The Bears are coming off a 49-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys (6-2), where the defense didn’t have any answer for Dallas. They gave up a season-high 42 points and struggled against the run and pass.
With the losses of Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn, this Bears defense faces an uphill battle through these final nine games. And with a high-powered Miami offense coming to town, they’ll have their work cut out for them.
As the Bears prepare to face the Dolphins, here’s what Chicago’s defense needs to do to slow down Miami’s offense in Week 9.
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Let’s be honest, you’re not going to stop Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Especially not with some inexperienced cornerbacks in Kindle Vildor and rookie Kyler Gordon. But the Bears defense needs to do its best to limit their impact in the passing game. Hill and Waddle are both top five in receiving yards this season (Hill: 961; Waddle: 727), and they combined for 294 yards in last week’s win over the Lions. If the Bears stand any chance in this game, the defense needs to contain those two guys to the best of their abilities — which is easier said than done.
Get pressure on Tua Tagovailoa
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The Bears rush has struggled this season — and that was before their best edge rusher Robert Quinn was traded to the Eagles. Chicago has totaled just 13 sacks this season, which is bottom five in the league. On the flip side, the Dolphins have done a solid job of protecting their quarterbacks this season. Miami has given up 17 sacks through eight games, which ranks 12th best in the NFL. If the Bears stand to limit this dangerous Dolphins passing attack, they’re going to need to do a good job bringing pressure on Tua Tagovailoa.
Stop the run
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The Bears defense has struggled defending the run this season, where they’re allowing 156 yards per game. The good news is, the Dolphins haven’t fared well running the ball this season. They’re averaging just 88.1 rushing yards per game, which is 28th in the league. Although, they did just make a move in the trade market to acquire Jeff Wilson Jr. from the 49ers. But the Bears did lose Roquan Smith, so they’re even more susceptible against the run. The good news? Miami has fared better through the air, which could mean good news for the run defense but will be a long day for the secondary.