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Analysis Bears

Bears Will Have to Overcome Heat and Run the Ball to Beat Dolphins

The Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins will play on Sunday afternoon. To win, the Bears will have to overcome the Miami heat and run the football.

The Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins will face off on Sunday afternoon.

Coming off their bye week, the Bears will be fresh heading into this game. As for the Dolphins, they are trying to rebound from an ugly loss against the Cincinnati Bengals in which they led 17-0.

There will be several familiar faces on Sunday, including Adam Gase and Dowell Loggains. Both served as offensive coordinators during the John Fox era. At 3-1 and a game against the New England Patriots looming, the Bears need to care of business against the Dolphins.

Here are some things to keep an eye on Sunday.

1st Down: Home Cooking 

The Dolphins have been excellent at home since the start of the 2016 season. During that span, they are 12-6 in the Flordia heat. It will be hot and humid on Sunday. The Bears are going to need to be prepared for it. The problem is you cannot really simulate that kind of atmosphere in practice.

Over the years, the heat has given players like Tom Brady issues. He is 7-9 as a starter in Miami. In fact, the New England Patriots have lost four out of their last five games there. That tells you just how real the home field advantage is.

The crowd, on the other hand, should be 60-40 in Miami. Expect many Bears fans to be in attendance. Hopefully, that will help a bit.

2nd Down: Underrated Dolphins’ Defense 

This something we have talked about all week at The Loop Sports and it shouldn’t be overlooked heading into Sunday. The Dolphins’ defense is good, not great, but good.

Players like CB Xavien Howard, S Minkah Fitzpatrick, S Reshad Jones, and LB Kiko Alonso are all having good seasons. While they are 23rd in total team defense, but they rank fifth in DVOA. What is DVOA? Glad you asked.

(Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) calculates a team’s success based on the down-and-distance of each play during the season, then calculates how much more or less successful each team is compared to the league average.

Basically, it’s the best way to see how just good a defense is. The Bears rank No. 1 in the NFL, so as you can tell, it’s accurate. The Dolphins have also made big strides in 2018 to improve the defense, which was awful a year ago.

Miami’s defense ranks No. 1 against opposing team’s top wide receiver. This is largely due to the play of Howard, who has been fantastic. They rank 7th and 13th against other receivers and tight ends.

The way to beat the Dolphins is in the middle of the field, but even more so on the ground. That brings me to my next thing to watch for.

3rd Down: Ground and Pound 

I thought it was awesome when the New York Jets’ motto on offense was “Ground and Pound,” so I brought it back this week. The Bears need to feed both Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen on Sunday.

The Dolphins’ defense ranks 23rd in terms of DVOA against RBs. Against a team with an above average secondary, head coach Matt Nagy and the rest of the offense should run the football early and often.

At the very least, staying committed to the ground game will open up play action and easier throws for QB Mitch Trubisky. I know everyone wants to anoint him as a king after his performance two weeks ago, but he still has a lot of growing to do as an NFL QB.

Run. The. Ball.

4th Down: Final Thoughts/Prediction

If the Bears want to take the “next step” they will have to continue to beat teams that they are supposed to. They should beat the Dolphins on Sunday, but they play the games for a reason. It’s not going to be easy on the road, in the heat.

Still, if they attack the Dolphins’ defense on the ground they should be successful on Sunday. We already know how good the defense is, and they should make life for QB Ryan Tannehill on Sunday hell.

Especially because he’s missing three starters on the offensive line.

Bears 28 Dolphins 13

Season Record: 4-0

BONUS – Bears will be wearing their orange jerseys and Trubisky will be wearing his arm sleeve. Bears -3.5 lock of the week.

Follow Nick on Twitter–Featured Photo Credit: AP

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Nick is a recent graduate of Northern Illinois University and passionate about everything Chicago sports (except the Cubs). He has run his own website, been featured on Bleacher Report, and tried to sell his soul on eBay (which he hasn’t gotten back). He hopes to one day see his beloved Bears win the Super Bowl and is still trying to figure out why Jay Cutler gets so much hate.

7 comments on “Bears Will Have to Overcome Heat and Run the Ball to Beat Dolphins

  1. Robert Fagiano-Gleason

    Im not really familiar with the differences between “Ocean humidity” and “Lake humidity” but Illinois is humid AF in the summer and they preseasoned there all summer long. IMO 80 degree heat and 80% humidity is a fabulous weather in Chicago? Thats like when people in Las Vegas are complaing about cool weather, the quick response is “this is lay out weather”???

    • BRIAN ALBANO

      From chicago. Live in south Florida now. It’s not the same AT ALL.

  2. I don’t like to.be critical of people but this writer, nick. Reads lime an idiot to me. No doubt he’s a liberal progressive democrat. The dolphins are loaded with injuries and.tannehill may not even play. Why doesn’t he mention this? The Bears’ defence is constantly going to be in miamis’ backfields. As for the heat.and humitity. Chicagos’ humitity is far worse than miamis and it was humid in chicago two days ago.
    Both teams have to play under the same conditions and I don’t think the dolphins have that big of a advantage over the Bears in that aspect. It’s early october, not mid december.
    BEARS 46 OSWEILER and the DOLPHINS 6.

    • Nick Petrusevski

      Larry, the dolphins don’t have any advantages over the Bears. All I’m saying is the defense is underrated

    • Philip Kidd

      After reading the first line of your comment, I realized that your comment would have no substance..punctuation and such.. They DO have their star lineman back from concussion protocol, and the author was DEAD on about their defense and what to expect from Trubisky..It’s ok to love the Bears, I do, but let’s be rational here….

  3. The question is will Nagy stay committed to the run? He has shown tendencies (not running for third ans one multiple times) to think pass first, and the question I have is what’s Howard’s mind set after Cohen seemed to get bulk of time last week.

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