Dolphins at Bengals: Time, live streaming, how to watch, key

The Miami Dolphins have thus far handed each check thrown their approach. The defeated Bill Belichick’s Patriots in Week 1, stormed again to defeat Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2, and knocked the Super Bowl-favorite Buffalo Bills from the ranks of the unbeaten in Week 3. On Thursday evening, their newest check comes within the type of the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow and Co. are coming off their first win of the season — a laugher towards the New York Jets. They’d beforehand gone 0-2 towards the likes of Mitchell Trubisky’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Cooper Rush’s Dallas Cowboys. So, that is possible the hardest opponent they may have confronted up to now. That’s very true due to the model of protection Miami performs, which has the potential to trigger vital issues for the Bengals.

So, will the Dolphins stay unbeaten? Or will the Bengals hand them their first misplaced of the younger season? We’ll discover out quickly sufficient. Before we break down the matchup, this is how one can watch the sport: 

How to observe

Date: Thursday, Sept. 29 | Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Location: PayCor Stadium (Cincinnati)
Stream: Amazon Prime Video 
Follow: CBS Sports App   
Odds: Bengals -4, O/U 47

Featured Game | Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins

When the Dolphins have the ball

Early this season, the Dolphins are arguably the NFL‘s most fascinating offense. New head coach Mike McDaniel was the run-game coordinator in San Francisco and was anticipated to convey over a Kyle Shanahan-style offense that leaned closely on the run and play-action, bootleg passing ideas. Only a few of that has occurred. 

Rather than being run-heavy, Miami ranks second within the NFL in move charge over expectation, in line with Tru Media. McDaniel has certainly imported a few of the Shanahan ideas within the run recreation and particularly on play-action, however the Dolphins function out of the shotgun at a a lot increased charge and incorporate much more run-pass possibility ideas than McDaniel’s former staff did — presumably as a result of these are the areas the place Tua Tagovailoa is most snug. 

All of that is working fairly properly thus far. The Dolphins at present rank fourth in third-down conversion charge and the share of their performs which have gained 10 yards or extra; third in yards per play and success charge; second in EPA per play and the share of their drives which have gone three-and-out; and first in factors per drive. They’re spreading defenses razor skinny with all of the pace they will placed on the sphere. Tyreek Hill is drawing tons of consideration on each snap. Jaylen Waddle is taking benefit. Both of these gamers are opening broad throwing lanes over the center of the sphere.

Just about the one factor that is not working at a excessive stage is the run recreation itself, which is an fascinating improvement. Neither Chase Edmonds nor Raheem Mostert has been capable of actually get on monitor thus far. Some of that’s enjoying towards a trio of opponents which might be good at stopping the run within the Patriots, Ravens, and Bills. Some of it’s an offensive line that, whereas improved, remains to be below-average. And a few of it’s the operating backs themselves not doing a lot in the way in which of breaking tackles or creating yards after contact. 

Despite the shortage of speeding success, although, Miami’s play-action passing assault has been elite: Tagovailoa has faked a run on 39.1% of his dropbacks, the second-highest charge in soccer. When the Dolphins have gone to a run faux on first down, Tagovailoa has accomplished 19 of 23 passes (82.6%) for 289 yards (12.6 per try). He’s taken only one sack on these dropbacks, and he is thrown the ball 20 or extra yards downfield 26.1% of the time. All all of it up and he is recorded the league’s fourth-best EPA per play common on these performs. 

The query on this recreation is not a lot whether or not the Dolphins can discover a strategy to transfer the ball on the bottom, however whether or not Cincinnati’s linebackers and safeties can resist the temptation to return up and be a part of the run match on the performs when the Dolphins are literally throwing the ball. One false step and Hill, Waddle, or each will beat you — both excessive or on the transfer. So far, Tagovailoa has proven the power to seek out them in open house with a excessive stage of consistency. Assuming he is below heart, the one strategy to cease that from taking place is to dominate the sport up entrance and transfer him off his spot as quickly as he hits the highest of his dropback — a feat made tougher resulting from the truth that they’re working so typically out of the gun and due to this fact he isn’t taking as many conventional dropbacks.

