After losing two of their first three games to start the 2016 NFL Regular Season, the Cincinnati Bengals look to get back on track at home on Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins. Here are the Bengals’ three keys to victory and my final-score prediction:
Unpredictable Play Calling on Offense
Andy Dalton has been sacked 12 times in only three games. It would be wise for the offense to try to avoid throwing the ball solely on obvious passing downs, giving Dalton a little more time in the pocket. Jeremy Hill can impact the game, but it might be more effective to set up the run with the pass and not vice versa in this instance.
Get the Ball to A.J. Green
Even with a crucial dropped pass in a loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Bengals shouldn’t hesitate for a second when it comes to getting the ball to wide receiver A.J. Green. He’s too good to look past, especially with a team that needs a spark coming off two straight losses.
Green took the blame in the post-game press conference, but still mentioned “This offense starts with me”.
Thursday night A.J. Green can back his words up and help get the Bengals back to .500 for the season.
Make the Dolphins a One-Dimensional Offense
The Bengals need to keep the Dolphins in third-and-long situations and take away their ability to have a balanced offense. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill is averaging almost 300 passing yards per game, but he’s also thrown four interceptions in only three games. The home crowd will make it more difficult for Tannehill to audible at the line of scrimmage, which should give the Bengals an advantage on defense. If the Dolphins win on Thursday, they’ll have to establish at least some sort of run game.
The Cincinnati Bengals have had a tough schedule and had to play without stud tight end Tyler Eifert. Things start to turn around for the squad on Thursday, as a primetime game in front of the home crowd leads to a Bengals victory.
Cincinnati 31 Miami 17