The NFL’s limited 17-game regular season doesn’t offer much room for creative scheduling. Play each divisional rival twice and every other team on the schedule is played just once.
Those rules don’t apply to Miami Dolphins’ linebacker Bradley Chubb, at least for the 2023 season. Chubb joined the Dolphins at the trade deadline on Nov. 1 and was with the Broncos when Denver defeated the San Francisco 49ers 11-10 in Week 3.
“I joked earlier that I’m in a division on my own this year,” Chubb said of facing San Francisco (7-4) this weekend. “I played a couple of teams twice all over the NFL. So it’s cool to be in that perspective, but from earlier games, the only thing I can say is just playing physically. I feel like we put that on tape the last time I played. I feel like it’s the formula. We’ve just got to play physical.
“You asked me earlier what they do well and they just try to get you to think, overthink, hesitate and get that edge on you. So I feel like as a defense, we just got to be 100 percent locked in on what we’re doing and just be physical at the point of attack and make sure we play hard.”
Miami’s pass rush is coming off one of the season’s best performances, getting to Houston quarterback Kyle Allen for five sacks. Chubb finished the game with a sack and forced a fumble against Laremy Tunsil, one of the league’s best-left tackles.
“When you’re playing with elite athletes, these people are the best to do it on any level,” Chubb said. “So just a slight second of thinking or overthinking could cause a big play on your end. You can’t hesitate. You can’t do any of that. You’ve got to play fast and that’s one thing we’re looking to do this week.”
Chubb is slated to line up against Trent Williams, another one of the league’s best tackles. With that said, Williams left practice on Friday with back spasms and is something to track as we get closer to Sunday’s game between the Dolphins (8-4) and 49ers.