Bengals Primetime Battle With Miami Dolphins Is Crucial

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Sep 25, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) reacts after scoring the winning touchdown in overtime to defeat the Cleveland Browns 30-24 at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (23) reacts after scoring the winning touchdown in overtime to defeat the Cleveland Browns 30-24 at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Bengals will battle the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. The early primetime matchup is a crucial game for Cincinnati.

Just when you thought things would be easy, the Bengals open the season with 1-2 record. Going into their Week 4 showdown with the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati has some adjustments to make. The running game showed sparks of life, against the Broncos. But, the defensive secondary looked vulnerable. Thursday Night Football should help the Bengals with the recent lack of emotion.

The short turnaround from last Sunday’s battle will be draining. But, the long stretch following Thursday’s game will be the best indicator of desire. The Bengals will get some needed time to heal. Yet, they’ll also have time to go flat. Hopefully, the primetime matchup will be a turning point. Under the stars, Cincinnati is known to struggle. 

Why is the Miami Color Rush game so crucial? It’s simple. The Bengals’ primetime woes are a thing of renown. When they are expected to win, they falter. A quick look back to last year is all that’s necessary. 

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The Houston Texans rolled into Paul Brown Stadium for a Monday night affair. The matchup has become a mini-rivalry of sorts. It was drama at its best. Cincinnati was boasting an 8-0 winning streak. Houston was fighting for a playoff berth. The results weren’t pretty. The Bengals suffered a 10-6 loss under the bright lights. It was a game they should have easily won.

Winning The Big One

The loss to Houston is why Thursday’s game is so crucial. In order to prove they’re still capable of controlling their destiny, Cincinnati has to destroy the Dolphins. Sure. Winning the game is what the Bengals need to even their record. But, dismantling a team in disarray would be the clincher.

Coming into the Color Rush clash, the Dolphins are reeling. So far, the Phins have 16 players listed on the injury report. Yes, those lists aren’t always accurate. But, the Broncos limped into PBS and left with a W. If Cincinnati is going to throw its hat into the ring for AFC North champion, this game is paramount. They have to play this game with high intensity.

Not only must the Bengals beat the Phins, they have to give them a sound thrashing (translation: old-fashioned butt kicking). As of now, the analysts and armchair experts that picked the Steelers as AFC North champs are beaming. A beatdown of Miami in primetime could effectively turn some heads. Dominating teams that are not full strength is part of being a winner.

Added motivation should come in the form of Kevin Coyle. Since his return as secondary coach, the Bengals have gotten burned. Coyle was previously in the position from 2003-2011. During that time, the Bengals’ defensive backs flourished. After a dismal stint with the Phins as defensive coordinator (2012-2015), he was fired. 

Next: The Burfict Debut

If nothing else, shutting down Jarvis Landry should get the adrenaline pumping for the home team. Landry hauled in seven catches for 120 yards in Week 3. Certainly, the Bengals defensive backs are better than those in Cleveland.

Losing to the Phins is not an option.

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