen Waddle is fourth with 727 yards. Both also ran incredibly fast 40-yard dashes. Hill ran a 4.27 second and Waddle ran a 4.37 second 40-yard dash. They are very dangerous anywhere in the secondary, on short or deep routes. If the Bears want to win this one, they need to slow them down. They can’t stop them completely, but they can at least try to limit their usage. In the two games Waddle has been held under 40 yards, the Jets have lost. If the Bears secondary can stop one of them, they have a mutch better chance at winning this game.

2.) Win in the Red Zone
The Bears have been one of the worst teams in the NFL in the red zone. They have scored touchdowns on only 52 percent of their drives inside the redzone. It cost them the game against the Commanders in week six, with multiple drives inside the five yard line to only come away with seven points total. If they want to win, they need to capitalize inside the redzone. On the other side of the ball, the defense has given up touchdowns on 68 percent of redzone drives. The defense has gotten much worse the past week, losing Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, but they need to step up this week. There are plenty of players ready to step in and prove themselves and this week is the perfect opportunity. The Miami offense is one of the best in the league, but if they can limit them to field goals in the red zone, it would go a long way. The Dolphins are 3-1 this season when scoring under 20 points. If the Bears hold to 20, there’s a good chance they win. As long as the Bears can win in the redzone on both sides of the ball, they’re looking at a win.

3.) Play to Players Strengths
The Bears recently acquired big-bodied receiver Chase Claypool from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Claypool arrived at Halas Hall on Wednesday, November 2nd, which means he’s only had a couple days of practice. Coach Eberflus said on Friday that Claypool could play anywhere from 10 to 35 snaps. That could mean he has the playbook down well enough to play most drives, or it could mean he’ll play a few snaps per drive. If they want to succeed on Sunday, they need to use him in the red zone. He is much bigger than most of their other receivers and has proven he can make very difficult catches. Same goes for N’Keal Harry, who is also a larger receiver who had a nice touchdown catch against the Cowboys. He has also been slowly ramping up, getting more snaps the past two weeks after an injury sidelined him for the first six weeks. Just using their larger guys in the red zone would go a long way towards a win on Sunday.

The Bears are coming off an exciting loss to the Cowboys. While they did give up over 40 points, the offense looked great against a top three defense. Justin Fields showed his versatility for the second week in a row, rushing for over 50 yards in both games. The play calling seems to have gotten better each week and they finally look like a competent offense for the first time since 2018. The Dolphins have looked great since Tua came back from his injury and the defense got a big time upgrade with Bradley Chubb. It will be a tough game for the Bears defense, but their offense might shine again this week. I wouldn’t be surprised with a win or a loss but as long as the offense continues to grow, a win isn’t too far-fetched.
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