Two teams with similar records but headed in opposite directions meet in Cincinnati Sunday. The Bengals come off an exciting last-second victory over the favored Falcons believing the preseason hype that made them a popular sleeper choice to take the AFC North division title.
They face the 3-1 Miami Dolphins, currently sitting atop the AFC East. For a while, it appeared coach Adam Gase’s insistence that his Dolphins would be the surprise playoff team from the AFC East this season was looking like it could have a modicum of truth to it.
But Miami was exposed for what they are during a 38-7 beatdown at the hands of a Patriots team playing without its top wide receiver and running back.
Miami got by against three lesser opponents with a controlled offense and a surprise showing from their defense. With one of the easiest schedules, it looked like a good strategy to sneak into a wild card spot, where they would get destroyed by a better team.
But after the Patriots showed what a diverse offensive attack can do to their defense and their offense showed a complete inability to run the ball against one of the worst run defenses, the blueprint is out there.
Ryan Tannehill will have to step things up big time if the Dolphins are to win many more games.
Meanwhile, Andy Dalton is enjoying one of his best starts to a season. The emergence of Tyler Boyd as a legitimate speed threat next to AJ Green opens up options for the Bengals passer.
With John Ross lurking as a deep threat, Cincinnati’s offense is being compared to their last playoff season. The loss of tight end Tyler Eifert should not affect them much, with Tyler Kroft a proven replacement.
How to watch the Bengals-Dolphins game
This game is being broadcast to over the air, cable, and satellite customers in the local team markets during the early set.
Many of us who refuse to pay for high-cost satellite and cable contracts will instead watch live stream NFL action on Fubo TV.
Fubo offers a high-quality broadcast of the CBS Sports feed at a fraction of the cost of cable and satellite. With no contracts or expensive equipment to worry about, no wonder so many people cut the cord and turned to internet television.
Other providers, like DirecTV Now and Sling, also let you watch live stream NFL action on practically any internet-connected device.
YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, and Hulu with Live TV are other options offering NFL action, as well as other entertainment venues, in your neighborhood.
Check out their websites for details and be sure to take advantage of their free trial offers.
Who will win the Bengals-Dolphins game?
Cincinnati is a team on a roll. The whole city is excited at the prospect of playoff football after recent disappointments.
Miami fans were pretty excited about their prospects, too. At 3-1, they can certainly find a way to stay in the playoff picture long enough to find answers to their deficiencies.
But this week belongs to the Bengals in front of their home fans. Andy Dalton is playing as well as any quarterback in the league right now. Look for that to continue.
Unless the Dolphins trade for Le’Veon Bell before Sunday, Ryan Tannehill will be pressured by a powerful front seven with little respect for the Miami running game.
Tannehill has some weapons, but not enough. Final score: Bengals 27, Dolphins 14