Following a troubling 4 game losing streak, the Miami Dolphins head home for a Prime time Thursday night football game against the 6-2 Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals have moved into 1st place in the AFC North, and are currently working on a 4 game win streak. However things are not looking as bright for our home town Miami Dolphins. With only a 4 day break from their last game on Sunday, the Dolphins have had an interesting week to say the least. Read more to find out the latest news, and how the Dolphins can prepare for this high powered Bengals team.
Coming off a heartbreaking loss against our division rival the Patriots last week, the Dolphins have begun questioning how they have dropped 4 straight games.
Starting off with the Dolphin’s questions, brings out the question of what happened to Jonathon Martin? Reported earlier this week, starting offensive tackle Jonathon Martin had been out of practice due to “illness”. However, news came out on Tuesday that Martin had a confrontation with his offensive line teammates at lunch causing Martin to “smash his food tray to the floor”. It is uncertain of where and when Martin will be for the Dolphin’s in the upcoming weeks, but Martin has been listed as inactive, and has reportedly gone AWOL since he left team facilities.
It has been reported that offensive tackle Tyson Clabo will replace Martin at right tackle for the game tonight.
Secondly another inactive had been reported earlier this week, stating wide out Brandon Gibson has in fact been place on the Dolphin’s injured reserve list. Gibson took a fall in the early stages of the game against New England on Sunday, and looked to have been nursing his knee. It has recently been reported that Gibson will likely miss the remainder of the season. Filling Gibson’s void is the 2nd year wide receiver Rishard Matthews, who has impressed the coaching staff to this point throughout the season.
Although rumors report the Dolphin’s worked out several receivers on Tuesday, there were no reported signings.
Preparing for a high paced passing attack like the Bengals is something the Dolphin’s have faced all season. Following losses to elite passing teams like the Patriots, Ravens, and Saints, the Dolphins secondary will face another on Thursday Night. Andy Dalton, the Cincinnati Bengal’s starting quarterback is currently 4th in the league in passing yards, and hosts one of the most intriguing wide receivers in the league in AJ Green. This match up could be problematic for the Dolphin’s as both cornerbacks Brent Grimes, as well as Dimitri Patterson has had limited practices sometime throughout the week. Expect cornerback Nolan Carroll to make appearances throughout the game, primarily on 3rd and long downs.
Secondly the Miami Dolphins offense has been facing problems throughout the 4 game losing streak. As stated before, starting offensive tackle Jonathon Martin will not be participating tonight, and creates a void in the Dolphin’s already disappointing offensive line. One of the keys in tonight’s game is creating time and pocket space for Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill who is the most sacked quarterback this year in the NFL, has faced pocket protection issues all year. There are 2 main players on the Bengal’s defensive line the Dolphin’s should prepare for, those including DE Michael Johnson, and DT Geno Atkins. Michael Johnson will be likely paired against the Dolphin’s newest acquisition left tackle Bryant McKinnie, who is listed as probable for tonight’s game.
The last key aspect to tonight’s game that we will be covering is the role of the Bengal’s cornerback squad. With a injured Leon Hall who is placed on injured reserve, the Bengals still feature some elite corners. Assuming the duo of Adam (pacman) Jones will cover Mike Wallace, and veteran Terrance Newman will cover Brian Hartline, prepare for Tannehill to take some shots down the field to Brian Hartline, as well as Mike Wallace if the Dolphins are trailing. If the Dolphins can start off hot, and not get behind, expect a more conservative approach with a newly established running game featuring Lamar Miller, and Daniel Thomas, as well as some short passes to the impressive Charles Clay at tight end.
Without a doubt this Thursday night game between the Bengals and Dolphins hosts some intriguing matchups as well as some interesting story lines, expect another close game for the Dolphins. Tune into the game at 8:25 tonight, on NFL network.
Feel you have some more highlights for tonight’s game? Leave a comment below!
UPDATE: The Dolphin’s promote the practice squad wide receiver Ryan Spadola to the active roster for tonight’s game.
Here is a link to Spadola’s player card: http://www.miamidolphins.com/team/roster/ryan-spadola/a78ebd3c-20db-4dd0-b2aa-5d0bbbb73836/