The Cincinnati Bengals are riding a four game winning streak and have beaten all of Miami’s division foes. They will cruise into Miami for the Thursday night Halloween game facing a sinister looking Miami Dolphins squad. Albeit one made up entirely of masks and costumes. With word today of Jonathan Martin’s absence and TE Dion Sims’ “doubtful” designation the Dolphins will turn to Tyson Clabo and Michael Egnew to fend off one of the best pass rushing teams in the NFL.
It will not only be an almost impossible task but the odds are Ryan Tannehill could easily see is 33rd, 34th, and even possibly his 40th sack of the season. Not possible? Consider that Tannehill was sacked last week five times in the second half alone and the Bengals are head and shoulders above the Patriots defense. With 32 sacks so far this year it’s entirely plausible for Tannehill to get knocked down often tomorrow night.
The good news if there is any, is that Egnew has looked surprisingly good at times this year and this could be his chance to show that he can be an every down TE. Maybe.
For the Dolphins, Coach Mike Sherman and HC Joe Philbin need to put together a near perfect game plan. The problem however is thus far the Dolphins have not been able to put together anything outside of a few nice drives. While the team has talent (sans the offensive line) the coaches haven’t yet figured out how to use them. Brian Hartline’s numbers have dipped and Mike Wallace’s numbers are pathetic for a man who the team spent 60 million dollars on.
With a short week since Sunday’s second half meltdown, word is that Mike Wallace spoke privately with OC Sherman about his role with the team. While that seemed to work against the Indianapolis Colts following a non-existent opening game against the Browns in week one, it did not work after his outspoken actions following the loss to the Saints. It seems that when Miami tries to deliberately get Wallace involved they tend to play out of sync as they abandon the play of Brian Hartline, the TE, and the slot WR.
The Dolphins are not only on a four game losing streak that is on the verge of taking them out of any hope at a playoff spot, but the team has lost Brandon Gibson to a knee injury, lost both of their top practice squad WR’s to other teams, have given up a league leading 32 sacks, had to bench their right tackle, has their All-Pro caliber center looking at a legal nightmare in conjunction with Aaron Hernandez’ gun running trouble and murder indictment, and now they have had their best edge lineman walk out because he can’t take a joke.