Date – Thursday, September 29, 2016
Location – Paul Brown Stadium
Time — 8:30 PM EST
TV: NFL Network
The Miami Dolphins (1-2) almost failed to beat the lowly Cleveland Browns In Week 3, giving up 430 yards of total offense — winning 30-24 (OT) after Browns Kicker Cody Parkey missed a 46-yard field goal as time expired. On a short week with multiple injuries; most notably, RB Arian Foster, TE Jordan Cameron, and potentially LBs Jelani Jenkins and Koa Misi, who both sat out of practice on Tuesday. Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph will need to get his underperforming defense locked in Thursday, as he takes on his former team the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) who have also struggled defensively this season.
Line: Bengals -7.0
Cincinnati Bengals Preview:
For the Bengals, Week-4 marks the first time since 2014 that the franchise has been below .500 at this point in the season
Struggling to put up points on the board in their Week 3, 29-17 loss to the undefeated Denver Broncos — Broncos’ QB Trevor Siemian, had an absolute field day shredding the Bengals defense in the 4th quarter. Siemian finished the game, completing 23-of-35 for 312 yards and four touchdown passes.
These numbers marked the first time in NFL history that a QB has thrown for 300 yards, four TDs and no INTs in their first career road start.
The Bengals defense, According to Jim Morrison, entered Week 3 ranked last in run defense but jumped to 18th.
The Miami Dolphins are currently ranked 31nd in run-defense heading into Thursday night’s game.
3 Keys to Success
Stop the Leaders
Andy Dalton is a monster when playing inside the Jungle, currently leads the AFC with 938 passing yards and has 16 touchdowns vs. six interceptions in his last 10 appearances at home. the Dolphins’ who rank 28th in yards allowed, will need to find a way to stop super star WR1 A.J Green, who has complied 22 receptions for 295 yards and one score.
In each of Miami’s first three games, a WR has had at least 92 yards. Meaning if the secondary is unable to make stops, it’s going to be a long night for Byron Maxwell.
(Terrelle Pryor vs Secondary week 3: 8-of-14 targets, 144 yards, and 1 TD)
Sack Andy Dalton
Against the talented Denver defense, QB Andy Dalton was completely suffocated in week 3 — Dalton finished 21-of-31 for 206 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception (QB rating: 72.8).
Denver’s defensive line dominated throughout the game, putting the former TCU Bullfrog under constant pressure, which resulted in 4 sacks for -17 yards.
If the Dolphins can get Andy Dalton out of a rhythm earlier, there is a very good chance Miami could record its second INT of the season in Ohio.
Contain the 1-2 Punch
Both Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill are very involved in the Bengals offense. Bernard, who led his team in receptions, receiving yards and targets against the Pittsburgh Steelers is dangerous when open in the flats, and like previous seasons has been a bail out for Dalton as a play dismantles. On the other hand you have Jeremy Hill, a more traditional RB who can be fed early and often — like in Week 3 where Hill saw 17 carries for 97 yards and two TDs.
Run-defense is something the Miami Dolphins’ have lacked this season, and is something Marvin Lewis will most certainly try to exploit. The Dolphins allowed 169 yards to the Browns, placing them at a season average of 147.3 YPG allowed.
How to Bet?
Bet against the spread — the Dolphins are 3-0 against the Bengals since 2010, and while the game could end in a blowout With the 1-2 Bengals playing without TE Tyler Eifert …. I’d take the risk.
Final Score: Cincinnati 34, Dolphins 24
This game all boils down to how well the Defense can contain the run and A.J. Green. Expect another 30+ throw game for Ryan Tannehill.