The past two weeks have been more than depressing for Dolphins fans. Falling twice in overtime to their division rival New York Jets and the undefeated Arizona Cardinals has been more than enough for fans to take in.
However, the Dolphins hope to turn it around in this weekend's away game against the 3-1 Cincinnati Bengals. This AFC contender has broadcasted its playoff contentions with three commanding wins in a row following their loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the first week of the season.
If the Dolphins intend to pull off the upset, they must employ an elaborate game plan that thwarts the Bengals offensively while also putting up points.
Last weekend, Miami relied heavily on the pass because star running back Reggie Bush had a hard time breaking ground against the Arizona Cardinals' defense. That simply cannot be the case this week. The Dolphins' running backs need to be firing at all cylinders this Sunday, taking time off the clock and wearing down the Bengals' defense.
As usual, Miami will focus on limiting the efficiency of Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who the Fins are very well acquainted with from his time in a Patriots uniform.
However, quarterback Andy Dalton has showed tons of promise in his second season in the NFL. He has looked like a leader out on the gridiron and has been incredibly difficult to limit so far. Although he still has a particular propensity to throw interceptions, he seems to be connecting incredibly well with his receivers with eight touchdown passes in the past three games.
Considering the ineptitude of Miami's secondary, this might be a key problem. The Dolphins are going to have to stop the Bengals' passing game if they want a victory this week. Sean Smith, who covered Larry Fitzgerald last weekend like a veteran, will have to take on a similar assignment with A.J. Green.
If the Dolphins can accomplish all of this, they might just achieve their second victory of the season.