This is a tale of two teams that 2 years ago embarked on a rebuilding process and both teams have had their measure of successes even though on the surface the Dolphins seem to be headed on the more successful path for now.
Cincinnati hit it big in the 2020 NFL draft when they drafted QB Joe Burrow with the 1st overall pick in that draft and he has not disappointed in his rookie season that has been derailed due to a serious knee injury. Ironically the injury concerns over the number 2 quarterback taken in that same draft was why Borrow was the number 1 selection, Miami’s rookie QB Tua Tagovailola.
Tua is still learning his role in the Dolphins offense and has not looked consistently as good or better than Joe Borrow taken Number 1 nor Justin Herbert taken directly after Tua Tagovailola in this past NFL Draft. Like it or not there will ALWAYS be comparisons of the 3 QB’s and their careers and in this 3 headed horse race Tua has come out of the gate behind both rookie QB’s, but it is not how they start as we all know.
Time will tell!
The Bengals are headed in the opposite direction in the win/loss Colum as they have lost 6 out of their last 7 games while Miami have won 6 of their last 7 games.
Coaching is the difference as Brian Flores has proven so far to be a great hire while I questioned the hiring of Bengals HC Zack Taylor (On the hot seat?) who is in the same division as the Steelers and Ravens both teams with Top Shelf Coaches that requires a more veteran HC to go up against them IMO….but that is of no concern to me because I am a Dol-Fan! 🙂
Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami
- Where: Hard Rock Stadium (Miami Gardens, FL)
- When: Sunday, December 6
- Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
- Point Spread: Miami -2.5
- O/U 42.5
- TV: CBS
On to the match ups
The match up: on Offense
The Cincinnati Bengals are ranked 24th in total offense averaging 331.5 yards per game on offense, scoring 20.9 points a game while Miami ranks 30th on offense averaging 311.9 yards per game on offense, scoring 25.8 points per game (Down from last week) but 14th in the league in scoring offense.
The match up: on Defense
The Cincinnati Bengals defense is ranked 26th in total defense and is giving up on average 390.2 yards per game and allowing 26.3 points per game, while Miami is ranked 20th in total defense (Up from last week) giving up on average 369.6 yards per game 18.6 points per game (2nd in the league).
For The Dolphins:
I would normally say that the Dolphins should not overlook the Bengals but so far since Brian Flores has taken over the head coaching job in Miami the Dolphins are ALWAYS well prepared and Sunday’s game will be no different. As of writing this preview the Dolphins have not named the starter and Tua is still listed as questionable due to a thumb injury he is nursing but the strategy should be the same either way, a pass heavy offensive attack due to a depleted running attack as injuries and Covid have decimated Miami already anemic run game. Who will be the starter?
Throw the ball 40 plus times would be my strategy but I doubt that veteran OC Chan Gailey will adhere to that strategy, so expect a limited and hopefully successful running game to complement the passing game of either QB for Miami.
Miami will rely on what has been successful for them and what is head coach Brian Flores mantra “Team Ball” as he expects all three phases to contribute in order to win but make no mistake about it the Dolphins identity is on the defensive side of the ball and with Joe burrow out for the season expect the Defense to shine in this game.
For The Cincinnati Bengals
Miami is allowing 4.8 yards-per-carry this season so the Bengals would be foolish not to try and test the Dolphins run defense especially after the loss of Burrow who was having a very good rookie campaign, he had at the time of his injury thrown for 2,688 yards 13 TD’s and 5 INT’s and a 89.8 QBR!
The Bengals passed the ball 66% of the time with Joe Burrow at QB but with Brandon Allen at QB they would be wise to focus on the running attack with veteran RB Giovani Bernard who got plenty of rest last week as the Bengals abandoned their run game in a loss to the Giants. This week I expect a heavy dose of running for obvious reasons.
The Bengals are 11 point underdogs in this matchup, a number I feel is a little high and just might be a reason the Bengals will play this game tight. But under normal circumstances this should be a game that reflect their match up history (Miami Dolphins lead series 17-7-0) and Miami is 8-2 all time at home vs the Bengals. The last two times these teams played in Miami both games went to overtime with a Dolphin victory. I hope it is not that close as the Dolphins are within reach of tying Buffalo for the division while the Bengals are headed for another top draft pick (Currently holding the 3rd pick in the upcoming NFL Draft) hopefully they will maintain that position or move up after Sunday!
Computer Pick: Miami 29, Cincinnati 21
TDS Pick: Miami 26, Cincinnati 10 (My Homer Pick)
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