This week’s Thursday Night Football action comes in the form of a 1-2 team traveling to take on another 1-2 team. Those two teams are the Miami Dolphins and the Cincinnati Bengals, and the game will be occurring in the jungle, as the Bengals play host. Both teams are coming off home games, but with differing results. The Bengals lost to the Denver Broncos 29-17, while the Dolphins needed overtime to defeat the Cleveland Browns, 30-24.
Through the first three weeks of the season, I have put my faith in the Dolphins. Week one they hung with the Seahawks in Seattle, despite being big underdogs. Despite blowing out the 49ers last season, the Seahawks do not appear to be the powerhouse most expected them to be. Week two the Dolphins went into New England and did not make a run until later in the game after the Patriots were forced to bring in a rookie quarterback.
Then last week at home, the Dolphins needed to go to overtime against the Cleveland Browns to pull out a win. This is a team that is probably the worst team in the NFL, and they were on their third string quarterback, who happens to be a rookie who had not been in an NFL game before last week.
What I am getting at is the Dolphins have simply done nothing to impress this season. They have plenty of weapons on offense, but things have not meshed completely yet. They are currently in the middle of musical running backs, as no one knows who will get the majority of carries. Head coach Adam Gase has said he will bench those who do not perform, but the problem is he was rotating running backs out last week even when they were performing. So at the end of the day, I need some convincing before I go trusting the Dolphins.
Now, the Bengals. Also known as the team I never like to put faith in, especially when they lay points because Marvin Lewis loves to drive me crazy. Lewis is pretty terrible when it comes to clock management, and as a result opposing teams back into games when it appears to be over. The Bengals are the better team, and they are coming off a loss. A team that was expected to be in the thick of things in the AFC North need a win to get things moving in the right direction. So I expect them to get things moving early in this one, and take an early lead.
So the true question is, will the Bengals defense be able to stop the Dolphins when the clock management problems come into play, and help the team hold on while laying seven points? My gut tells me I should never trust the Bengals with that many points being put out, but I am banking on home field advantage, and the teams need for a W. Also, the fact that my faith in the Dolphins is low following the necessity of overtime against the Browns is in the back of my head. While I would much prefer this spread say something like three or four, it, unfortunately, is not. But I will, most likely foolishly, stick with Cincy.
Line: Cin -7, O/U: 44.5
Pick: Bengals and the under
Result: Cin 22- Mia 7, Bengals and the under