Bengals vs. Dolphins: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2013

Oct 7, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) calls a play during the second half against the Miami Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium. The Dolphins won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins enter Thursday Night Football riding a wave of momentum in two very opposite directions.

For Cincinnati, it's a positive wave with a four-game winning streak thanks to the emergence of quarterback Andy Dalton and the usual stout Mike Zimmer defense. The Bengals in recent weeks have morphed into a contender and sit alone atop the AFC North. 

The outlook for Miami isn't as pretty. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been unable to stay upright as the Dolphins have lost four straight and continue to flirt with the cellar of the AFC East.

With a short turnaround, though, anything can happen from Miami on Thursday. Here's everything fans need to know as Cincinnati aims to keep a grip on the No. 2 playoff seed and Miami simply attempts to stay relevant.

 

When: Thursday, Oct. 31, at 8:25 p.m. ET

Where: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Fla.

Watch: NFL Network

Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket

Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider

  • Over/Under: 42.5
  • Spread: Cincinnati (-2.5)

 

Bengals Injury Report (via NFL.com

Bengals Injury Report
NamePositionInjuryPractice StatusGame Status
Michael BoleyLBHamstringDid Not Participate In PracticeQuestionable
Leon HallCBAchillesOut (Definitely Will Not Play)Out
Rey MaualugaLBConcussionDid Not Participate In PracticeOut
Rex BurkheadRBHamstringLimited Participation in PracticeQuestionable
Taylor MaysSShoulderOut (Definitely Will Not Play)Out
Wallace GilberryDEGroinDid Not Participate In PracticeQuestionable
Devon StillDTElbowOut (Definitely Will Not Play)Out
Mohamed SanuWRShoulderDid Not Participate In PracticeQuestionable
Andrew WhitworthTKneeDid Not Participate In PracticeQuestionable
NFL.com

 

Dolphins Injury Report (via NFL.com

Dolphins Injury Report
NamePositionInjuryPractice StatusGame Status
Brent GrimesCBQuadricepFull Participation in PracticeProbable
Jonathan MartinTIllnessDid Not Participate In PracticeDoubtful
Dion SimsTEToeDid Not Participate In PracticeDoubtful
Olivier VernonDEKneeFull Participation in PracticeProbable
Bryant McKinnieTKneeFull Participation in PracticeProbable
NFL.com

 

Can Miami Stunt Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Offense?

After an embarrassing loss in Week 4 to Cleveland where Cincinnati was held without a touchdown, offensive coordinator Jay Gruden made the proper adjustments, and the Bengals have been unstoppable since.

Oct 27, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones (82) looks ahead during a run against the New York Jets during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Dalton has thrown for 325 yards and three touchdowns or more in his last three games. His favorite target is, of course, A.J. Green, who is second only to Calvin Johnson in the NFL with 734 receiving yards.

Second-year receiver Marvin Jones leads the Bengals in touchdown receptions at seven, including four in Week 8 against the New York Jets. Add in two athletic tight ends in Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, not to mention an explosive rookie back like Giovani Bernard, and not many teams can line up and play with the Bengals right now.

That task is now Miami's under a national microscope.

Ninth-year corner Dimitri Patterson has been a nice surprise with his three interceptions, and Brent Grimes is the No. 8 overall corner in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Yet the Dolphins still rank in the bottom half of the league against the pass and surrender almost 24 points per game.

Miami spent an exorbitant amount of cash this past offseason to rebuild the defense with names like Grimes, Philip Wheeler, Dannell Ellerbe and more, but so far it has meant little. Thursday is a big opportunity to prove the splurge was worth the cost.

 

Prediction

Oct 7, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) pulls in a touchdown pass against Miami Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith (24) during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. The Dolphins won 17-13. Mandatory Credit: David Ko

While Miami has won the last two times these teams have met head-to-head, including last season, the Dolphins simply have an excess of fundamental flaws that will prevent them from winning.

For all the money Miami spent in the offseason, the Dolphins ignored one critical element—football is won and lost in the trenches. Tannehill has been sacked a league-leading 32 times, and his line is now tasked with slowing Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and Co.

Even worse, over the course of their four-game skid, the Dolphins have been outscored 67-24 in the second half.

The Cincinnati defense allows just 18 points per game and will find it rather easy to pressure Tannehill into mistakes. All things considered, the Bengals won't encounter much resistance on Thursday night.

 

Final Score 

Bengals win 27-17

 

Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling