After escaping the Browns game with a victory, the Miami Dolphins will look to build some momentum on a short week. It won’t be easy though, because they have to go to Cincinnati and beat the Bengals who are 1-2. The environment will be nothing new as the Phins have been to Seattle and New England, hostile crowds. The big problem here is being short-handed. Everyone in the NFL by week 4 are banged up and the Dolphins even more so on a short week. Mean while the Bengals actually have a player returning in Vontaze Burfict. The Dolphins must go with out there starting RB, TE, MLB, LE, WLB, and C. I won’t list all the injuries but it is rough. The depth will tested and the 4 backs left will need to do batter than they did on Sunday to help the offense. Obviously Ryan Tannehill will have to step up on 3rd downs an area where the Dolphins rank 31st in the league.
In recent history, the Dolphins have had the Bengals number. However, the Bengals need a win as they are 1-2 like the Phins with losses to the Steelers and Broncos. Expect them to come out fired up and ready to play. Hopefully the Dolphins can do the same. Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph makes his return to Cincy for the first time and will be eager to slow down Marvin Lewis’s offense and show his own defense is just as good the Bengals D. To do that he may have no choice but to play Cameron Wake more than 25 snaps. Wake has been a monster on the field despite his age, but the Dolphins are unwisely preserving him for later in the season when it may not even matter. It is time to let Cam Wake be more than a situational pass rusher.
All in all, this is going to be a hard win to pull out, and the Bengals have a lot more things working in their favor. Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard should have big games, AJ Green as well. I think the Bengals will take this one and send the Dolphins to a miserable BYE week.
FINAL: Dolphins 21 Bengals 24
Sorry fellow Phins fans, it has been a rough start to the season. Do not lose hope though, the schedule does improve and Adam Gase will figure things out during the break. Players will return and stars will emerge. Wishing everyone in Miami the best during tough times.
RIP Jose Fernandez (1992-2016)