The natives might be getting a little restless. The Dolphins seem to appear in a free fall and there is no net to prevent further damage to their image as an up and coming team.
How could you believe a team that is 3-4 and has dropped the last four contests could be anything but in danger at this moment?
And now, on the Thursday night stage, the Dolphins must avoid another second half collapse (my good friend Andy Kent said it was a tale of two halves). The Bengals are riding a wave of offensive success that could only be measured by greatness. Just when you are ready to throw the towel in on what Jay Gruden is selling with the orange and black, Andy Dalton starts looking like Ken Anderson.
Can the Dolphins secondary become a terror like the 49ers of the 1980s and can the defensive front look like the Steel Curtain of the 1970s? If so, Miami wins this game hands down. If not, it looks like the Fins will be 3-5 and whispers about Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin could start to take form.
Here are three bold predictions for Thursday night…
Andy Dalton throws four interceptions
I would love to call this the “Matt Ryan” game. Like with the Arizona Cardinals getting under the skin of Ryan and the Falcons, maybe the Miami secondary causes issues for Dalton. The receiving corps would have to be covered like glue for this to happen. But I also know that generally (unless you are Denver) a 49 point performance one week does not lead to another 49 points the next.
Cincinnati is good, but not that good.
Vontaze Burfict and James Harrison get to know Ryan Tannehill personally
Something tells me Bryant McKinnie’s presence alone will not improve this offensive line. I can see Ryan Tannehill on hi back all night long. That spells doom for Miami.
The thing about the Bengals defense and the scheme used by defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is the front seven can be aggressive at any time. And that is a bad thing for opposing offenses. Tannehill is not consistent enough yet to be the kind of quarterback who can shrug off a bad throw or performance. The defense will smell blood.
Dolphins get running game going
When Daniel Thomas started last week instead of Lamar Miller, I thought there would be issues with the line, etc. But it worked for most of the game, And it could work again this week.
I think while the offensive line still deals with its issues of stability, it is not affecting the running game right now.
Can Thomas (or Miller) finally get a 100-yard game under their belt?