After every week of attempting to refocus following trades of staff captains Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, the Chicago Bears will host the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Soldier Field.
The Dolphins (5-3) have received each video games since quarterback Tua Tagovailoa returned from a concussion, whereas the Bears (3-5) try to select up the items from a lopsided loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8.
As kickoff approaches, right here’s our snapshot take a look at the sport.
1. Player within the highlight
Dolphins large receiver Tyreek Hill
When Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson was requested this week how he strikes previous the commerce of Smith, he responded: “I got the No. 1 and No. 4 wide receiver. I love Roquan. But I got some dogs coming to town.”
Hill is the NFL’s chief in receiving yards by far with 961 and two touchdowns on 69 catches. The Dolphins large receiver has 15 catches of 20 yards or extra and 4 of 40 or extra — additionally tops within the league.
Four spots down from Hill on the league-leaders checklist is teammate Jaylen Waddle, who has 727 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns on 42 catches, together with 12 of 20 yards or extra and 4 of 40 yards or extra.
It’s an enormous take a look at for the younger Bears secondary to decelerate one the third-ranked passing offense, led by Tagovailoa, who had one among his greatest video games of the season in Week 8.
Johnson ceaselessly has stated he loves such marquee matchups, and defending Hill’s pace ranks excessive amongst troublesome duties within the NFL.
“Everybody knows he’s fast until you line up, and then it’s a totally different speed,” Johnson stated. “There’s not too much you can do to prepare. It’s not like you can go and do speed workouts and get faster. I’ve got to play my game, play my style of ball and do my best to contain him.”
2. Pressing query
Can the Bears protection maintain up with out Roquan Smith as its chief?
When common supervisor Ryan Poles traded Smith to the Baltimore Ravens for second- and fifth-round draft picks and linebacker A.J. Klein, the Bears misplaced a staff chief on and off the sector. Smith is the NFL’s main tackler with 83 and has 4 tackles for a loss, 2 ½ sacks and two interceptions.
So what precisely does defensive coordinator Alan Williams inform his gamers with out Smith?
“Don’t try to do too much,” Williams stated. “When you try to do too much you lose a gap, you’re somewhere where you shouldn’t be. The focus of our thing is execution — be where you’re supposed to be. Alignment, assignment, key and technique. There are several plays that we’ve made, big plays where guys were just where they were supposed to be and the opportunity presented itself and guys were in the spot to make the play. If we do that at a high rate, we’ll be just fine.”
The Bears have been within the strategy of checking out who was going to fill Smith’s spot on the sector. Williams stated center linebacker Nicholas Morrow would possibly transfer to Smith’s weak-side linebacker position, which Morrow performed with the Las Vegas Raiders. Williams additionally stated the Bears have been having a look at rookie Jack Sanborn there. The Bears even have veterans Joe Thomas and Klein as linebacker items to maneuver round.
Williams stated they like how Sanborn practices and have an interest to see how he would carry out if he takes on an even bigger position.
“He plays hard, he plays physical,” Williams stated. “In terms of the HITS principle, he does hustle, he is intense. So those are the first two steps. Back when he got a chance to play in the preseason, he did turn the football over. So I would say what’s there not to like about Sanborn? He just needs a chance to get on the field and perform.”
3. Keep a watch on …
Wide receiver Chase Claypool
Claypool had been working towards for less than two days for the reason that Bears acquired him Tuesday from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a second-round draft decide. But offensive coordinator Luke Getsy stated the newcomer will play Sunday, although to what degree they’re not but certain.
Getsy stated the uncertainty of the COVID-19 season helped coaches develop “some really cool things” to assist gamers stand up to hurry shortly after they’re new to a staff, they usually’ll make the most of a few of that with Claypool.
“We have some really cool tools to help him learn what he needs to learn quickly with not having a coach with him for 24 hours a day,” Getsy stated. “So I think he’ll be OK. We’ll make sure that he’s ready to rock ‘n’ roll for whatever his role might be come Sunday.”
Poles introduced in Claypool to improve quarterback Justin Fields’ receiving corps. Getsy stated from watching Claypool over his first 2 ½ seasons that he noticed a man “who had an unbelievable rookie season and shows a really cool, unique set of skills to be able to move around the field for Pittsburgh.”
