Week 8 predictions: Buccaneers at Bengals

Jamie Wroe
@trequartbeasta
Before everything went wrong on Sunday (and BOY did it go wrong) I spent my evening watching the Buccaneers play the Browns. Wow-wee was that a bad game. Two teams trying to hand each other victory, Tampa snuck it. Jameis Winston is horrible and I feel sorry for Mike Evans. If Teryl Austin preaches turnovers, this should be the game he gets them. Buccaneers 23 Bengals 34

Duncan Price
@DastardlyDuncan 

I’m equal parts hopeful and concerned as we approach the game this weekend. Everyone is looking past Tampa Bay, or at least they were until we got brutalised by the Chiefs, and I’m going to be the voice of reason. TB’s offense (6th) is ranked much higher than ours (20th), and even their questionable defense is actually middle of the road (19th), with ours among the worst in the league (31st). That being said, we have the players to beat them and I do firmly believe that we have more ‘big play’ ability. It comes down to whether our team mentality can overcome the obvious frailties that we have throughout the position groups. Will we see the Bengals who have fought back many times this year, or will we see the inept Bengals who just capitulate when things start to go against them – like they did on SNF. I have this as a very close game, maybe not by one or two points, but by one or two key plays that turn momentum one way or another. I’m going to go Bengals ‘because optimism’ as the kids like to phrase things nowadays – but I would not be surprised if we went to .500  Buccaneers 28 Bengals 31

Phil Hatten
@bengalblueboy 

This is now a test of faith game. I had faith we would perform in our last 2 games and was disappointed. The reality now is that we don’t appear to be a top-tier team. Injuries haven’t helped, but we now have to show that we are at least a good team again. This won’t be easy. Tampa actually lead the Chiefs in several Offensive stats – and their ‘poor’ Defense is ranked higher than ours. Ross is out ( if it makes a difference ?) and we are generally banged up. Logic suggests the bookies have this one wrong. By faith ( for the last time) rather than judgement I’m trusting the coaches to earn their money. Buccaneers 27 Bengals 28

Adam Walford
@TouchdownTips 

Sorry guys, but I calls it likes I sees it – Oh no. The hype of the Bengals start has gone, it’s dead. Admittedly they lost to the Steelers who they always lose to, and the best offense in the AFC, so no real issue there, but statistically they’re not good, in the 20s or 30s for most measurables on offense (25th in pass yards, 28th in rush yards per game) and defense (29th in pass yards, 26th in rush yards allowed per game). It’s not pretty at the moment. The lack of any kind of defense is a major worry and could really bite them in the ass in this game against a pretty free-scoring Bucs offense. I still haven’t figured out if the lack of pass rush is affecting the secondary, or whether the pass rush can’t get there because the secondary can’t keep players in check. Either way, the inability to stop the run or tight ends is affecting everything at the moment. The Bengals will have to score a lot to keep up with them, and frankly, I’m even a little worried about that at the moment as well. The injuries seem to be taking their toll all over the field. The Bucs can’t defend but can put up points. I’ve got a horrible feeling about this one. The one positive for my pessimism is that the Bengals are at home. The Bucs with the upset. Buccaneers 35 Bengals 31

Duncan Yeadon
@Slamduncthefunk 

You’d like to think after losing to the Steelers and then the crushing defeat to the chiefs we will rebound and put in a performance. I had this down as a win before the season started. Similar to Dastardly Duncan it depends which team turns up. I fear if we get off to a bad start the home crowd will start to turn and the negativity towards the team will impact on us.  Buccaneers 28 Bengals 17

Jim Bingham
@DWidnes
We HAVE to win to save the season. Buccaneers 18 Bengals 21 

Peter Dadswell
@Dadders
The Bengals are hurting. Injuries and pride… we’re hurting after a close but demoralising loss to our rivals, and a shellacking on primetime TV for the rest of the country to see our (obvious) deficiencies. However an animal is at its most dangerous when it is hungry (as we should be for a win entering our bye) and when it is wounded. We need to harness that hurt, harness that hunger and take it out on a Bucs team that it a real enigma. They have an offense blessed with talent but a QB that can be plain awful. In the off-season, they strengthened their D but got worse! So how do we do it? For me, it starts and finishes with Joe Mixon. We HAVE to use him more than we have in the last couple of games – both losses. Run him, run him again, and run him some more. Eventually, he’ll find the gaps and break a few decent runs. before we know it he’ll have 80-100 yards. That, in turn, opens up the play action, which buys Dalton more time from the pass rush. AJ will have his customary 80-120 yards, but he can’t shoulder all the burden. We need to spread that burden on the other talent. Boyd, Uzomah, Mixon, Walton all need to come to the party. If the D line can live up to their talent and get to Winston regularly, a QB with talent but under pressure, he throws more pics than Paul Hirons eats fruit crumbles. If we get enough pressure Winston will crumble (arf arf!). We are due a game from our D. Buccanneers 20 Bengals 31

