Stripe Hype Preview: Bengals Look to go Fishing


Yes yes, I know, a Dolphin really isn’t a fish, but it doesn’t have the same ring to it if you say they are going mammaling. The Cincinnati Bengals look to finish what has been a disastrous season on a positive note, which would continue the Miami Dolphins nightmare of a year.

Things are looking up for the Phish. Bill Parcells has ridden into town looking to turn around a sad sack franchise, that believe it or not, had it’s best years recently under current Pittsburgh University head coach Dave Wannstedt.

With Chad Johnson‘s recent comments to the Miami media, this game might actually get a little more attention. Is Ocho now auditioning for Parcells and Cameron? Only time will tell.

When the Bengals have the ball.

Rudi Johnson and DeDe Dorsey are both out of action tomorrow, meaning that Kenny Watson will get another shot to prove he should be considered for the starting running back job next season. Most people assume all of Miami’s problems lie on the offensive side of the ball, that’s not entirely true.

Miami’s defense has certainly shared in the blame for the 1-14 record, ranking 31st in the NFL in points given up per game. Miami is also 32nd in the league against the rush, compared to a very impressive 4th against the pass, so expect Bob Bratkowski to throw it 47 times. If Bob somehow has a stroke, and someone else takes over the play calling, we’ll see Watson pounding the ball early and often.

When the Dolphins have the ball

It’s hard to say exactly what the Fins will do on offense, as for the most part, nothing they have done has worked very well. Cleo Lemon might actually be a better quarterback than most Dolphin fans give him credit for, but that doesn’t make him a game breaker. He has gone two straight games with an interception thrown, so maybe he really is developing

Without Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, Miami’s running game has been pretty pedestrian. Unfortunately, any real Bengal fan knows it doesn’t take a Pro Bowl running back to make this defense look bad. Miami’s rotation of mediocre backs might be just good enough to hurt us. One can only hope that the defensive performance against the Browns last week was more than a mirage.

Stripe Hype Final Call

This is the battle of the teams who have nothing to play for. The strangest part of this match-up is that when the season began, you can bet both teams had visions of playoff appearances dancing in their heads. If for no other reason than the Bengals have been atrocious on the road, I’m going to call an upset here, Dolphins win it 17-10. Keep in mind I haven’t been close on any of my predictions this season.