The Chicago Bears (3-5) will battle the Miami Dolphins (5-3) on Sunday, where Chicago is looking to build off an impressive offensive outing.
The Bears are coming off a 49-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys (6-2), where the defense struggled but the offense put on a show. The hope is Chicago can build on that offensive momentum, especially quarterback Justin Fields, who’s been on a tear over the last couple of weeks. We could very well be in for a shootout between the Bears and Dolphins.
Will Chicago pull off an upset against Miami in Week 9? Our Bears Wire staff share their game picks for Sunday’s matchup.
Alyssa Barbieri (4-4): Dolphins 35, Bears 27
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It’s been a whirlwind of a week with the Roquan Smith trade and the arrival of Chase Claypool. There’s been an apparent shift in philosophy from defense to offense, which could mean more shootouts in the final nine games of the season. I don’t know about you, but that’s something I’m going to have to get used to (and I certainly don’t hate it).
In last week’s loss to the Cowboys, it was the Bears offense that kept them in that game, and that’ll likely be the case again. Quarterback Justin Fields has stacked back-to-back impressive outings, where he’s been able to overcome the deficiencies around him to take steps forward in his development. Fields has been exciting to watch, and it’s what’ll ultimately give Chicago a chance in this game. That, and their top-ranked run game, which is averaging almost 190 yards per game.
The Bears defense will certainly have its hands full against a high-powered Dolphins offense, which features the dynamic duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who could put this Chicago secondary through it on Sunday. But if that means getting to watch Fields the Bears get into a shootout with Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins, I’m not mad. Still, I think Chicago ultimately falls short. But at least it should be thrilling.
Brendan Sugrue (2-6): Dolphins 33, Bears 24
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Picking Bears games this year hasn’t exactly gone my way so take this prediction with a grain of salt. The Bears are in the process of an identity shift, now that multiple defensive stars have been moved and the offense is getting reinforcements. It’s exciting to watch but could lead to some bad losses against top offenses, which is what the Bears are getting this Sunday. The Miami Dolphins have a top-10 offense and their passing attack is the third-best in the league. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will take the top off the defense and score points with ease. The Bears secondary has been solid, but without a consistent pass rush, they’re going to get beat at some point by one or both of these receivers, especially on the right side.
The Bears offense might need to carry the load once again, which is good for those who want to see continued progress from Justin Fields. Believe it or not, but the offense is currently the strength of the Bears offense. The Dolphins have an average defense, though they do play the run effectively. Keep in mind that they also just traded for and paid star defensive end Bradley Chubb. There’s a good chance he’s active and playing meaningful snaps on Sunday, which could cause even more problems.
We’re likely in for another shootout so if the Bears have to lose, at least it will be fun. The Dolphins simply have too much firepower to be kept at bay for a full 60 minutes.
Ryan Fedrau (5-3): Dolphins 33, Bears 27
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The Dolphins are just a better team than the Bears. Their offense is hard to stop and the Bears defense struggled against Dallas. With how well Chicago’s offense has played, this is going to be a high scoring game. Still, Miami takes it. Justin Fields puts on another solid showing, stacking three games together. Unfortunately, his three best career games will have a 1-2 record.
Jarrett Bailey (5-3): Bears 30, Dolphins 26
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Call me crazy, but the Bears are making a believer out of me. Yes, the defense was exposed to an extent against Dallas, but the offense is finding its groove. Miami allowed the Lions to control a good portion of the game last Sunday, and had to overcome a two-score deficit to beat arguably the worst team in football. A timely Jaquan Brisker interception, combined with a big game from Justin Fields and the newly-acquired Chase Claypool give the Bears a surprise win over the Dolphins.