The Miami Dolphins are in trouble.
They have won one home game and are starting their third string quarterback—Tyler Thigpen—who hasn’t started a game since 2008.
They’re going to lose offensive tackle Jake Long, weakening the offensive line in front of a young quarterback. They’re going to have to rely on two running backs who have been relatively ineffective this season.
To make matters worse, pro-bowl wide out Brandon Marshall is listed as questionable.
Against them are the recently resurgent Chicago Bears—whose quarterback Jay Cutler has been very good this season—who are tied for top of the NFC North. After several mediocre seasons, Lovie Smith has the Bears playing well on both sides of the ball, and has them among the best in the bad NFC.
Tyler Thigpen has floated from organization to organization, playing intermittently in Minnesota before being traded to the Kansas City Chiefs. He played well for the Chiefs in absence of Brodie Croyle, and played well last week, leading the Dolphins to a victory over the Tennessee Titans.
This game could be a lot closer than people expect.
The wildcat will be making its return to prominence this weekend.
While the Dolphins' running back tandem of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams hasn’t been playing great, averaging 3.9 yards and 4.5 yards per carry respectively, the return of the wildcat should create more openings for them.
The wildcat is a player package in which the snap is taken by a running back, who may run or pass the ball. It’s more conducive to trick plays, as the quarterback often lines up as a wide receiver and can drop back to make a pass.
When the Dolphins introduced it two years ago, the Dolphins went from 1-15 to 11-5 and made the playoffs.
Despite what injuries might imply, the Bears are in for a much larger challenge than pundits expect.
The Dolphins defense is very talented, and their offense will surprise people.
Look for good football a week before Thanksgiving.