Week 4 of the NFL is starting off with the Thursday night AFC matchup as the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) host the Miami Dolphins (1-2).
The home side Bengals have already played three of their toughest games off the 2016/2017 schedule (Jets, Steelers and Broncos) recording 1 win and 2 losses. The matchup at home against the Miami Dolphins will be a good chance for the Bengals to bounce back after their 17-29 home defeat by the Broncos in week 3. The Bengals seemed to be on the right track of defeating the Broncos but somehow failed to stop the young QB Trevor Siemian who threw 4 touchdowns with no interception. Siemian was overall 23/35 for 312 yards. Unfortunately for the Bengals, their QB Andy Dalton never found his rhythm in this game, mostly due to the Broncos strong defense. Dalton has been struggling in the first three games of the season, throwing only two touchdowns with two interceptions.
On the other side the Miami Dolphins will try to continue their victorious run against the Bengals. The Dolphins hold an overall 15-5-0 All-time record against the Bengals. Even though the Miami Dolphins have enough talent to steal another win at the Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday night, their hopes of winning will mostly depend on the performance of their quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The 5th year old pro has turned out to be the key player and if he is performing well, the Dolphins are performing well. On the contrary, if he shows poor performance, the Dolphins are destined to lose, even against the worst teams in the NFL.
CINCINNATI BENGALS: Deron Smith (chest pain), Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring), George Iloka (shoulder), Tyler Eifert (Ankle), Pat Sims (Achilles), Shawn Williams (Knee), James Wright (Knee)
MIAMI DOLPHINS: Branden Albert (Ankle), Jordan Cameron (concussion), Arian Foster (Hamstring), Jelani Jenkins (groin), Jarvis Landry (shoulder), Koa Misi (neck), Mike Pouncey (hip), Anthony Steen (ankle), Kiko Alonso (hamstring), Xavien Howard (quad), Jason Jones (ankle), Rashad Jones (knee), Dion Sims (ankle).
Looking at the schedule of both teams thus far, it is noticeable that the Bengals have had a much tougher schedule and opponents. The Bengals understand the importance of this match as they strive to remain a play-off contender and considering the poor record against the Miami Dolphins, they will certainly look to revenge some of the previous sour losses. I expect Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to finally get their groove on and perform like they did in the last season. Jeremy Hill is also expected to continue his good running game after rushing for 97 yards against the Broncos. Both teams offense has been below average but the factor that will decide this games is going to be the Bengals defense which has kept the Jets (22) and Steelers (24) offense under control.
According to the www.sportsinformationtraders.com Bengals are a clear favorite as they have Cincinnati at -7.
A good bet would also be to go under the 44.5 points, considering the fact that both teams will play strong defense as they both need this win badly.
Game will be played on Thursday night, Sept. 29th, 2016 (8:25 EST).
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Words By: Admir Aljic