Chicago Bears (3-1) vs Miami Dolphins (3-2)
Monday, October 15th – 1:00pm ET – Hard Rock Stadium
Betting Line: Chicago -3, Total 42.5
The Chicago Bears are on a roll. After losing at Green Bay in Week 1, Mitch Trubisky and the Bears have won their last three games to place them atop the NFC North (Seahawks, Cardinals, Bucs). The Bears are now 3-1 going into Week 6.
Miami kicked off their season a strong 3-0 vs the Titans, Jets, and Raiders. As their competition increased, however, their offensive output decreased. Miami averaged 25 points per game through Week 3. In their two losses since then, Miami has averaged 12 points per game.
Week 5 saw the Dolphins get trounced 38-7 at New England by the Patriots. Their Week 6 loss at Cincinnati was particularly disappointing for Dolphins fans. Miami was up 17-0 in the third quarter. They never scored again. The Cincinnati defense scored twice and intercepted another pass on their way to a 27-17 come-from-behind victory over the Dolphins.
Ryan Tannehill finished the game 20 of 35 with 185 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions, and a lost fumble. He was scored more for the Bengals (14) than he did the Dolphins (7).
Miami had an efficient rushing game, however turnovers didn’t allow them to capitalize on its success. Collectively, the Dolphins ran the ball 22 times for 128 yards which was good for 5.8 yards per carry.
Chicago is a defensive force to be reckoned with. They rank 2nd in points allowed per game (16.3), 1st in rushing yards allowed per game (64), 9th in passing yards per game (230.5), and 2nd in offensive yards allowed per game (294.5). They’ve force 11 turnovers to their five. They’ve allowed the fewest first downs and the 7th lowest 3rd down percentage. Not only are the effective, they’re disciplined. The Chicago defense has been whistled for just 30 penalties (6th) all season.
This is a recipe for disaster for the Dolphins. Miami’s offense is 30th in the NFL in 1s downs and 29th when attempting to convert on 3rd down (30.9%). Their 19.8 points per game ranks them 28th in that category. Their 288.2 offensive yards per game is good enough for 30th in the NFL.
There aren’t many historical trends to reference in this match-up. Since 1985 these two teams have only met nine times. Miami is 5-4 SU and ATS with a 6 of those 9 going Under. Miami has won 3 of the last 4 SU and ATS against Chicago, however. With that said, this isn’t the same Chicago Bears of the last decade.
This defense is real. Mitch Trubisky is coming off of a breakout game where he threw for 354 yards and 6 touchdowns while commiting no turnovers. The second year quarterback is completing 70% of his passes. He’s thrown for 8 touchdowns and has 3 interceptions on the season. Considering six of those eight TD’s all came in Week 5, he was largely ineffective until last week. Which Mitch will we see against Miami?
I don’t think it matters. Chicago’s defense will be the difference in this game. They will pressure the Miami offensive line and take Ryan Tannehill to the ground. Chicago, led by Khalil Mack have tallied 18 sacks through four games.
Tannehill doesn’t play well under pressure. He’s been sacked 11 times, has thrown 5 interceptions, and has coughed up the football 3 times.
I’m not completely sold on Mitch Trubisky. He’s had one good great game this season. That one game doesn’t wipe away his ineffectiveness in the first three games. It won’t matter. Chicago -3 against the struggling Fins is the pick here.