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GAME TIME: 8:20 PM EST on Thursday, Nov 18th. The game will be broadcast nationally on the NFL Network and on Sirius radio channels 125 and 126.

PLACE: SunLife Stadium, Miami Gardens, FL

FORECAST: A 10 percent chance of showers before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. North wind between 8 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.

FIELD CONDITIONS: SunLife Stadium has a grass surface. There is no serious weather in the forecast and baseball season is over, so the field should be in good shape.

STANDINGS & STATS: The Dolphins are 5-4, in 3rd place in the AFC East. The Bears are 6-3 and tied with the Packers for first place in the NFC North.

Dolphins       Pts/Game  Rank   Bears          Pts/Game  Rank
Scored          19.1      26    Scored          19.4      23
Allowed         21.3      13    Allowed         16.2       2

Dolphins       Yds/Game  Rank   Bears          Yds/Game  Rank
Total Offense:	 344      16    Total Defense:   302       4
      Rushing:   104      19          vs Rush:    82       2
      Passing:	 240      13          vs Pass:   220      15

Bears                           Dolphins
Total Offense:	 297      29    Total Defense:   314       8
      Rushing:    95      23          vs Rush:   110      16
      Passing:   202      21          vs Pass:   204       6

Sacks		Made (Avg/G)	Allowed (Avg/G)
Dolphins         23    2.6        13      1.4
Bears            13    1.4        34      3.8

Turnover differential:
Dolphins         -5
Bears            +3

Individual Skill Position Stats:
Dolphins                        
QB:   QB Thigpen:          6-12-79-1-1-64.2
Rush: RB Brown:               113-444-3.9-3
Rush: RB Williams:             89-400-4.5-1
Rec:  WR Marshall:            55-652-11.9-1
Rec:  WR Bess:                48-480-10.0-3
Rec:  TE Fasano:              25-367-14.7-3

Bears       
QB:   QB Cutler:     150-246-1908-12-9-86.2
Rush: RB Forte:               125-470-3.8-3
Rush: RB Taylor:               65-206-3.2-1
Rec:  WR Knox:                32-617-19.3-1
Rec:  RB Forte:               30-324-10.8-3
Rec:  WR Bennett:             27-284-10.5-1

Legend 
     QBs: completions-attempts-yards-touchdowns-ints-rating
     RBs: rushes-yards-average-touchdowns
     WRs: receptions-yards-average-touchdowns
HISTORY: Miami leads the series 7-3 and owns a 4-2 record over the Bears in Miami. The last time the Dolphins faced the Bears was in 2006, when Miami won 31-13 in Chicago. The most memorable meeting between these two teams was on a Monday night in 1985, when Dan Marino and the Dolphins gave the Bears their only loss of the '85 season.

INJURIES:

DOLPHINS: 
Out:          S  Chris Clemons (hamstring)
              C  Joe Berger (knee)
Doubtful:     QB Chad Henne (knee)
Questionable: OT Jake Long (shoulder)
              WR Roberto Wallace (knee)
              S  Tyrone Culver (ankle)
Probable:     LB Karlos Dansby (elbow)
              S  Yeremiah Bell (toe)
	      OT Vernon Carey (knee)
              LB Channing Crowder (ribs)
              LB Tim Dobbins (ankle)
              DE Kendall Langford (ankle)
              WR Brandon Marshall (hamstring)

BEARS: 
Out:          LB Pisa Tinoisamoa (knee)
Probable:     CB Zachary Bowman (foot)
              WR Rashied Davis (quad)
              WR Devin Hester (shoulder)
              WR Johnny Knox (ankle)

DOLPHINS' STARTERS:

Offense:		     Defense:
QB - 16 Tyler Thigpen        LE  - 70 Kendall Langford
RB - 23 Ronnie Brown         NT  - 96 Paul Soliai
FB - 36 Lousaka Polite       RE  - 94 Randy Starks
WR - 19 Brandon Marshall     SLB - 55 Koa Misi
WR - 15 Davone Bess          ILB - 52 Channing Crowder
TE - 80 Anthony Fasano       ILB - 58 Karlos Dansby
LT - 77 Jake Long            WLB - 91 Cameron Wake
LG - 68 Richie Incognito     LCB - 21 Vontae Davis
C  - 71 Cory Procter         RCB - 24 Sean Smith
RG - 74 John Jerry           SS  - 37 Yeremiah Bell
RT - 72 Vernon Carey         FS  - 20 Reshad Jones

K -   5 Dan Carpenter        P   -  2 Brandon Fields

PR - 15 Davone Bess          KR  - 28 Nolan Carroll
NOTES: Thigpen will start at quarterback, Cory Proctor will take over for Joe Berger at center and Reshad Jones will step in for Chris Clemons. A lot of other players are banged up, most notably Jake Long, who will probably start while wearing a shoulder brace.
BEARS' STARTERS: 

Offense:                     Defense: 
QB -  6 Jay Cutler           LDE - 71 Israel Idonije
RB - 22 Matt Forte           DT  - 75 Matt Toeaina
FB - 86 Brandon Manumaleuna  DT  - 95 Anthony Adams
WR - 23 Devin Hester         RDE - 90 Julius Peppers
WR - 13 Johnny Knox          LLB - 55 Lance Briggs
TE - 82 Greg Olsen           MLB - 54 Brian Urlacher
LT - 68 Frank Omiyale        RLB - 53 Nick Roach
LG - 74 Chris Williams       LCB - 33 Charles Tillman
C  - 57 Olin Kreutz          RCB - 26 Tim Jennings
RG - 63 Roberto Garza        SS  - 38 Danieal Manning
RT - 73 J'Marcus Webb        FS  - 46 Chris Harris

K  -  9 Robbie Gould         P   -  4 Brad Maynard

PR - 23 Devin Hester         KR  - 38 Danieal Manning
NOTES: LB Pisa Tinoisamoa, who was the starting right outside linebacker, was a surprise scratch on Tuesday. Otherwise, the Bears are healthy.

