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Way-too-early schedule predictions: Bengals vs. Dolphins

A familiar setting for Bengals - Dolphins takes place in Week 4.

Miami Dolphins v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

One of the Cincinnati Bengals’ five primetime games in 2022 will come in Week 4 vs. the Miami Dolphins, and it’s in a familiar format.

For the third time since 2013, the Bengals and Dolphins will face off on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals lost the 2013 matchup in overtime in Miami, then beat the Dolphins at home in 2016.

In each previous matchup, one of the two teams went on to make the NFL playoffs, and there’s a very good chance that will happen again this time around.

The Bengals are obviously coming off a Super Bowl trip and will be one of the top AFC playoff favorites.

As for the Dolphins, they’re actually coming off two-straight winning seasons (19-14 overall) but failed to make the playoffs in both. They also haven’t won a playoff game since the 2000 season, a big reason being they’ve been about as bad as the Cleveland Browns when it comes to quarterback play.

The jury is still out on 2020 No. 5 overall pick Tua Tagovailoa, who has shown flashes of potentially becoming the first true franchise QB Miami hasn’t had since Dan Marino. Miami has also made it a point to upgrade the passing game over the last two years, spending the 2021 sixth-overall pick on Jaylen Waddle. Then sent a major haul to the Kansas City Chiefs for three-time First-Team All-Pro Tyreek Hill.

The duo of Hill and Waddle should be one of the NFL’s best receiving duos if Tua plays well, while Mike Gesicki is one of the better tight ends in football.

Miami also landed a talented dual-threat running back in Chase Edmonds this offseason, so Tua has plenty of weapons to work with. If he takes the next step in his development, the Dolphins will be a serious playoff contender this season.

Even if that happens, this is still a game the Bengals should win at home, though it could be one that comes down to the final minutes.

Plus, this is the Bengals’ Ring of Honor game for 2022, so you know Paul Brown Stadium will be rocking at a full force.

ESPN FPI: Bengals have 61.2% chance to win.

My prediction: Bengals 30, Dolphins 16

Now, sound off on how you see this one playing out!