The Miami Dolphins look to run their road record to a perfect 4-0 in Cincinnati this week as they also look for their first win against the Bengals since 2000. This will be the 19th all-time meeting between the teams, with the Fins having won 13 of the previous 18, but the Bengals were the winners the last two times they met, in December of 2007 and September of 2004.
The Dolphins will try and bounce back from their heartbreaking 23-22 loss to the Steelers, while Cincinnati is trying to rebound after a tough 39-32 loss at Atlanta. Despite there being perceptions of struggles for Carson Palmer, the Bengals quarterback leads the sixth ranked passing offense in the NFL, and he threw for over 400 yards last week at the Georgia Dome.
Keep reading to see what our experts think about this one: Keith Sims will tell you what the Dolphins offense needs to do, Sam Madison will let you know how to slow down the Cincy passing attack, and John Congemi breaks down why this game is so important to the Dolphins:
The Dolphins are back on the friendly road this week and I know I’m happy about that! The game plan this week should be a return to a Dolphins style of football. That means a lot of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown. Let the big strong offensive line lean those 300+ pound bodies on the Bengals defense. The Bengals rank #22 in NFL by giving up 118 yards per game. Hand the ball off to our two backs at least 30 times between them.
The Fins can also sprinkle in some Brandon Marshall receptions (hopefully for at least 1 TD) and turn Davone Bess loose to see if the Bengals can cover the best slot WR in the AFC.
The Bengals are loaded with talent, but they are struggling. I think the Dolphins will stay perfect on the road by pounding the football between the tackles: Run Ricky and Ronnie run!
The Cincinnati Bengals offense is a passing unit. Putting pressure on Carson Palmer will be key. Palmer has been a little off target in finding The T.Ocho Show and with the o-Line allowing 10 sacks, Mike Nolan’s speed rushers will have to be creative with movement up front to get in Palmer’s face.
By getting pressure early and often, it limits T.O. and Ochocino’s pass attempts and ability to make plays. After giving up big plays in the passing game the last two weeks vs. Pittsburgh and Green Bay, look for the Bengals to try and do the same. A lot of one-on-one match ups will be displayed. Don’t be shocked to see Vontae Davis and Sean Smith team up once again to keep the Bengals’ passing attack off track and get a grip on the deep ball. LBs Karlos Dansby and Channing Crowder will be charged with keeping Cedric Benson’s rushing yards to a minimum and stop the talented rookie TE Jermaine Gresham. In doing this, it will allow the safeties to stay deep and help on the deep passes. No blown assignments + no big plays = another road victory for the Dolphins.
The Miami Dolphins season has so far been one of highs and lows: going 3-0 on the road and defeating teams like Minnesota and Green Bay, but the 0-3 home record has been nothing less then disappointing. Losing to both New York and New England, falling two games behind in the AFC East are all things to be concerned about. That’s what makes this week’s game on the road against Cincinnati so important to the Dolphins.
The next three games could very well determine if Miami is going to set the table and stay in the playoff race, or slow down and move into the right lane.
First things first: the Dolphins need to win on Sunday to keep pace and get the tough loss to Pittsburgh out of their system. It’s another chance to execute and put it all together, something that this team has done on the road this year.
Miami is only 3-3 because of the way they’ve played, not the opposing teams! This is a quality football team in a tough division and it needs to get out of it’s own way and put it all together now, before it’s too late. The next three weeks will tell you all you need to know about this team, but it starts with Cincinnati! The NY Jets and NE Pats games at the end of the season will only have meaning if the Fins can get the job done now! Dolphin fans should just focus on the next three weeks because these games are the key to the season!
So there you go, that’s what our crew thinks about this game. Be sure to join us for gameday coverage beginning at 11am on NewsRadio 610 WIOD, BIG 105.9FM, or Dolphins.com for the live chat and live coverage. You can watch this week’s game on CBS-4 and Keith, Sam, and I will hit the airwaves beginning at noon as the Fins try and make it 4-0 on the road. Enjoy the game!
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed by The Finsiders Blog represent those of individual writers, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions, policies or desires of the Miami Dolphins organization, front office, coaches and executives. Writers' views are formulated independently from any inside information and/or conversation with Dolphins officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.