One thing that would absolutely kill the Miami Dolphins’ chances of defeating the Chicago Bears this Thursday Night is kicking or punting to Devin Hester. The man is the scariest returner since Deion Sanders, and if Miami kicks to him he will make them pay. Miami hasn’t been the best coverage team this year (that’s being nice), and there is no way they have things fixed before the game this Thursday. If they fail to keep the ball away from Hester, they will fail to win the game.
Other than the obvious advantage Chicago has in the return game, Miami matches up very well with Chicago. On the offensive side of the ball, look for Miami to really throw it all over the field. Chicago’s defense is much better against the run than they are against the pass. The run defense shouldn’t effect Miami too much since they haven’t been able to run the ball really well all year with the exception of the Green Bay game. Even though Miami is probably going with 3rd stringer Tyler Thigpen, I bet they throw the ball. Look for Brandon Marshall to have a big game against the smaller Chicago defenders.
Miami’s defense has done nothing but improve as the year has gone on. They ranked 6th in the NFL against the pass, and 16th against the run, while Chicago is 21st in the NFL in passing and 23rd in the NFL in rushing. Chicago is also tied for the league lead in sacks allowed with 33, a number that will surely go up against a Miami team that is 11th in the NFL in sacks. Look for Miami to really put the pressure on the Chicago O-Line and Jay Cutler, and count on their ever so young and improving secondary to defend well against the pass.
As long as Miami can avoid turning the ball over and keep it away from Hester, they should be able to do well against the Bears. Despite their 6-3 record, Miami is the better team. Chicago has notched only 1 win against a team with a winning record, a 3 point victory over division rival Green Bay back in week 3.