Richard Jones
To me, this game will confirm whether the Bengals are moving forwards. A win would suggest a team that might notch nine or 10 wins and try to get a playoff win. A Loss would suggest another six or seven-win season, and a waste of another year under Marvin Lewis. I will be optimistic and hope for a bounce back. Buccaneers 23 Bengals 29

Dean Owen Jones
@WordSherbert
This is a tough one to call (and it shouldn’t be). Last week was highly disappointing on so many levels. We lost our shape in all three phases of the game, seemingly completely lost our ability to impose our will on opponents. The tackling was woeful (I will give Marvin that one). Just all round a depressing showing. I was very much giving us the benefit of the doubt for the game too. I thought this season was different at first because it seemed we had a new attitude that we could win, and so did opponents… until Pittsburgh. And then, well, the drubbing against KC is there in the record books now for all to see. I agree with what others say here; this game against Tampa Bay defines the season going forward. Is it an ongoing stuffing leaking out of the pillow kind of a season, or is there a chance we can find some backbone, and win again? Time will tell. Buccaneers 17 Bengals 20

Paul Hirons
@Son_Of_Ray
This game worries me. Tampa Bay are erratic, a bit like us, but they currently boast the league’s best offence in total yards and passing. For a defense that’s currently on its feet, this does not make for good reading. Tampa Bay doesn’t have much of a running game, but Winston has slotted back in well after his early-season absence, and the threat of Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson on the outside is real. Our starting CBs have been playing better the last few weeks and if there was one positive from the Chiefs game it was that we more or less took away their deep ball. More or less. So the hope is that this week deep balls will be limited. However, Burfict may be out this week so that means more Harvey Nickerson. That also means OJ Howard and slot receiver Adam Humphries will be major threats. On offence we have a real chance against them – like us, they’re down near the bottom of the stats tables – and we just have to be better this week on that side of the ball. If we aren’t we’ll be heading into the bye week having erased our good start. A coin-flip game, but I’m going away win – I just think we’re too beaten up in crucial spots. I desperately hope I’m wrong. Buccaneers 31 Bengals 24

Week 7 predictions: Bengals at Chiefs

Jamie Wroe
The way some are going on about it, you’d think the Bengals got blown out last week. Yes, things went wrong, but we make adjustments and move ahead. Chiefs, Sunday Night Football, let’s kill some demons and get into em. Dalton the Constantine to Mahomes’ Kermit. Bengals 34 Chiefs 23

Phil Hatten
@bengalblueboy 

There appears to be a fair bit of apprehension about this one. I don’t see it that way. It’s more like a free shot-to-nothing for me. As explosive as their O is, there are definite signs for hope. Their O Line gives up more pressures than most and their D is not great. If our D Line can bounce back and actually get their hands on Mahomes and help us win the turnover battle, and the O can be both explosive and balanced (with a heavy sprinkle of the run) – we can win this. Both the above scenarios can happen (helps if Ross and Gio are fit). The Broncos held them to 27 points while losing the turnover battle and losing TOP by 10 mins. We are better than Denver. I’m predicting that the D will bend but not break and chip in with three sacks and two INTs. Bengals 31 Chiefs 27

Duncan Yeadon
@Slamduncthefunk 

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day… winning this primetime game against the Chiefs would be such a Bengals thing to do. Last week is behind us and the D need to get at Mahomes and our secondary to convert these chances when they come. Offence will be fine with Mixon, Boyd, AJ and the Ginger Prince. Bengals 28 Chiefs 21

Peter Dadswell
@Dadders
Confidence will have taken a knock for the Bengals this week – possibly more for Bengaldom itself than the actual players – but the team will need to approach a tough game at Arrowhead Stadium against the impressive Chiefs with a positive outlook. If they enter the game oppressed by the tough loss against the Squeelers then they’ll struggle even more. The Chiefs are like a photograph negative – for as good as the offence is the defence is equally poor. For the Bengals to get a win, and what a statement win that would be, the D is going to have to get three or four stops. The D is going to have to make more plays than against the Squeelers. The pass rush is going to have to disrupt and knock Mahomes down, most of all the secondary is going to get chances but must hang on to the INT opportunities. However… I as much as I am an optimistic fan I am also a realist. Sadly I see a loss in a high-scoring shoot-out. Bengals 34 Chiefs 41

Duncan Price
@DastardlyDuncan 

In theory, this should be a shootout between two exciting offenses taking on two mediocre (at best) defenses – but I’m not so sure. I didn’t like the way the Bengals played on offense last week, even with one or two flashes, and I don’t feel like a banged-up version of our defense is going to dig us out of any holes either. Colour me slightly concerned, but this could be a bit of a pounding – but of course, I hope not! Please, please Bengals prove me wrong, go out and make me look like an idiot. I’d love nothing more this week. Bengals 17 Chiefs 30

