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Why the Bears could win (or lose) Sunday

The Bears enter their week seven contest at 3-3 and deservedly so, with the way their play has fluctuated up and down from game to game and even from one half to another this season. While it appears the team righted the ship a week ago in Atlanta, there's no way of knowing which team will show up Sunday. Here are some reasons why the Bears could win or lose.

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The Chicago Bears have a poor history against the Miami Dolphins. All-time the team is just 4-7 against the 'fins, which is good for a .364 winning percentage, fourth-lowest for the franchise among other active franchises.

The two teams do not meet very often, mostly due to the fact that they play in separate conferences, but the Bears have had their struggles against them all the same. Twice the Dolphins have handed an undefeated Bears team its first loss of the year; in 1985 it was the team's only loss, and in 2006 it was one of only three. The Bears won the last match up back in 2010 by a score of 16-0 but, four years later, the teams appear to be a lot different to what those two were.

The Dolphins enter the game at 2-3, having already served their early bye week, and the team has played about as up and down as the Bears.

Miami enters the game with a middle-of-the-road offense, ranked 16th in yards per game, only two spots below the Bears. Their defense is ranked sixth in the league, allowing 331.6 yards per game, a full ten spots higher than the Bears.

What are the the major factors found in the stats that give each team its best chance to win?

How the Bears could lose:

1) Allowing Dolphins pass rush pressure: It's no secret that the Bears' offensive line has struggled this year compared to last. Look no further than my esteemed colleague Lester Wiltfong's Sackwatch: The Bears have allowed five more sacks through six games than last season. The Dolphins are tied for sixth in the league in sacks with 14. They have seven players with at least a share of a sack, and Cameron Wake and Oliver Vernon lead the way with 3.5 each. If Jordan Mills struggles or Jermon Bushrod isn't quite back to 100 percent, things could get ugly for Chicago's offense.

2) Dolphins running attack: Sure, the Dolphins are without Knowshon Moreno who is out for the rest of season, but their leading rusher is Lamar Miller, who averages 5.2 yards per carry. While the Bears' rushing defense is better, their linebacking corps is still banged up and could be an issue.

3) Mike Wallace: Wallace is in his second year with the team and, after being discussed as a free agent bust last season, he's come on strong in year two. After catching only 51.8 percent of his targets last year, he's caught 56.8 this year and he already has over a third of yards he had all of last year (313 through five games compared to 930 all of last year). Wallace leads the Dolphins in targets, catches, yards and touchdowns. If he finds a way to beat rookie Kyle Fuller or veteran Tim Jennings, it could be a long day for the Bears secondary. Wallace's speed could also torch the questionable Bears safeties.

How the Bears could win:

1) Protecting the football: This goes without saying, really, it's been the most talked about point all season but I think it's worth mentioning because the Dolphins, while having a top-10 defense in yards allowed (sixth) and passing yards allowed (eighth), have only eight takeaways on the season. According to pro-football-reference, the NFL average is 8.3, so the Dolphins are only about average in this area. Further to the point, they have only three interceptions.

2) Matt Forte: Going along with the defensive stats mentioned before, the Bears need to rely heavily on Forte for their best chance to win. The Dolphins' rush defense is ranked 13th, surrendering 110 yards per game, giving Forte a chance to get some yards. Forte leads the team in receptions as well and with the Dolphins' offense ranking 25th in time of possession, compared to the Bears' sixth, the team can play keep away by using Forte and not allow the Dolphins to score.

3) Takeaways: Chicago's defense is tied for third in the league with 12 turnovers created and the Dolphins' offense ranks tied for fourth with 11 giveaways. If the Bears can force turnovers and get the Dolphins to make mistakes, the Bears should have no problem getting their first home win of the season.

Every game in the NFL is virtually unpredictable and any team can win in a given week. Looking at this match up it looks like one the Bears should win; unfortunately, so far this season they have lost the games that looked favorable and won the games that looked the most difficult. Hopefully that trend ends Sunday and the Bears dispose of a Dolphins team that matches up well with the Bears on paper.