“He played inside. He played outside, so that’s something that’s important,” Getsy stated. “A guy who can do a lot of different things is really important for us in how we attack the game. So I’m really excited to see how far he can take it. I’m sure it will be one of those things where each week he’ll be able to get a little bit more.”
5. A brand new Dolphins go rusher
The Dolphins made their very own massive offers on the commerce deadline, including edge rusher Bradley Chubb and working again Jeff Wilson Jr.
Chubb was the larger transfer, giving the Dolphins a participant with 26 profession sacks over 5 seasons, together with 5 ½ sacks, eight quarterback hits and two compelled fumbles in 2022. The Dolphins on Thursday signed Chubb to a five-year, $110 million contract extension.
“They’ll play, but how much? That’s to be determined,” Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel informed Miami media.
Chubb joins a gaggle that features veteran Melvin Ingram and 2021 first-round decide Jaelan Phillips, who Bears left deal with Braxton Jones stated “probably could be the most talented out of all of them, have the most juice.”
Jones stated even with Chubb’s transition, the Bears anticipate him to play a giant position Sunday.
“Another vet that’s been around. He’s a tough edge rusher,” Jones stated. “He can be hot and cold sometimes, but when he’s on, he’s on. So that’s the biggest thing is being aware he’s there. He’s a little bit different play style than Melvin Ingram, where he will bull rush, kind of go through you, whereas Melvin Ingram is a slippery guy. So they’ve got some complementary stuff going on there, and I’m sure he’ll be on the field quite a bit.”
5. Injury report
For the second straight week, Bears proper deal with Larry Borom is within the concussion protocol. He missed practices Wednesday and Thursday, and veteran Riley Reiff may once more fill in for him if he isn’t cleared earlier than Sunday.
Left guard Cody Whitehair returned to observe this week and has a 21-day window to return from injured reserve, however it’s unclear if he or Michael Schofield will begin Sunday.
Bears cornerback Kyler Gordon and security Eddie Jackson have been restricted in practices Wednesday and Thursday with hip accidents.
For the Dolphins, offensive lineman Austin Jackson (ankle/calf) and large receiver River Cracraft (sickness) haven’t participated in observe this week as of Thursday evening. Offensive linemen Terron Armstead (toe/Achilles) and Brandon Shell (groin), tight ends Tanner Conner (knee) and Durham Smythe (hamstring), safeties Clayton Fejedelem (groin) and Eric Rowe (hip), defensive deal with Raekwon Davis (knee) and linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (chest/rib) have been restricted.
Brad Biggs (4-4)
Seasonable fall climate might be a welcome sight for the Dolphins. The Bears would like excessive winds, rain or bitter chilly to fight Tua Tagovailoa and an offense that’s seventh within the league in yards per recreation. The Dolphins have a wealth of pace and choices who will take a look at a protection that hasn’t been capable of rush the passer or get off the sector on third down. The Bears ready for a really comparable scheme in Week 1 in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers. The Dolphins lean extra on their passing recreation, and receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are going to check the secondary’s capacity to deal with. Maybe defensive coordinator Alan Williams can get a spirited effort from his gamers, however they seem like short-handed.
Dolphins 28, Bears 21
Colleen Kane (5-3)
This just isn’t an excellent time for the Bears protection to welcome a high-powered Miami Dolphins offense to Soldier Field. Bears gamers are regrouping after GM Ryan Poles traded away defensive leaders Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn. Now they simply should cease among the finest large receiver duos within the league in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. The Bears offense seems to be choosing up steam, and I’m intrigued to see how quarterback Justin Fields builds on his final two video games. But I’m merely not sure of how this protection will reply after a wierd couple of weeks.
Dolphins 27, Bears 24
Dan Wiederer (5-3)
It’s simple to imagine within the Bears’ aggressive spirit and locker-room unity. There’s cause to imagine the offense is on an upward climb too. Still, a depleted and emotionally spent protection has to seek out methods to decelerate Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Dolphins 31, Bears 23