The Chicago Bears defense has established itself as one of the best in football. A big reason for this is their ability to make quarterbacks uncomfortable. More so than any team in the league with 18 sacks in just four games. This should give the team plenty of confidence coming out of the bye week as they travel to Miami to face the Dolphins.
This is not the confident 3-0 team that started the year. The Dolphins have endured two catastrophic losses over the past two weeks. It started with a brutal 38-7 crushing in New England, a house of horrors for them for almost two decades. That was bad enough. Then things got many times worse.
Miami opened up a 17-0 lead in Cincinnati over the Bengals. They were in total control going into the 4th quarter. Then they allowed 27 unanswered points to suffer one of their most stunning losses in years. Now head coach Adam Gase admits he’s trying to rally the team for one might be the most pivotal game of their season. The problem is he couldn’t have asked for a worse matchup.
Dolphins coach Adam Gase is trying to steady a struggling team with the Bears on the way. pic.twitter.com/Q9a0jhcqUj
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) October 9, 2018
Bears defense perfectly equipped to attack Miami’s biggest weakness
The Dolphins have a number of problems with their roster at present despite what their 3-2 record may indicate. None are bigger than their offensive line. It was a big question mark coming into the season after losing center Mike Pounce and then guard Josh Sitton. Things have only gotten worse with Laremy Tunsil leaving the game last week with a concussion.
Their biggest crisis points are their guard and right tackle positions. Ted Larsen, Jesse Davis, and Ja’Wuan James have given up a combined 24 pressures on the quarterback this season including six sacks. That doesn’t including reserve tackle Sam Young who’s allowed six pressures in just 34 pass blocking snaps. Not good.
This is big news for Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack. They will be the primary men to face that Dolphins trio and both are in the midst of potential career seasons. Khalil Mack has five sacks already and is on pace for 20. Hicks has three sacks and is on pace for 12. They’ve been practically unblockable when they’re on the field together. They must be licking their chops right about now.
Tannehill is a different quarterback when he’s under pressure. He’s never handled it well. Over the past two weeks, he has failed to crack 200 yards passing with three interceptions and just one touchdown. If this slump continues into this Sunday, there’s a strong possibility Adam Gase may try going to the bullpen to get a spark for the offense. It would mark the third-straight game a team has tried to do that against the Bears.