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Three under the radar threats on the Bears defense

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Da Bears!

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins face a massive foe on Sunday as the Chicago Bears bring their loaded defense to Miami.

The offense has had its share of issues, but is coming off the best game of its season against Tampa Bay, where Mitchell Trubisky threw six touchdown passes in a blowout victory. But it’s the defense that is truly spectacular, and at the forefront of this force is new member Khalil Mack, arguably the Defensive Player of the Year thus far. Mack is too damn good, and he’ll beat you whether you double block him or triple block him.

But beyond Mack, the Bears defense also has a few under the radar faces Dolphins fans should be aware of, so let’s take a look at three threats I feel are going under the radar.

Akeim Hicks

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, people are probably aware of who Akeim Hicks is, and he’s played in the AFC East before (as a member of the Patriots in 2015), but what people don’t realize is he’s playing almost as well as Khalil Mack. Originally a defensive end, Hicks was moved to defensive tackle this year, and it’s paid off massively for the Bears. He provides an incredible bull rush, swim move, and has the power of a 4x4.

The guy sacking Ryan Fitzpatrick (top left)
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Hicks has six quarterback hits this season, the same amount as Mack entering week six, has three sacks, two forced fumbles, and three tackles for a loss. It’s safe to say Hicks is off to a phenomenal start to the year.

Bilal Nichols

NFL: Pro Hall of Fame Game-Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Akeim Hicks and Eddie Goldman have been great as the defensive tackles, but fifth round rookie Bilal Nichols is quickly making a name for himself. He’s been credited for half a sack, three tackles for a loss, and a quarterback hit thus far.

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Nichols is coming off a career best performance, where his powerful get off was on full display against both the run and pass. If not for the studs in front of him, Nichols would probably be starting.

Bryce Callahan

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

In his fourth season, Bryce Callahan has emerged as a quality slot corner. His presence both in the slot and as a blitzer have stood out in particular, and he gives the Bears secondary more solid depth.

The blitzer (#37)
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So far this season, Callahan has one interception, one pass disruption, a tackle for a loss, and a quarterback hit.