Week 9 of the NFL season kicks off tonight as the Miami Dolphins host the Cincinnati Bengals. Ian Eagle, Trent Green and sideline reporter Rocky Boiman will have all the action from Sun Life Stadium beginning at 8 PM Eastern. For a preview of the game, Trent Green filed this report:
Red Rifle Locked and Loaded:
It’s a quarterback-driven league, so let’s talk about the two guys under center. First up, Andy Dalton. With Cincinnati 6-2, you look at the numbers Dalton has been putting up and it’s impressive. In the last four games – all Bengals wins – Dalton has completed over 68% of his passes with 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions and a quarterback rating of 116. Andy is attempting to be just the fifth quarterback in NFL history to make the playoffs in his first three seasons and he’s right on the cusp of going from being a good quarterback in the league to one of those so-called elite guys. His play is driving the Bengals right now.
Ryan Tannehill Misfiring:
Miami is mired in a four-game losing streak and one of the reasons is Ryan Tannehill. There are more factors than just quarterback play, but Tannehill’s play is a major issue. He’s the only Dolphin to commit a turnover this season. Obviously the nine interceptions are his, but he’s also got every Miami fumble on the year. He’s putting his team in tough situations with those turnovers. The Dolphins defense hasn’t played poorly, but they’ve been put in tough spots by those giveaways. All of that said, Tannehill’s play has been impacted by his ineffective offensive line, which has struggled to open holes in the running game or give Ryan time to set up in the pocket.
When you look at the AFC playoff picture, everyone’s talking about the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos and rightfully so based on those teams’ records. But with the play of Cincinnati and the defense that they have, you certainly need to consider the Bengals as the favorite in the AFC North but also as a candidate for a first-round bye. With Kansas City and Denver still to play each other twice, the Bengals could make a run towards a #1 or #2 overall seed if they keep playing as consistently as they have been.
– Trent Green
Former NFL quarterback Trent Green is the analyst for Thursday Night Football on WestwoodOne. Tonight, he’ll be alongside Ian Eagle for the call as the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Miami Dolphins. Coverage begins at 8 PM Eastern on WestwoodOne.