The Chicago Bears are hosting the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and it will be the first time that All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall will face his old team. Earlier in the week Marshall made comments about his former team but most of those were more critical of Chad Henne than anyone else. Henne is the current back-up QB to rookie Blake Bortles in Jacksonville.
In Miami Brandon Marshall didn’t do much outside of creating a little drama. He had two injuries that he nursed in the off-season which kept him from participating with the team during voluntary workouts and he didn’t practice with the Chad Henne led practices during the lockout. On the field Marshall didn’t seem to bring his top level of play like he did in Denver while Jay Cutler was there and in the lone game he faced Cutler while with the Dolphins he drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he scored a touchdown and handed the ball to Cutler on the Chicago bench.
There was never a question of his talent though and he produced in Miami making the Pro-Bowl and winning the post-season all star games MVP. Then he was traded a short few weeks later.
After his arrival in Chicago Marshall became the wide out he was in Denver when Jay Cutler was with him and they haven’t stopped. This weekend Marshall will be the biggest threat to the Dolphins defense.
There is little question that Marshall would love to show Miami what mistake they made by trading him but none of the players outside of Joe Philbin are really there anymore. That won’t stop Marshall who looks to return completely from a nagging ankle injury.
The Dolphins will need to use Brent Grimes in this physical match-up but Alshon Jeffrey the other top WR for the Bears is far from being a second team wide-out and the duo of Marshall and Jeffery are hard to stop. Pressure on Cutler will be the key but the Dolphins can not afford to give up space to either wide receiver who are very good at reading defensive coverages and are for the most part on the same page with Cutler. If the Dolphins can’t stop Marshall they won’t be able to stop Jeffery as Cutler will eat away at the Dolphins secondary.
On the flip side of that coin adding pressure to Cutler will take him out of rhythm and force him into making plays he shouldn’t make. Cutler has a lot of faith in Marshall and will throw the ball up and let Marshall fight for it. That is going to be an issue against the Dolphins corners who don’t match in size but they do have the talent, physicality, and athleticism to defend both wide-receivers.
The game will be interesting to watch from a Miami secondary perspective but the Dolphins have to allow their front seven and especially their front four to take away the element of time for Cutler or it could be a long day.