The 1-3 Miami Dolphins travel to Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday to take on the 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals. While these teams may seem headed in opposite directions, a closer look provides a much more parallel comparison between the two.
The Dolphins rank 17th in total defense (354.5 YPG) and ninth in total offense (397 YPG), while the Bengals sit 19th on the defensive side (365.5 YPG) and 10th offensively (389.3 YPG). The difference is what each team is doing with their scoring chances, and a lackluster performance by Cincinnati in a 44-13 loss in Week 1 to the Baltimore Ravens.
While Miami is allowing 22.5 points to the opposition, the team must find ways to score more points (21.5 points per game out of the offense) to become a consistent threat in this league. Running back Reggie Bush and wide receiver Brian Hartline should be leaned on to help carry the team as the season progresses.
Since their season-opening loss, the Bengals have been able to rattle off three straight victories. Cincinnati has quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green to thank for that.
The Bengals play in a tough division, but this team has a nice corps of young players and an identity to hang its hat on—something that is invaluable over a long 16-game season.
This game features some electrifying players and should have no shortage of excitement throughout.
Here is one bold prediction for each team in Sunday’s matchup:
Reggie Bush Tallies 200 Total Yards and 2 Touchdowns
As long as Bush is healthy, he should be productive against any defense. His ability to turn the corner and accelerate through the edge gives any play where he has the ball in his hands the possibility of being a special one.
Though he’s missed some playing time this year to a knee injury, Bush is still sixth in the league in rushing at 369 yards.
The Bengals defense has been poor against the run so far this season, allowing 130.8 yards on 5.3 yards per carry and a total of five touchdowns.
Bush should have plenty of space to showcase his rushing ability. The emergence of Hartline as a viable weapon for quarterback Ryan Tannehill should also create more opportunities for the running back to do some damage.
AJ Green Tallies 10 Receptions for 180 Yards and 2 Touchdowns
Though the talent isn’t questioned, no one knew what to expect from the second-year wide receiver coming into this season. But the prognosis early on indicates that Green will be one of the best at his position for a very long time.
Green is second in the league in receiving yards at 428—just behind Hartline—and his three touchdowns are tied for second-best with a handful of other players as well.
Those three scores have come in consecutive weeks, so momentum is starting to build between Green and fellow second-year man Dalton.
The Dolphins pass defense ranks 30th in the NFL, allowing 297.8 yards per game. They have no one that can match up with Green on Sunday, so expect a big performance from the wideout in front of the home crowd.