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Dolphins at Bengals: Three Key Matchups For TNF

The Miami Dolphins are off to a hot start in the 2022 season, while the Bengals look to bounce back after starting one and two. Can these matchups be exploited to give the Dolphins the edge?

After escaping with the win against Buffalo in Week Two, the Miami Dolphins are hoping they can pull off a victory this week and give them four conference wins in just as many weeks. It would really help the Dolphins later down the road for playoff positioning and if anything comes down to head-to-head tiebreakers, wins over tough conference opponents go a long way.

The Cincinnati Bengals have not played their best ball up to this point in the season, but this game feels like a trap game after the Dolphin’s defense spent 90 plays on the field last week. The short week and having to travel could possibly be some cause for concern, though head coach Mike McDaniel says the players are “geeked up” to play again Thursday. Because the defense played so many snaps last week, it’s going to be up to the Dolphin offense to move the ball each possession and make sure we’re not pushing them too hard with only three true days of rest.

Let’s look at some matchups that should give the Dolphins an advantage if they exploit them.

Dolphin’s Offense Gets Physical

One big development over the last 24 hours was the announcement that Bengal’s star defensive tackle, DJ Reader, would miss the game on Thursday with a knee injury sustained during the Bengal’s Week Three victory over the New York Jets. It is anticipated that Reader will be put on the injured reserve and miss significant time.

While the Dolphins failed to really get the run game going last week, when they did run the ball it was a beautiful sight. With the limited time of possession last week, Edmunds and Mostert only saw fourteen total carries between the two of them. Not a big workload at all.

This will be why the Miami Dolphins should take advantage of the run game this week and take full advantage of the skills that Mostert and Edmunds bring to the table. They should both be well rested, like the rest of the offense after last week’s outing. With DJ Reader out and the new and improved offensive line, the Dolphins should have no problem moving in the trenches and stacking up rushing yardage. Especially is Terron Armstead washes people down the line of scrimmage as he does here:


Miami’s run blocking is getting better. There were some big holes this week upfront. Watch Terron Armstead just wash 94 down the line and out of the play. More explosive runs are coming. pic.twitter.com/oMq4vR54ej — Dante Collinelli (@DanteCollinelli) September 27, 2022

Dolphins Left Tackle Terron Armstead man handles a Buffalo defensive tackle

Dolphin’s Hill Gets His Revenge

If you’re an avid football fan, you probably watched the 2021 NFL playoffs. If you watched the AFC championship game, you definitely remember right before the half when the Chiefs were guaranteed a field goal, but everyone and their dog was certain they would get into the endzone and extend their lead to 18, seconds before halftime.

Eli Apple had other plans though, and tackle Tyreek Hill two yards short of the endzone, and time expired before the Chiefs could stop the clock. The Bengals would go on to win that game, 27-24 in overtime which shows just how important those three points would end up being.

Yesterday while giving an interview about the Dolphins and Bengal’s upcoming matchup, Tyreek Hill said “I owe you, boy.” This week could get pretty exciting, and I think viewers are in for a show. The Dolphin’s offense was limited in possessions last week, so they’ll be fiending to show off their high-powered offense. Look for Hill to put up at least a hundred yards and possibly Waddle to match.

Can The Dolphins Defensive Line Take Advantage?

Since the beginning of 2021, Joe Burrow is the most sacked quarterback in the NFL coming in at 66 total sacks given up. Over the first two weeks of the season, the Bengals gave up an astounding league-leading 13 sacks. They did a better job against the pass rush this past Sunday, only allowing the Jets to get to Burrow twice.

While the Miami Dolphins pass rush hasn’t been great when only rushing four, they’ve been deadly with blitz and caused two strip sack fumbles over the first three games. The Bengal’s offensive line presents an opportunity for Jaelen Phillips, Melvin Ingram, Zach Sieler, Christian Wilkins, and well really anyone on the Dolphin’s defense. Brandon Jones and Jevon Holland, the Dolphin’s young safety duo have combined for two and a half sacks and two forced fumbles this season already.

So the Fins will bring the heat from any direction, which is great. Though this week I think they could get away with bringing four a lot more often and having success against an offensive line that hasn’t done a great job through three weeks.

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