TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 5: Miami Dolphins At Cincinnati Bengals

Dolphins
Bengals
Oakland Raiders v Miami Dolphins
Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars
Quarterback
The Dolphins had to be shocked that rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for more than 400 yards in the Week Four loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Tannehill has a good but not great arm, reads defenses well for a rookie and plays with confidence. He needs to improve quite a bit for the Dolphins to become a challenging team.
Winner Andy Dalton is becoming one of the better quarterbacks in the league. He has the size, arm strength and confidence to get on a hot roll and carry his team. He has exceeded expectations greatly and while he’s already good, he’s going to improve in the weeks to come.
Offense
The Dolphins know they are not going to trade points with the better teams in the league. They simply don’t have the talent and head coach Joe Philbin knows it. Running back Reggie Bush must be an explosive factor each week. Wide receiver Brian Hartline knows how to get open and make big plays.
Winner The Bengals have a versatile group of receivers who can make big plays and stretch out the defense. A.J. Green is the best of the bunch, but Andrew Hawkins is an underrated performer who needs to become a bit more consistent. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a much harder working running back than former Bengal (and current Packer) Cedric Benson. Green-Ellis has helped change the team’s overall attitude.
Defense
Winner The Dolphins can compete a lot better on the defensive end. Not enough to overcome a substandard offense, but they tackle well and they are solid in coverage. Outside linebacker Kevin Burnett is a solid playmaker, but it’s middle linebacker Karlos Dansby who sets the tone.
The Bengals may have the best pair of interior linemen in the league in Geno Atkins and Domata Peko. The pair combined for three sacks in the Week Four win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and they can always shut down the run between the tackles. That’s a huge bonus for head coach Marvin Lewis.
Special Teams
The Dolphins are OK but not impressive on special teams. Dan Carpenter is a decent placekicker but is not going to impress you with leg strength. The Dolphins don’t cover kickoffs as effectively as you would want them to.
Winner The Bengals work hard on special teams and that has not always been the case in the Lewis era. However, they cover punts and kickoffs well. Kevin Huber has a strong leg and gets excellent height on his punts.

The Winner Is

Cincinnati Bengals v Jacksonville Jaguars
Winner Bengals
3 out of 4

This appears to be a very strange season in the NFL because the Bengals seem like one of the most consistent teams in the league. In the past, when they have face undermanned opponents they have not always played hard, but that does not seem to be the case any longer. The Bengals could put this game away early in front of the home fans.

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  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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