I usually get this post up on Thursday or Friday, but because of the short week, we had to get everything done ahead of schedule this time around. With that said, please welcome in Brett from Midway Illustrated, Bloguin's Chicago Bears blog. They didn't have any questions for me to answer, but be sure to head over there for everything Bears related here in these next few days leading up to the game.
Phins Phocus: I've heard people say that the Bears aren't as good as their 6-3 record suggest. Do you feel like they are a contender or a pretender?
MI: The Bears on defense are a contender, they have a championship caliber defense of the highest order. In the years after the 2006 Super Bowl appearance the Bears' defense had gotten worse and worse....but now it's back up to a level that could lead the Bears to a playoff run.
Problem is the Bears' offense isn't quite up to the same level and all of that has to do with the lack of success by the offensive line. The offensive line is the weak link to this team right now and unless that continues to change like it has over the last two weeks the Bears could struggle to win games the rest of the season.
Phins Phocus: How improved has Jay Cutler been in his second season with the Bears? Does he now have sufficient weapons to work with in order to emerge as an elite quarterback?
MI: Cutler is and always be a risk taker of the highest order and will make crazy throws because he trusts his arm to get the job done. He's made better decisions overall but still hasn't reached his full potential because of the lack of balance on offense. It all goes back to the O-Line.
Phins Phocus: The Bears have always been perceived as a tough-nosed running team, but currently rank 22nd in rushing offense. What has contributed most to their struggles on the ground?
MI: The theme of the season is the offensive line, there have been five different starting combinations since the season started, the one that's currently in place over the last two games has performed the best of any starting unit on the season. Matt Forte and Chester Taylor are a dangerous duo and if they get good blocking they could really start to put up some major rushing yards.
Phins Phocus: If you were the Dolphins' offensive coordinator how exactly would you go about moving the football on this stout Bears' defense?
MI: With the Bears' one gap attack I'm going to do everything in my power to utilize the Wild cat offense and get the Bears out of their gaps. Everything I can do to use the Bears' speed against them is how I would attack them. That means establishing the run via the Wildcat then trying to find a way to pass out of it.
Phins Phocus: Who do you see winning Thursday night and why? Final Score?
MI: With the way the Bears' defense is playing right now I see a defensive struggle between both teams. The defense should be up to the task in slowing down the Dolphins because they have been playing at an extremely high level pretty consistently this season. If the Dolphins can get a lot of pressure on Cutler and stuff up the run then the Bears will struggle to score points.
The next question is can the Dolphins slow down the Bears' dangerous return game. If not the Bears could definitely put themselves in position to score points that way.