Chicago Bears-Miami Dolphins predictions
The PFW Chicago staff shares its predictions for Bears-Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday:
Hub Arkush: Bears 27, Dolphins 13
Try as I might, and I have because I don’t want to get caught chugging the Kool-Aid, I can’t find any reason the Bears shouldn’t win their fourth straight in Miami Sunday.
Yes, I know the road can be treacherous and the heat and humidity could pop up and be challenging in South Florida.
And there is the question of how the Bears will respond to the bye week — recharged and ready to roll or out of sync and a little too happy with themselves?
But the conditions will be the same for both clubs, there is no coach in the league better coming off a bye than Andy Reid, and to date we’ve ascribed much of Matt Nagy’s success to lessons learned from the big guy.
A deep dive suggests the Dolphins’ hot start at 3-0 before getting slapped back down to Earth by the Pats and Bengals was a bit of a fluke, as through five games the statistics say they’re not doing anything particularly well on either side of the ball, other than picking it off on defense and stiffening in the red zone.
With a truly bumbling offense that struggles to run, pass or score, it’s hard to imagine them doing enough damage against the Bears ‘D’ to slow Chicago’s roll.
Bob LeGere: Bears 24, Dolphins 13
It seems like way more of a mismatch than this final score indicates, because the Dolphins are hurting big time on the offensive line, and the Bears lead the NFL by a wide margin in sack percentage. The Bears are also coming off a bye, while the Dolphins have lost back-to-back games in disappointing fashion.
But the Bears’ offense and QB Mitch Trubisky aren’t nearly as impressive as they looked in the 48-10 Week Four rout of the Bucs and their deplorable defense, which has allowed massive amounts of yardage, especially through the air. Don’t forget, the Dolphins did open the season with three straight victories.
But that seems like a long time ago. The 3-2 Dolphins can still get back on track with LT Laremy Tunsil, their latest OL casualty, returning this week from a concussion that knocked him out of last week’s game, and if big WR DeVante Parker can get healthy and stay on the field.
The Bears have shown they can deal with adversity after bouncing back from a season-opening defeat in Green Bay. Now they must show they can handle prosperity, after having two weeks to savor their third straight victory, which has them at 3-1 and looking down on the rest of the NFC North. Whatever the Bears’ offense becomes, it knows it can lean on a defense that is already one of the NFL’s best.
Arthur Arkush: Bears 24, Dolphins 16
The Bears visit a 3-2 Dolphins squad on the verge of having its spirit broken after squandering a three-possession lead in the third quarter Sunday in Cincinnati and getting humbled in Foxborough two weeks ago.
Vic Fangio’s defense gladly will oblige. Miami’s offensive line is in a similar sieve-like state as the Seattle and Arizona fronts Khalil Mack and Co. recently destroyed, and scuffling Ryan Tannehill is having ball-security issues with five giveaways during Miami’s recent skid.
The Dolphins’ run game isn’t going to beat the Bears. Chicago’s linebackers have the range to fell Adam Gase’s horizontal offense, which tries to offset the absence of a formidable rushing attack with screens and other short passes. Gase lacks the weaponry in the passing game to break out of Miami’s offensive rut.
Avoiding an upset, then, will require the Bears protecting the football and keeping Mitch Trubisky out of harm’s way, in this case with Cam Wake out, Robert Quinn and Charles Harris, and Matt Nagy will help out his OTs to get it done. This could be another Tarik Cohen game, as the Dolphins are inexperienced at linebacker, or Jordan Howard might hammer a thin Dolphins underbelly. Regardless, the Bears stay hot with another team win.
Eric Edholm: Bears 20, Dolphins
The Bears are catching the Dolphins at the right time, with a struggling offense that’s down at least two starting offensive linemen, ex-Bear Josh Sitton and Daniel Kilgore, who have been placed on IR. Blocking the Bears’ front, led by Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, will be tough.
QB Ryan Tannehill is facing a playmaking Bears secondary, which has had a chance to study his tendencies and rest up after dealing with injuries. The Dolphins have produced some big plays in the passing game, and Kenyan Drake is a speedy back, but Adam Gase might have to empty his play-calling bag of tricks in order to score.
Interesting game for Mitch Trubisky, who faces a decent defense here — can he avoid turnovers and produce big plays two weeks in a row? The Dolphins have the second-best INT rate on defense in the NFL (behind the Bears).
The Dolphins and Bears might have the same number of wins, and the game is in Miami, but these might be two teams headed in opposite directions.