The Bears head to south Florida for a Thursday night game against the Miami Dolphins.
Those fish are in a bit of a crisis. The Dolphins, who once had an abundance of start-worthy quarterbacks, lost two of their QBs in a 29-17 win over Tennessee. Now, they are scrambling to find a replacement, which could not happen at a worse time.
Against other teams, the Dolphins could have drawn up a game plan that relied on the ground so that third string quarterback Tyler Thigpen (or whoever the Fins brought in) could have time to get comfortable with the offense. Unfortunately for Miami, the Bears have the second-best run defense in the league.
Opponents have only been able to rack up 82.3 yards on the ground against the Bears. The Vikings' Adrian Peterson gained just 51 yards. Not only that, but the Dolphins don't have a particularly strong running back to rely on. Their top rusher, Ronnie Brown, is averaging 49.3 yards per game.
The Dolphins may face problems if they rely on the passing game. Though the Bears aren't as good at the pass rush as they are at stopping the run, they're likely to have an inexperienced QB taking snaps. Tyler Thigpen, the third-stringer who stepped in on Sunday against the Titans, played well enough to seal the win for his team. Thigpen is a journeyman who has only one starting season -- a 1-11 effort for Kansas City. Sunday's game was the first time he took snaps with Miami's first team offense.
Still, the Bears can't afford to take the Dolphins lightly. The Bears have a tendency to play down to their opponent, like they did against Detroit and Buffalo. With the Packers taking on the Vikings this week, the Bears to stay atop the NFC North. A convincing win over the hobbled Dolphins is the best way to do it.