Since we have had an influx of Fins articles this week, there will be less looking back and more looking forward in this article for once. The Browns win was… a moral loss, for lack of a better term. The Dolphins were completely out coached, our qb play was mediocre at best even with 300 yards and 3 tds, our defense let a TD drive the drive after we went up 11, and our play calling in the 4th was atrocious. That being said, the Dolphins squeezed out a victory while playing awful, something that hasn’t happened in recent years. The negative? We will not be playing the Browns every week, sadly. In fact, this week we get the Bengals, another team considered playoff caliber at the start of the season.
The Bengals start of the season has been very similar to Miami’s. The Bengals have lacked a running game, have extreme questions in their secondary, have a lot of injuries on both sides of the ball, and have had to throw a lot to stay in games. Both have played 2 teams that were considered playoff contenders and beaten the one team they were “supposed” to. Both qbs are playing similar with about a 90 Passer rating, similar numbers in yards, though the Red Rocket has been under siege and has been sacked 12 times this year. He also has AJ Green who has had a tremendous start to this year, though even though he blew up versus the Bills actually has less yards on the season than Jarvis Landry. Through three games Andy Dalton has thrown 2 Tds to 2 Ints with one of the premier WRs in the NFL on his roster.
The Bengals defense has arguably been worse. The defense is letting up 25 points per game, 356 yards per game, and over 100 yards a game rushing. They have only been able to get 4 sacks on the season and haven’t consistently applied pressure to the QB. They also will be down on of their best defensive players most likely in Dre Kirkpatrick, but do get back Vontaze Burfict from suspension. This game, from the standpoint of team images, should be an easy win for the Bengals, but the numbers are showing a different story.
You play to win the game
Miami has been consistently outcoached at the start of every game this season. Gase has proven he can make half time adjustments, so the hope is that in a short turn around he doesn’t try to over think things and sets a good game plan. If the Dolphins can start with a TD early, it may be enough to shift the game. The offense has a fast strike ability and a defense built for sacking the QB. The Fins should play to that strength. Use Landry and Stills in a spread screen/slant game to open up the running game. The leading rusher on the Dolphins is still Tannehill, but hopefully that changes with Drake averaging 4.5 yards a carry.
The Dolphins secondary has no one that can cover AJ Green. The Dline must get after the Red Rocket early and often. They must force Dalton to make the short throw so that Green doesn’t beat the defense deep. If the pressure is on Dalton, he is known to make mistakes, and the Fins will need to capitalize. This is game where they cannot lose the turnover ratio.
The spread right now is Bengals with 7.5 at home.
I would take the Fins against the spread. I am also calling Miami for the upset victory on the road. A short turnaround favors the Fins and I am going with the team with the better pass rush.
Miami 27- Bengals 24
Season record vs the spread 2-1
Season record straight up – 3-0
Other random thoughts.
- Look at Orlean in a deep league if he hasn’t been picked up. Injuries may give him a chance to get some real work. He is also the Giants best back out of the backfield right now.
- Anyone else get reminded of Rex Grossman from the Bears when they watch Fitzpatrick?
- BB is an evil mastermind and should be banned from football for being smarter than everyone else.