The Miami Dolphins now have lost two games in a row and sit at 3-2 tied for first with the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Miami held a 14-0 lead at halftime before an unfortunate turn of events leading to the Bengal’s scoring 27 unanswered points.
The Dolphins offense performed mediocre at best. A continuing trend is the pass protection. Ryan Tannehill has to get the ball out fast so there is little to no pressure on him. Tannehill went 20/35 for 185 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions. One of them returned for a touchdown after a highly pressured pass deflects off of tight end Durham Smythe’s helmet. Tannehill also had a strip fumble returned for a touchdown that put the nail in the coffin for Miami. Leading rusher was Frank Gore with 12 carries for 63 yards, Kenyan Drake following with 6 carries for 46 yards and 7 receptions for 69 yards and the only offensive touchdown.
The Dolphins defense did all they could to contain the Bengals and they did for the most part. There was an unnecessary roughness call on TJ McDonald in the 3rdquarter on a Cincinnati 3rddown. Giving them 15 yards and eventually lead to a touchdown where the momentum of the game seemed to turn. On the Bengals second drive in the red zone Reshad Jones makes a ball pop up and Kiko Alonso intercepted it. Reshad Jones was the leading tackler with 8 in his return and rookie linebacker Jerome Baker had his first sack and added another one for a total of 2.
Miami’s Special Teams
Kicker Jason Sanders went 2 for 2 on extra points and 1 for 1 on attempt field goals. Jakeem Grant had an outstanding day returning kicks and punts. He had a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown before the half. Matt Haack had 5 punts totaling 209 yards.
The Miami Dolphins will be back at home to face the Chicago Bears who are coming off a bye week. Their previous game was a landslide win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-48. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw for 19/26 354 yards and 6 touchdowns. But take it with a grain of salt because the Bucs defense has not looked good all season and allowed a lot of points and yardage.
Keys to Victory
Miami’s key to victory against the Chicago Bears is to obviously contain Khalil Mack. He seems to be on pace to be the defensive player of the year. The Dolphins must get their offense going. They also need to protect Ryan Tannehill and give him a chance to throw the ball efficiently. The defensive side of the ball needs to contain Tarik Cohen and limit his explosive plays, he is a game changer for that Chicago offense. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been progressing with yardage though out the season, but I expect him to have a drop and be limited to 150-190 yards. Getting ahead early and forcing the bears to steer from their rushing game with great running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen taking them out of the game could really make the odds in Miami’s favor.
Final Score Prediction
Chicago 17-28 Miami