The Miami Dolphins began the season at 3-0 and appeared to be sitting pretty and heading for the playoffs. Many experts pegged them as one of the most improved teams. Ryan Tannehill looked like he had come on leaps and bounds from last year, and even out-matched fellow second year quarterback Andrew Luck. Since then Miami's offensive line has capitulated, Tannehill's play has tapered off somewhat and Miami find themselves at 3-4 after losing four straight games.
But it's not only the offense that has struggled this year. The defense ranks 19th in points allowed per game, while Cincinnati rank 5th in the league in points allowed per game. That's a big difference, and it'll be tough to put points on the board to outscore the Bengals on Thursday.
It'll also be tough to stop the Cincinnati Bengals offense. Quarterback Andy Dalton has scored a whopping 16 touchdowns for 2,249 yards on the year. Wide receiver AJ Green has five of those touchdowns for 734 yards, while Marvin Jones has accumulated 369 yards. Jones's four touchdowns last week was particularly impressive.
Will the Dolphins end their four game losing-streak against the Bengals? Based on the above, it really doesn't make for comfortable reading. The offensive line will have to play out of their skin to protect Tannehill, while the defense will have to find a way to stop Cincinnati's lethal offense. In the end, I really can't see the Dolphins winning this game despite home advantage.
Cincinnati Bengals 34-20 Miami Dolphins
Can Miami step it up this week and beat the Bengals? We'd love to hear your thoughts.