Miami Dolphins (3-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
What a game, what a game it was. The Bengals managed to leave Atlanta with a win last week bringing them to 3-1 on the season. 3-1 sounds even better when you take into account that three of those games were on the road, no Vontaze Burfict in any of them, and no Joe Mixon or Billy Price in two of them. The Bengals did something Bengals fans don’t often see and that is a come from behind win on the road. Down late in the game Andy Dalton led the Bengals down the field to score with seconds remaining. It was a Bengals team that finished strong and did not falter like we have often seen them do. It looked like a different Bengals team we are not used to seeing.
For anyone that reads this weekly you will know I had a wedding to attend last weekend and was worried about making it home in time to watch the game. Fear no more, I managed to pull in the drive at one o’clock and watched the whole game. Enough with week 4, lets move on. I’m going to be honest, Sunday feels like a trap game. I have heard several others mention this as well, fresh off of a big win, with Pittsburgh next week, it feels like a trap game. I’m hoping the Bengals have not already looked past a sneaky good Miami team that sits at 3-1.
Matchups to watch for…
A.J. Green vs. Xavien Howard – Last time Green played the Dolphins he picked them apart to the tune of 10 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. An absolutely dominate performance, most of it coming against then rookie Xavien Howard. Howard was “mossed” in this game by Green and looked silly. That was two years ago, now Howard is playing like a top corner in the league, in fact he shut down Amari Cooper just weeks ago. Howard is a good corner, I think he causes some fits early on but I think Green gets going in the second half of the game. I also predict Green to score his 6th touchdown on the year this week.
Vontaze vs. The New NFL Rules – The much anticipated return of one of the most controversial players in the league. You either love him or hate him. Despite his famous hit in the playoffs, I love Tez. I think he is exactly what our defense has been missing on third downs. With Tez back, I think he helps our defense get more third down stops and get the defense off the field. That is of course if he stays on the field. Tez is no stranger to suspensions, and with new rules in place it could be hard for a targeted Tez to stay on the field. Burfict will have to play smart to avoid letting his teammates down with another suspension.
Bengals Pass Rush vs. An Underrated Dolphins Line – The Dolphins passing weapons are not to be taken lightly. They have some talent at the receiver position that could test our secondary. This is why the Bengals must put pressure on Tannehill and not give him time to find the open guy down the field. After a huge preseason this defensive line has been quieter than expected. Geno and Dunlap are still their usual selves but guys like Carl Lawson, Andrew Billings, and Jordan Willis have not made the impact we might have thought they would. This is the week they need to bring it and show how dominate they can be on the line.
My Prediction: I was wrong last week, despite thinking the Bengals would win, since I figured they would split the Atlanta and Carolina game, I picked them to lose. I did not give them the benefit of the doubt and trust this new confidence they have. I am also not doubting them this week, I think Marvin Lewis will have them ready and not let them fall victim to a trap game. The Bengals are very talented and playing good football. While it looks like John Ross and Gio Bernard may miss this game, we will see Joe Mixon and Vontaze Burfict back. Arguably the most passionate players on each side of the ball should be the spark the Bengals need to keep rolling this week at home.
My Prediction: Bengals 34 Dolphins 23
My Bengals Predictions on the year: 2-2
Be sure to follow me on twitter @Pierson242FF, and be sure to tweet me if you are at the game as I will be in attendance on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
Game: Miami Dolphins (3-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Date/Time: October 7, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Paul Brown Stadium
Uniforms: Orange Jersey with White Pants
Last Matchup: 9/29/16 – Bengals 22, Dolphins 7
Odds: Bengals, -5.5