KEY MATCHUPS:

  1. Tyler Thigpen vs Himself: Thigpen gets his first start as a Dolphin this week and is potentially much more dangerous than Chad Henne.

  2. Dolphins' Kick Coverage vs Devin Hester: Hester is the most dangerous return man in the NFL and can beat the Dolphins all by himself.

  3. Cameron Wake vs J'Marcus Webb: The Bears have given up more sacks than any other team in the NFL and Cam Wake is healthy. The key to stopping the Bears' offense is pressure on their quarterback.

  4. Anthony Fasano vs Bears Defense: Fasano is having a career year and has become one of the most dangerous weapons on Miami's offense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Clearly, all eyes will be on Tyler Thigpen this week. A lot has been made about the fact that he was the third string quarterback going into the Titans' game, but most analysts skip over the fact that he was the starter for the Chiefs for 11 games in 2008 and threw 18 touchdown passes.

Also on offense, Jake Long will be playing with a separated shoulder and Cory Proctor will be starting at center in place of Joe Berger. And TE Anthony Fasano is on track to have the best year of his career.

On defense, Cameron Wake appears fine after the injury scare on Sunday, but S Chris Clemons is out with an injury, so rookie Reshad Jones will get the first start of his career.

Bears' QB Jay Cutler has been very inconsistent since he came to Chicago last year and is capable of being either great or terrible. Bears WR Johnny Knox is their big play threat, averaging 19.1 yards per reception but starting running back Matt Forte only averages 3.8 ypc. TE Greg Olsen leads their receiving corps in scoring with 4 TDs.

MLB Brian Urlacher is a perennial Pro-Bowl player and leads the Bears in tackles this year with 62. They signed defensive end Julius Peppers this year, but so far he has just 2 sacks. And CB D.J.Moore leads their defense with 4 interceptions.

On special teams, Bears' return man Devin Hester is the best kick and punt returner in the league and may be one of the best of all time.

MY ANALYSIS:

When Miami hosts the Bears on Thursday night, they will be starting Tyler Thigpen, who will be the key to Miami's offensive performance against the 2nd ranked run defense in the league. He has a tough challenge ahead of him, but he is not an inexperienced rookie. He started 11 games for a very poor Chiefs' team in 2008 and threw 18 touchdown passes in that time.

This will be a tough game for Thigpen, but it should also tell us a lot about his abilities. The Bears' defense is excellent against the run and is second in the league in interceptions, so Thigpen will have to throw the ball well to win this game.

Thigpen is a very different type of quarterback than Henne, so the Dolphins will need a different gameplan. Thigpen has a weaker arm, but is a lot more mobile and accurate on the move. As a result, the Dolphins will use a lot more rollouts and moving pockets to try and get the ball down the field.

Ultimately, with the injury to Jake Long and the absence of Joe Berger, the Dolphins will probably not be able to establish much of a running game this week. They will have to rely on their passing game to score. The Bears are vulnerable to the pass, but Thigpen must be accurate and not make too many mistakes if the Dolphins are going to be able to move the ball.

When the Bears have the ball, the Dolphins should be able to stop their offense if they can put enough pressure on Jay Cutler. Cutler makes a lot of mistakes under pressure and the Bears' offensive line has given up a lot of sacks this year. With Cameron Wake and Koa Misi pressuring Cutler, Miami should be able to reign in the Bears.

The biggest danger from Chicago is WR Johnny Knox, who averages 19.1 yards per reception. The Bears will undoubtedly use Knox and TE Greg Olsen to test rookie safety Reshad Jones deep and see if Miami will give up the deep ball. The Bears' rushing attack is only average and Miami should be able to control them, but Miami needs to be careful about the deep pass.

On special teams, Miami faces their biggest challenge of the year in Devin Hester. The Dolphins will undoubtedly kick away from Hester as much as possible to avoid having to try and contain him, but Miami must not give up any scores on kick returns if they are going to win this game.

The bottom line for Thursday night will be in the passing game for both teams. If the Dolphins can avoid turnovers and pressure Jay Cutler, they should be able to beat the Bears. On the other hand, if the Bears can pick off several passes from Thigpen and protect Cutler, the Dolphins will probably not be able to win.

PLACES TO WATCH:

To watch the game on TV, you may go to one of the sports bars listed on my "Places To Watch" web page.

To listen to the game live over the Internet, you must now pay the NFL for the privelege. They are charging $9.99 (US) per month or $39.99 for the season for something you used to get for free. If you want to sign up for that, go to the following link NFL Field Pass.

Also, here is a list of some websites that have live scores and updates. Both the Official Website and NFL.com have almost live applications that run in your browser and give you current stats and play-by-play information.

Related Info:
     
   
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