When the Bengals have the ball

Cincinnati is coming off its finest recreation of the season, and it is in all probability not a coincidence that after going through Cover-2 on 36.7% of Joe Burrow’s dropbacks in Week 1 towards the Steelers and 50% of his dropbacks in Week 2 towards the Cowboys, the Bengals noticed ONE snap of Cover-2 towards the Jets in Week 3, in line with Tru Media. In these first two video games, Burrow was 25 of 34 for 243 yards, three interceptions and an unbelievable 9 sacks towards Cover-2. It’s value noting that Burrow confronted Cover-2 on simply 77 dropbacks all of final season, and the unbelievable ramp-up early this yr has possible been designed to remove a few of the “let’s simply throw it as much as Ja’Marr Chase deep down the sideline” stuff that was so profitable for Cincinnati final yr.

The Dolphins have performed Cover-2 on 14.6% of passing snaps this season, a major improve from final yr’s 7.6% mark. They have been primarily a single-high protection staff, although, enjoying Cover-1 or Cover-3 on 57.5% of snaps. They’ve additionally used Cover-0 at by far the best charge within the NFL — 14.6%. It will probably be fascinating to see how defensive coordinator Josh Boyer balances issues on this matchup. Miami likes to blitz, and will potential overwhelm what has been a severely overmatched Bengals offensive line by doing so. But the Dolphins additionally may not have to blitz all that usually to generate stress on Burrow, and leaving extra defenders in protection might permit them to make the most of extra of the two-high stuff that has bothered the Bengals thus far this season. 

The resolution Boyer makes can possible be seen by means of the prism of second-year security Jevon Holland, who’s an absolute menace all around the area. On eight pass-rush snaps, Holland has three pressures and 1.5 sacks, per Tru Media. On 129 protection snaps, he has been focused simply 5 instances, permitting three completions for 37 yards and an interception. He’s lined up as a real free security most of the time, however in line with Pro Football Focus, he has additionally dropped down into the field on 21 snaps, taken 17 snaps from the slot and performed alongside the defensive position for 15 snaps. He’s a chess piece whose actions can be utilized to dictate what the offense must do on any given snap. His alignment would not sometimes give a lot away, although, as a result of Miami can rotate into any variety of coverages or blitzes regardless of the place he occurs to be pre-snap. 

Playing extra two-high seems to be (pre-snap, if not essentially post-snap) invitations and sometimes entices opponents to run the ball. Cincinnati has been extraordinarily unsuccessful within the run recreation thus far this season, checking in thirtieth in yards per carry, EPA per rush and Football Outsiders’ rush offense DVOA. Joe Mixon is averaging a dreadful 2.8 yards per tote, with simply 0.91 yards earlier than contact. He’s been tackled at or behind the road of scrimmage extra typically (29.3% of his runs) than he has gained 5 yards or extra (26.7%). In different phrases, the offensive line makeover that was alleged to be a dramatic improve has as an alternative not labored out in any respect. Miami is seventh in rush protection DVOA thus far this season, so it appears at the least considerably unlikely that the Bengals will discover a lot speeding success right here. 

Instead, the Bengals will possible need to depend upon Burrow, Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst successful on a person stage with a view to transfer the ball. That group is, after all, greater than able to doing simply that. Particularly with No. 2 nook Byron Jones nonetheless sidelined and Xavien Howard enjoying by means of a soft-tissue damage, there could possibly be alternatives for that crew to do some harm on the perimeter. The Dolphins did simply power the Bills to dink and dunk their approach down the sphere all recreation final week and will conceivably do the identical to the Bengals, however it’s value noting that this protection was on the sphere for NINETY performs only a few days in the past, and will undergo from some fatigue right here. 

Prediction: Dolphins 27, Bengals 24

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