The Chicago Bears’ offense is coming off of their best game of the 2018 season. They put up 48 points on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while quarterback Mitch Trubisky threw for six touchdown passes.
Everything went well.
Coming off of a bye week, the offense will hope to build off their performance against the Bucs. They will be up against a Miami Dolphins defense that has been underrated.
The Dolphins’ defense was actually the team’s best unit in their loss to the Cinncinatti Bengals this past Sunday. After digging a little deeper, it’s easy to see that the Dolphins’ offense has actually hurt the defense.
Under Adam Gase, the Dolphins have the sixth worst time of possession in the NFL. The defense is obviously spending a large amount of time of the field because of it.
The Dolphins’ defense ranks second in takeaways and third opponent passer rating. However, they are losing players to injuries.
On paper, the Dolphins’ secondary is intriguing. It starts with CB Xavien Howard, who may be the most underrated defensive player in the NFL right now. Howard already has three interceptions on the year. He held WR AJ Green in check on Sunday.
Rookie Minkah Fitzpatrick has talent, that’s obvious. However, he has struggled a bit this season. Reshad Jones is playing at a Pro Bowl level, even after being diagnosed with a partially torn labrum.
LB Kiko Alonso is also healthy and making things happen. That’s been the story of his career. When he’s on the field he’s a great player. The problem is he has a hard time staying on the field.
Notable #Dolphins defensive snap counts in Week 5 (out of 60 plays):
— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) October 8, 2018
It’s not surprising to see that Howard, Jones, and Alonso played the most snaps on defense this past Sunday. The Bears can expect much of the same this week. The Bears’ game plan Sunday should be to avoid or at least, contain those three players.
Easier said than done.
Matchup the Dolphins can exploit: Baiting Mitch Trubisky
Look, I get Trubisky threw six TDs in his last start and the arrow is pointing up, but that game is over with. Trubisky needs to show he can do what he did against the Bucs on a more consistent basis. That starts on Sunday with the Dolphins.
While the simplified Nagy offense looks good, the Dolphins could bait Trubisky on Sunday. Expect the Dolphins to show some different looks Sunday. Similar to the looks the Arizona Cardinals were showing the second year QB out of North Carolina.
Exotic blitz packages are also in play. Trubisky is going to need to slow down and read the Dolphins’ defense. If he fails to do that, we could see a game similar to the one in Arizona from the Bears offense.
An easy way to stop this from happening is to utilize the run game and play action.
Matchup the Bears can exploit: Middle of the field
After watching the last two Dolphins’ games on NFL Game Pass, it’s obvious they struggle with covering WRs and TEs over the middle of the field. Crossing routes will be there for Trubisky and the Bears.
By attacking the inside of the Dolphins, the Bears should be able to get favorable matchups like Tarik Cohen being covered by Alonso or Miller working against Fitzpatrick. It’s the little things that the Bears need to do to perform well against a beat up, yet underrated Miami Dolphins’ defense.
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