Bears Schedule

Posted by Zotta Rendevouz

Quality of today's televised sports offerings in terms of Bears post-Walter Payton running backs, on a notability scale of Raymont Harris to Thomas Jones

Thursday night's prime time matchup has the Bears traveling to face the Dolphins and it brings up intriguing fantasy questions, but seeing these two teams on the national stage reminds me that we're approaching the 25th anniversary of the one hiccup on the 1985 Bears' schedule that prevented that team from reaching immortality.

If only the Dolphins had reached the Super Bowl that year (they lost at home to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game), we would have seen a worse shellacking, I believe, than what Chicago did to New England (46-10). Here's a brief glimpse of that Monday Night affair when the 12-0 Bears fell victim to the Dolphins curse, 38-24

Bears at Dolphins, 2010 version
This is a huge game for both teams as the Bears (6-3) look to remain at least tied for first in the NFC North while the Dolphins (5-4) need to stay relevant in the AFC East and the wild-card race with a debilitating QB situation.

Well, let's just say this doesn't seem like a good matchup for the Dolphins. First, they're apparently going to start third-string QB Tyler Thigpen (Yes, you may begin to groan, Brandon Marshall owners). With Chad Pennington's career possibly over after just two snaps in Week 10 (can anyone seriously believe he'll be an effective QB again after a fourth arm injury?) and Chad Henne limited by a knee injury, the passing by the Dolphins will be minimal to say the least.

Normally I wouldn't mind it if the Dolphins were forced to run a lot. With Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams among the best backfield tandems in the league, it shouldn't be a problem. But the Dolphins face the league's second-ranked run defense in the Bears, and we all know Chicago will be crowding the line/box to take away the run and force Thigpen to make throws to win. Stay away from both Brown and Williams if you can. And the Bears' defense is a must-start, as if you hadn't locked them in already.

Then, there's the odd fact that Miami is 1-3 at home at home this season, getting their first win this past week against Tennessee. This game presents a strange mix. Miami's defense is ranked 8th overall, 6th against the pass. Miami's defense has been susceptible against strong passers this season (Aaron Rodgers, 313 yards, 1 TD; Ben Roethlisberger 303 yards, 2 TDs; Joe Flacco, 266 yards, 2 TDs), so expect Jay Cutler's numbers to fall in that range for the Bears and he should be an average start at worst. I also might keep Matt Forte in your lineup this week. I see not only a slightly productive game rushing, but some possibilities out of the backfield in the passing game.

Greg Olsen has been a solid start at TE with TDs in each of the last two games. Keep him in your lineup, as well as Devin Hester. It should be a productive night for the Bears offense, not a blockbuster one.

You didn't think I'd start an entry referencing the Super Bowl Shuffle without linking the video, did you? Oh, how I miss the music video craze of the 1980s.