How the Miami Dolphins can win offensively against the Chicago Bears
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins are going to face their toughest defensive challenge of the season and their offense needs to step up if they are going to win.
When Sunday rolls around the Miami Dolphins will need to be near perfect against the Chicago Bears who boast one of the better defenses in the NFL. While the Dolphins defense will need to play well it’s the offense that needs to score points.
After two numbing losses to the Patriots and Bengals in consecutive weeks the Dolphins offense has been stagnant against defenses that are average to good but not on the level that the Bears are. Chicago ranks in the top of the league in run defense and sacks both of which have been problems for the Dolphins offense.
So how does Adam Gase and Dowell Loggains game plan for a unit that is poised to take advantage of the Dolphins injured offensive line? With a lot of creativity.
Miami is going to need to slow down the Bears pass rush and that is not an easy task. The entire offensive line is banged up from left to right and Khalil Mack is going to give the edge fits. Logical thinking would be to put a tight-end on the outside to help with protection but that too could be a problem as the Dolphins tight-ends are banged up as well.
The only really healthy tight-end is Mike Gesicki and he isn’t a great in-line blocker. A.J. Derby and Durham Smythe are both dinged up and newcomer Nick O’Leary doesn’t have a lot of experience. But there are options.
To take advantage of the Mack situation Miami should double up the right tackle and tight-end blocking but using the TE as a hit and run type blocker could work. If Mike Gesicki can jam Mack at the line along with James and then peel off into a screen, the Dolphins can dump the ball short and try to pickup chunk yards.
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The Dolphins will likely use the wide-receiver screens they have been running to Albert Wilson on the outside. Chicago will likely anticipate that quick pass and stack the trip formation. Another option however makes more sense. Get Ryan Tannehill out of the pocket.
Last week against the Bengals when the offensive line took injury hits, Tannehill stayed in the pocket and in turn took a lot of hits. Miami needs to move him to his left which should buy him a little more time. Two tight-end sets could give whomever plays left tackle some help and again, the short tight-end screens would work.
The deep pass will not likely be available for the Dolphins with the pass rush the Bears are going to give them so Miami is going to have to rely on running back and tight-end screens and wide-receiver slants in the five to eight yard range. The trick is to get the ball out quickly and keep Tannehill from having to make multiple reads.
Teams have found success jamming the Dolphins receivers at the line of scrimmage so slants would work to keep the defense from getting in front of the routes or delaying the receivers from getting into their routes.
Miami is not going to be able rely on trick plays and wide receiver pitches in the back-field. The Bears will get pressure off the edges and likely up the middle. The only way to combat that is with quick passes.