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Miami Dolphins Vs. Cincinnati Bengals: 3 Key Match-Ups

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Let’s take a look at 3 of the most important battles, individual and team-wide, at determining the outcome of this week’s game.

Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

I have no idea what to make of this team. Why am I surprised? Oh yeah, I’m not. We never know what to make of our team.

We sucked at home against the Cleveland Browns, and it wouldn’t shock me if we lost 38-7 to the Bengals. It also wouldn’t shock me if we win 35-24. I won’t be shocked if Ryan Tannehill throws for 400 yards, 3 TD’s, and we lose, or if Tannehill goes 12-28, 175 yards, 0 TD, and 3 INT’s, and we win.

This game could represent the beginning of the end of the season (emotionally speaking, not mathematically), or it could inspire us to believe we were wrong about our team. We’ll find out more tonight.

On a side note, Griff and his Dolphins entourage will drink a lot of beer in the parking lot! Gee, I wonder if he’ll take any pictures.

3) Xavien Howard/Byron Maxwell Vs. AJ Green

Our inability to cover people has been slightly masked by the fact that we can’t stop the run. Andy Dalton is not shy about targeting AJ Green heavily; AJ Green is also not Terrelle Pryor. Bigger guys like Sean Smith, believe or not, actually had good games against AJ Green when wearing a Dolphins uniform.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our longer, bigger CB’s played up towards the line of scrimmage to use that size to their advantage? (But, at the same time, I suppose press coverage is extra flimsy when you can’t stop the run and you have to use safeties to hover around the line of scrimmage.)

I digress.

We can’t let AJ Green get behind us and make us drop the soap and get big plays. Vance Joseph should theoretically know this offense, and I fully expect a bend-but-don’t-break approach.

2) Dolphins LB’s Vs. Bengals RB’s

Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard are both hard to tackle for their own reasons, and Dolphins LB’s, playing without Koa Misi, will need to find a way to make plays. Or just avoid sucking horribly.

Covering Bernard out of the backfield will be instrumental getting off the field on 3rd down.

The Bengals will be without Eifert, so that’s one less LB headache. But at this point, they probably all have migraines anyway. It’s time to see who can step up and play consistent football.

Who steps up for Misi - Butler? Vigil? Hewitt? Misi is our most reliable run-stuffing LB, and I’m very curious how that gets handled Thursday night.

1) Cameron Wake Vs. Cedric Ogbuehi

The Benglas are tied for 1st in most sacks allowed. HEY! We don’t own that record for now!

This really boils down to whether the strength of our defense can take advantage of the match-ups, with the Bengals’ OL being the worst position group on their offense. Can our strengths mask our weaknesses, or will the Bengals move the ball at will like the Patriots and Browns?

I chose Cam Wake individually, however, if simply because it gives me the opportunity to talk about this play again:

wake 2

What key match-ups do you see Phinsider Nation? Let’s hear it in the Comments!