Undefeated, the Dolphins travel to Cincinnati for this Thursday Night Football.
Kick-off Thursday night to Friday at 2:15 a.m.
Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) – Miami Dolphins (3-0)
New England, Baltimore, Buffalo… These are Miami’s first three opponents at the start of the season, each with a win. While the Dolphins have one of only two clean records in the league (3-0, like the Eagles), the schedule rose crescendo with opponents in their conference. And it’s not over, because from this Thursday, they must go neither more nor less than to the defending champion of this AFC: Cincinnati.
A meeting that is particularly awaited. On the one hand, as we said, there is one of the most in-form franchises in the league. On the other, the last Super Bowl finalist is recovering from two inaugural defeats. The Bengals opened their counter last week and are scary again. This match is already a turning point for both teams and it is likely to be tight until the end.
As this confrontation approaches, there are countless duels that will punctuate this meeting. To begin with, there is necessarily the most striking, the one that should be played as quarterback: Joe Burrow vs. Tua Tagovailoa. If the conditional is used it is because the Dolphins pitcher is currently uncertain. Touched on the back, the former Alabama has planned to play, but the decision will be made at the last moment. Facing him, Joe Burrow must make people forget these first two meetings. The first choice of the draft started his season with difficulty with in particular many losses of ball and must return to what made his success last year. For that, he will be able to count on HIS favorite target: Ja’marr Chase. Which brings us to our second duel of the evening, that of the receivers. Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle will be forever linked. First because the two men were drafted in the same year (2021) to a choice of difference (5th for Chase, 6th for Waddle).
Second, because they look set to dominate the league for years to come. After only a year and a half, Chase has already established himself as one of the best receivers in the NFL. Impressive last year during his rookie season, he continued his momentum and still torments the defenses. For Waddle, the progression was more linear. The former Alabama has ramped up with a lot of receptions in 2021. Released this season, he is already has more than 100 yards in two out of three matches. A performance gain also helped by the arrival of Tyreek Hill. Kansas City defector, the supersonic receiver brings us to our third game of this Thursday Night Football.
Priority to protection
During a press briefing, Tyreek Hill launched hostilities, taking on Eli Apple, cornerback of the Bengals. The two men have a common history including the playoff game last year between the Chiefs and Cincinnati where the receiver was muzzled. Annoyed, he now wants to prove that it was just an accident and wants to give Apple a bad night. There is no doubt that the former Giant will not let it go. The opportunity for us to observe this exciting duel between an impressive receiver and a quality cornerback.
Finally, the last crucial confrontation in this part, perhaps even the most important, concerns the duel between the offensive lines and the defensive lines. As we know, the protection of Joe Burrow has not been at the top since the start of the season. Even if there was better in the third game, the first two were worrying. It’s simple, Cincinnati is the team that collects the most sacks (15) since the start of the season. This offensive line will therefore have to close ranks at all costs against the Dolphins who notably managed to beat the Bills by putting pressure on the pitcher. On the other side of the ball too, it will be important to leave Tua Tagovailoa in a preferential situation to launch and make his decisions.