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Bears-Dolphins matchup of the day: Thursday

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Nov. 18, 2010 @ 12:29 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Thursday night's game between the Bears and Dolphins.

Bears' secondary vs. Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall

Some have suggested that having Tyler Thigpen under center could actually help Marshall be more productive, since Thigpen is more adept at scrambling to create extra time to throw than the Dolphins' previous starting quarterbacks — Chad Henne and Chad Pennington — were.

The Bears' defense will have a say in whether that theory holds up.

Chicago doesn't have an elite player in the secondary with the talent to match Marshall's talent, but, while there have been some coverage breakdowns, the defensive backs have done a pretty good job of preventing touchdowns through the air. No team has allowed fewer passing touchdowns than the Bears (tied with the Saints with six). They did, however, give up more than 100 yards receiving to Dallas' Miles Austin (142), Green Bay's Jermichael Finley (115), the Giants' Hakeem Nicks (110), Seattle's Mike Williams (123) and Buffalo's Stevie Johnson (145), and Marshall had four catches for 97 yards and a touchdown against the Bears in his only meeting against them as a member of the Broncos (Nov. 25, 2007).

Marshall has the strength to shake off smaller defensive backs and pick up yards after the catch, so some Bears defenders will need to wrap him up and hope that a teammate is close enough to chip in and stop him from breaking away.

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