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Bengals at Dolphins: Positional Analysis

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Defensive Line:

After finishing 7th in the NFL in 2012 with 42 sacks, the Dolphins have more sacks (20) than just 11 other teams (T-18th). However, the issue with getting to the QB is not on the DL. The DL is actually getting to the QB (16 of the team’s 20 sacks) and the Bengals OL will have their arms full with 3 lineman with 3+ sacks (Ordick, Starks, Vernon). Missing from that list is Cameron Wake. After a 15 sack campaign in 2012, Wake has just 2.5 sacks in 2013 and is on pace for a disappointing 7 sacks. Perhaps even more disappointing than Wake, would have to be the Dolphins 1st round pick (3rd overall) Dion Jordan, who in 7 games has just 1 sack and 8 tackles.

The Bengals DL, features one of the deepest rotations and brings a wave of lineman that have combined for 17.5 sacks – led by Atkins 5. Pouncey will have his hands full with Atkins as will Clabo and McKinnie with Dunlap and MJ respectively. Along with their ability to rush the passer, the Bengals also feature a DL ranked 8th in rushing yards against – compared to the Dolphins 19th ranked rush defense.

Advantage: Bengals

Line Backers:

If not for injuries to Maualuga and Taylor Mays (who was playing some cover LB), the Bengals would have the advantage here as well. After spending $61M on free agent LBs Ellerbe and Wheeler, the Dolphins have gotten very little for their money spent – a total of 0.5 sacks, 0 INTs and 0 FF. However, given the injuries at the LB position for the Bengals, I have to give the Dolphins the advantage.

Advantage: Dolphins

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