Last Week, the Bengals lost a near comeback victory in Atlanta against a very tough Falcons team. That game was considered a must win game. This week, the Bengals host the Miami Dolphins for the Halloween game. This game is more must winnier than the last one was. How do the Bengals match up to the Dolphins compared to how they did against the Falcons? Let's find out.
Chad Henne VS Matt Ryan:
This isn't really a fair competition. Chad Henne is Chad Henne but Matt Ryan is the new face of a franchise that could have done a massive nose dive when Michael Vick was shipped off to the clink. Ryan was mostly responsible for Atlanta keeping their head (and waist) above water. Easy decision here.
Winner: Matt Ryan... by a mile
What the Bengals need to do: I know this is easier said than done, especially for the Bengals as of late, but they need to find a way to put Henne on the ground. Sacks are preferred but even quarterback hits have a positive effect for any defense. The Bengals need to find a way to pressure the quarterback. If they can do that, Henne will be forced to scramble (he's not the best at that), take a sack or throw the ball before he wants to. That's what leads to interceptions.
Dolphins Running Game VS Falcons Running Game:
This one is going to be a little tougher. Michael Burner Turner is one of the better running backs in the NFL but Ronnie Brown and Ricky Sticky Williams (I'm all about the nicknames tonight) have proven to be a fairly dynamic duo, especially when they run the Wildcat. The question is, has the Wildcat run it's course?
Winner: Atlanta's running game
What the Bengals need to do: The reason that I chose Atlanta's running game over the Wildcat is because Atlanta has a potent passing game that opens up lanes for Turner to run. The signing of Brandon Marshal has helped the Dolphins passing game but until Henne gets some more experience under his belt, Miami is going to lean on their running game. Having said that, the Bengals need to know that the Dolphins are a run first, pass second team. If the Bengals can stop the run and force Henne to win the game for them, the Bengals defense will likely win the day. The key word in that sentence is if. The Wildcat is just a fancy option offense with two very capable running backs.. I mean, shouldn't be too hard to stop... right?
Dolphins Receivers VS Falcons Receivers:
Brandon Marshal is good. He's very, very good. Davone Bess has also caught the eye of every fantasy football player who has a receiver on a bye week recently too. Are the two of them good enough to be considered better than Roddy White and one of the best tight ends to ever step on an NFL field? The answer lies in the quarterback. When it comes down to it, a wide receiver is only as good as the guy throwing the ball to him.
Winner: Atlanta Receivers
What the Bengals need to do: The Bengals need to do the exact opposite of what they did in Miami. Hopefully Jonathan Joseph is back in the lineup and hopefully he can limit the number of times Marshal touches the ball. Also, it's going to be extremely important for the Bengals front seven to pressure Henne into making some rash decisions. If the defense can do that, they'll win the game.
Dolphins Defense VS Falcons Defense:
The Dolphins have made tough defense an everyday thing in Miami. They currently have the No. 10 ranked defense while Atlanta is ranked No. 24. So.....
Winner: Dolphins Defense
What the Bengals need to do: The Dolphins have a much better defending the run than they are defending the pass so the Bengals need to take advantage of that. Chad Ochocinco needs to catch the ball when it hits his hands and Terrell Owens needs to keep reeling in those deep balls. Jordan Shipley needs to do what he has been doing and so does Jermaine Gresham. The biggest thing is the offensive line keeping Palmer's backside clean. If they can keep him up and on his feet, he'll find the open man. Hopefully, if they get things going through the air, they'll get things going on the ground.