NFL Thursday Night; Dolphins at Bengals

Here’s a photo of Ryan Tannehill even though I wrote nothing about the Dolphins. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Dolphins at Bengals
I believed the Bengals to be AFC title contenders at the beginning of the season. While I’m not quite ready to abandon that post, I’m not feeling great about it either. At 1-2, Cincinnati has played the toughest schedule in the NFL through three weeks (@NYJ, @PITT, DEN), so it’s completely reasonable for them to stumble out of the gates. On the other hand, Andy Dalton and the offense have really struggled to score points. They’re only averaging 18 points per game, down from 26 a season ago. The Bengals are also a dreadful 3/10 inside the red zone. A struggling ground game and overall inability to protect Andy Dalton are the likely culprits for Cincinnati’s struggles. Dalton’s been sacked 12 times already, two more than any quarterback in the NFL not named Cam Newton. Against the Jets and Steelers, Cincinnati’s ground game failed to surpass three yards per rush despite 37 attempts. There are signs of life, though… at least in the running game. In Week 3 the Bengals chewed up 143 yards at nearly five yards per carry. While it’s too early to give up on the Bengals, a disappointing performance at home against a lousy Miami team could sound the final alarm. BENGALS If I were Charles Barkley; Bengals -8

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