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Thursday Night Football: Dolphins vs Bears Pre-Game Thread

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I don't know about you, but today felt like forever to me. The wait is almost over, though, and we are inching closer and closer to kickoff tonight between the Dolphins and Bears. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 pm and the game can be seen on NFL Network.

Coverage on NFL Network begins at 6 pm tonight with their two hour Thursday Night Kickoff show - featuring, in my opinion, the best studio team on television (Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, and Deion Sanders).

Our live game thread will be up on the front page at 8 pm.

Inactives and Starting Lineup Updates

A teams spokesman confirms what we all already assumed: Tyler Thigpen will start at quarterback. Meanwhile, Steve Wyche reports that Chad Henne is listed as the #3 quarterback - meaning Patrick Ramsey is tonight's backup.

Jeff Darlington confirms more news we all assumed about tonight. Jake Long will start at LT. Cory Proctor will start at center in place of the injured Joe Berger. And rookie Reshad Jones will start at free safety in place of the injured Chris Clemons.

The official list of Dolphin inactives is as follows: QB Chad Henne (3rd), WR Roberto Wallace, FS Chris Clemons, DB Nate Ness, C Joe Berger, TE Jeron Mastrud, DE Clifton Geathers, and OT Matt Kopa.

That means safety Tyrone Culver, who was questionable, will play - likely mostly on special teams.

Weather Update

The weather should be a non-issue tonight in South Florida. Skies will be partly cloudy and the game time temperature will be around 74 degrees. Winds will be very light as well. Perfect night for some football - for both players and fans.


Prediction Time

Many of you have become accustomed to our weekly post that lists some of the picks of various national writers. But due to the short week, there was no post like that this week. So here are some picks for tonight made by writers and/or analysts:

Pete Prisco - Mia Clark Judge - Mia Sterling Sharpe - Chi
Shawn Springs - Chi Mike Mayock - Mia Mike Florio - Mia
Gregg Rosenthal - Mia Jason Cole - Chi Michael Silver - Mia

Lots of love for the Dolphins despite the glaring fact that the Bears have Jay Cutler and the Dolphins have Tyler Thigpen. I don't really know whether these guys are picking the Dolphins because they believe in Miami or they feel like the Bears just aren't that good despite their 6-3 record.

Matty's Key Player

Tonight I'm looking at Brandon Marshall. The Dolphins have got to get the football in his hands. He loves these national prime time stages and he's clearly been frustrated with his role in the offense. Tyler Thigpen is going to look to lean on the big, physical monster at receiver. I expect Brandon to top 100 yards for only the third time this year - and hopefully find the endzone for the first time since Miami's week three Monday Night game against the Jets.