Thursday Night Football should be a thriller. The Miami Dolphins are looking to remain undefeated as they head to Paycor Stadium to take on the Cincinnati Bengals, and should be able to do it with star QB Tua Tagovailoa playing well.
The NFL is bringing together two teams coming off little rest. The Dolphins and the Bengals both played last Sunday, walking away with wins.
The Fins took down Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills off a stellar performance by Tagovailoa. But, just because Miami pulled off the season’s coup doesn’t mean they can expect an easy game against the 1-2 Bengals.
The Dolphins are a force to be reckoned with this season. The team that had a lousy performance last season looks very different this year. Led by Tagovailoa and with the addition of wide receiver Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins’ offense has so far been firing on all cylinders.
Miami is hoping to pull off a feat it last did in 1972. It didn’t lose a single game that year, from its first game to its Super Bowl Championship. Dolphins players are sporting a new logo on their uniforms this year, marking the 50th anniversary of that accomplishment.
The Bengals are feeling the love from oddsmakers. They’re -190 on most sportsbooks to take the game, while the Fins are getting around +160. Cincinnati has been a solid team to back, going 9-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 11 games.
On the other hand, Miami is 11-1 straight-up and 10-2 ATS in their last 12. This includes their perfect season so far. The over/under is around 48, but moving as more news arrives about Tua. So far this season, the under has taken 67% of the games.
The White Bengal, considered the most dangerous species, is out of its cage tonight. Backing it and the under are good options, especially if Tua isn’t at 100%.
Bengals Swimming with the Fishes
There will continue to be questions over Miami’s 21-19 win over the Bills, but that game is now in the past. Tagovailoa has come a long way since last year and proved himself repeatedly in that game.
The QB ranks second in the NFL in passing yards with 925. He’s currently third in passing TDs, having accumulated eight. Although he had been questionable for tonight, according to the latest injury report, NFL reporter Armando Salguero tweeted that he will start, citing a “league source.”
If he doesn’t, the Dolphins will give the job to Teddy Bridgewater. After his brief performance last week, that doesn’t bode well for the team. Bridgewater threw and missed twice, ending the game with no yards and one sack. He was also useless in the first two games of the season.
The Bengals picked up two losses before QB Joe Burrow found his stride against the Jets. He threw for 275 yards, completing 23 of his 36 passes. Adding three TDs to the day’s tally of achievements showed Cincinnati fans that the Bengals were back.
Let Loose the Tiger
The last time these two met was on Dec. 6, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Florida. Miami won, 19-7, and the Bengals haven’t forgotten.
Hill hasn’t forgotten a few things, either. Like the fact that Bengals cornerback Eli Apple denied him a touchdown when he was with the Kansas City Chiefs last year. It wasn’t only a TD he missed – it was for the AFC Championship, which Cincinnati took from the Chiefs.
Hill has been talking trash ahead of tonight’s matchup, looking for revenge against Apple. The six-time Pro Bowler is looking for revenge and warns Apple, “The cheetah is here.”
The Bengals cornerback will likely face Hill, although his ankle has been giving him trouble this week. Apple is the best defensive back the Bengals have, but he tends to choke under pressure – except against Hill.
Hill may be bringing the cheetah, but everyone knows that Bengal tigers are stronger. This year, Cincinnati has introduced its new “White Bengal” uniform, which means Hill’s threat may ring hollow.
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