BEARS at DOLPHINS: Week 6 Preview – October 14, 2018

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BEARS at DOLPHINS: Week 6 Preview – October 14, 2018

Game Previews

The bye week is officially a thing of the past, as we now race toward Sunday’s game day and a potential trap game. Yeah, I said it. Trap game.

The Bears are coming off a bye week and are surrounded by good vibes and positive press clippings. The Dolphins are battered and bruised by the injury bug and their egos are probably a little wounded after back-to-back losses following a 3-0 start. With Miami reeling, it’s easy to look past this game and toward a Week 7 matchup against the Patriots. Don’t do that.

This is a big game for the Bears, who enter a four-game stretch of the season where they’ll face nothing but AFC East teams. It could be a good time to pad their division lead, but they won’t be able to do so if they overlook any opponent along the way.

Never Tell Me The Odds:”

The Bears are 3.5-point favorites at the Westgate Superbook in Las Vegas, with a 3-1 record against the spread. The over/under for this game is 41.5, and it’s worth noting that the under has come in for three of the five Dolphins games and two of the last three Bears contests.

Over at FiveThirtyEight, the Dolphins are favored by a point and the Bears have just a 46 percent chance at winning. This is one of those games that could be too close to call.

Series History:

The Bears are 4-8 all-time against the Dolphins, further cementing this contest’s status as a mental trap game in the minds of long-time Chicago fans. These two teams haven’t squared off since 2014 and the only Bears still on the roster from that game are Kyle Long, Kyle Fuller, Sherrick McManis, and Pat O’Donnell. So … maybe we shouldn’t put much stock in head-to-head record?

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: Hard Rock Stadium; Miami Gardens, Fla.

Broadcast Info: Sunday, October 14 at noon on FOX, WBBM-AM 780, WCFS-FM 105.9

Referee: Walt Anderson

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Mitch Trubisky
  • RB Jordan Howard
  • FB Michael Burton
  • WR Allen Robinson II
  • WR Taylor Gabriel
  • TE Trey Burton
  • LT Charles Leno Jr.
  • LG James Daniels
  • C Cody Whitehair
  • RG Kyle Long
  • RT Bobby Massie

Bears Defense Expected Starters:

  • DT Akiem Hicks
  • NT Eddie Goldman
  • DE Jonathan Bullard
  • OLB Khalil Mack
  • ILB Danny Trevathan
  • ILB Roquan Smith
  • OLB Leonard Floyd
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Kevin Toliver II
  • FS Eddie Jackson
  • SS Adrian Amos

Bears Specialists: 

  • Cody Parkey (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Benny Cunningham, Tarik Cohen (kick returners), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)

Dolphins Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Ryan Tannehill
  • RB Kenyan Drake
  • WR DeVante Parker
  • WR Danny Amendola
  • WR Kenny Stills
  • TE A.J. Derby
  • LT Laremy Tunsil
  • LG Ted Larsen
  • C Travis Swanson
  • RG Jesse Davis
  • RT Ja’Wuan James

Dolphins Defense Expected Starters:

  • DE Cameron Wake
  • DT Davon Godchaux
  • DT Akeem Spence
  • DE Robert Quinn
  • LB Kiko Alonso
  • LB Raekwon McMillan
  • LB Jerome Baker
  • CB Xavien Howard
  • CB Bobby McCain
  • S Reshad Jones
  • S T.J. McDonald

Dolphins Specialists:

  • Jason Sanders (kicker), Matt Haack (punter), John Denney (long snapper), Jakeem Grant (kick return), Danny Amendola (punt return)

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Chicago Bears – Offense

Tarik Cohen could be in store for another big game. The Dolphins defense has allowed four running backs (Dion Lewis, James White, Sony Michel, Joe Mixon) to gain 100 scrimmage yards and three backs (White, Jalen Richard, Bilal Powell) to pick up at 50+ receiving yards. Miami might be limiting opposing rushers to just 3.7 yards per game, but that group has allowed some quality performances along the way. From a fantasy perspective, Miami has allowed seven running back touchdowns in five games and the fifth most fantasy points to running backs in 2018. This looks like another matchup where Cohen can shine.

Chicago Bears – Defense

Leonard Floyd has to break out sooner or later. Floyd has no sacks, no tackles-for-loss, and just one quarterback hit. And while he has rounded out his game by improving against the run and in coverage, the expectations are for the third-year outside linebacker to get to the quarterback early and often. The pressure will mount if Floyd’s slow start continues because Khalil Mack can’t be expected to beat double and triple teams forever. At some point, Floyd will need to make some plays in the opponents backfield.

Miami Dolphins – Offense

Ryan Tannehill is the key cog in the Dolphins offense. When Tannehill has it, it shows in his ability to stretch the field and throw accurate deep passes. But when he doesn’t, things can unravel quickly. According to ESPN’s stats, Tannehill has a 21.1 passer rating when pressured. Only Josh Allen of the Bills (1.6 … yikes, that’s awful!) is worse. Pressuring Tannehill could be the key to a Bears win.

Miami Dolphins – Defense

Minkah Fitzpatrick was one of our favorite prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft because of his skills and versatility, both of which have been on display in Miami. The Dolphins chose Fitzpatrick with the 11th pick and have used him as a nickel corner and safety. Fitzpatrick has 34 tackles, three passes defended, and an interception to his name already. Expect to see a ton of Fitzpatrick – who has played on 80.3 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, especially when the Bears use empty sets and three or four receivers.


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.