Week eleven in the NFL season starts with the Chicago Bears (6-3) versus the Miami Dolphins (5-4) in a non-conference match-up featuring two contenders. Vegas has the Dolphins as -1 1/2 point favorites at home.
Miami continued its erratic ways this season with a 29-17 win against the Tennessee Titans continuing a streak of six consecutive weeks of trading wins and losses. The Dolphins received a boost from an unlikely source in third-string quarterback Tyler Thigpen as both Chad Henne and Chad Pennington were injured in the game. Thigpen threw for a touchdown pass and connected on 4 of 6 passes after Henne was injured. It was unclear at press time which quarterback would start, though indications are that Henne would get his job back. The Dolphins also played outstanding defense, with three turnovers and two sacks in holding Tennessee to just 17 points.
The Bears, meanwhile, held division rival the Minnesota Vikings to just thirteen points as Brett Favre was largely ineffective. The Chicago secondary picked-off three of his passes and linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs came up big. The Bears shut down Adrian Peterson, allowing just 51 yards, and that is not good news for the Dolphins who rely on the running of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams as an integral part of their offense. Jay Cutler, on offense for the Bears, was effective, throwing three touchdowns against two interceptions. The Dolphins feature a strong secondary, though, and Cutler must be careful. Miami has only six interceptions all season, but they have defended 48 passes and seem to always be around the ball. The Dolphins also have 23 sacks and Cutler has been victimized by the pass rush all season.
This should be a low-scoring game and the Vegas over/under is 40 1/2 – take the under. Look for the Dolphins to come-up with a close win at home, covering the Vegas spread and taking this Thursday night contest.
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