Dean Owen Jones
@WordSherbert 

I think we win this, I really do. Like I said last week, having studied the week five games for both Pittsburgh and Kansas City, I was more worried about Pitt (turns out I was sadly right) than KC. I still am. So, we can be pretty sure it’ll be a points-fest. Should be a good, fun game to watch. Bengals 40 Chiefs 38

Jim Bingham
@DWidnes
I have a weird feeling that Kansas might drop off after their intimidating start. Our pass rush cannot play as poorly again, and I think we can score a lot of points on them, and the fact we lost at home in such a shitty way will help this group of fine men find another level. I also think we’ll beat Kansas in Arrowhead. Mixon will have a massive game, and Cincy will gameplan to try and keep the ball as much as possible and out of the hands of Showtime(!), and why not? I back us to pull this off somehow and eek out a narrow victory, albeit with plenty of heart attacks on the way. Bengals 24 Chiefs 21

Matt Moon
@mattm00n 

Being on primetime and having important players missing, why can I not shake the belief that the Bengals will win on Sunday? Maybe it’s because the Bengals always do better when they’re the underdog or Marvin Lewis’ record against Andy Reid is decent. I think part of it is that against the Chiefs we will get the turnovers that this year’s Bengals need in a match to win, helped by Mahomes being a rookie coming off the back of the Chief’s first loss of the season. It may well be another who-has-the-ball-last match but I think with Ross back, Dalton gets off to the quick start we need that puts enough pressure on the Chiefs in order to get this away win. Bengals 34 Chiefs 30

Paul Hirons
@Son_Of_Ray
I tipped the Chiefs to be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl this season, and they’ve exceeded my expectations so far on the offensive side of the ball. The way our defense has been playing, we all have to expect that they will rack up the yards and points against us – it’s just going to happen, so it’s a case of picking and choosing our battles. If we can make two or three stops at crucial moments then… it could be the Falcons all over again. However, KC just have too many weapons that can hurt us – historically and presently we have been and are currently weak against tight ends (hello Travis Kelce), we’ve been poor-to-average against the run this year (hello Kareem Hunt) and we occasionally get burned by a receiver or two (hello Tyreek Hill). It’s imperative we put some pressure on Mahomes to make him at least think a bit. On the other side of the ball, as good as our offense has been, I’ve noted that in the past two weeks we’ve been a bit inconsistent. We have to feed Mixon the ball in this one and keep that Chiefs offensive juggernaut off the field as much as we can – only then can we take advantage of their below-average pass defense. So it really will be a question of whether we can we keep up with them, and with an injury-ravaged team that’s going to be difficult (but not impossible). We did it against Atlanta, and we can do it again in Arrowhead for sure. So I say yes, we can go toe-to-toe with them… but only for a while. Home win. Bengals 31 Chiefs 42

Week 6 predictions: Steelers at Bengals

Jamie Wroe
@trequartbeasta 

Last year I felt we needed motivating for this fixture so I strode out like Delia under the influence of sherry. This year I stride out like a medieval knight, broadsword high. It’s not “Let’s Be ‘aving You”, more “Let’s be ‘aving them”. We start as three-point favourites over the Steelers, which shows that bookies talk bollocks. We’re light years ahead of them on the field. Just keep discipline, make plays when you need and we’ll get the job done. And if we do get ahead, keep the foot down. This is the cathartic one. This is the dream opportunity. No harbour, no mercy. Beat them, and keep beating them until the final bell. Steelers 17 Bengals 45

Peter Dadswell
@Dadders 

When you have a dangerous wounded animal down, especially when it looks like its starting to recover, you never let it up. Instead you put your foot on its throat and finish it off. THAT is the order of the day this weekend. THAT is Marv’s gameplan against the Squeelers. They showed signs last time out against a dispirited Flacons, but this is a pale shadow of the sides that have stood in the Bengals way year after year. Their D, especially their secondary, is very poor. If our D-line can make inroads and get to the crying QB we’ll be well on our way. The Squeelers are better when they have balance. Stop the impressive Connor running, in the absence of media-whore baby Bell, and make the crying QB throw it more and they struggle. Will Tomlin dare to send Ju-Ju on a shallow crossing route into Tez’s domain early in the game?! The road to legitimacy goes through the Steelers. Thatb was always on the script. This is the Bengals time. The neutrals are just starting to pay attention, but still waiting for us to do a “typical Bengals” and let everyone down when expectations are raised. I predict a bit of a shootout unless our D can replicate their 2nd half success against the Dolphins (where incidentally they stopped them having a single snap in the red zone ALL GAME!). Steelers 24 Bengals 41

Matt Moon
@mattm00n 

Predicting a match between the Bengals and the Steelers is a nightmare because if any match is going to go off script, this is it. At 4-1 and always managing to find a way to win, the Bengals should expect a positive result. We have Burfict back, Ross looks like he will play, making space for others, and we showed against the Dolphins that our defense knows how to turn the ball over (which if Roethlisberger maintains his early season form could be great for us). The concerns for the Bengals start with Boling potentially being kept out of the game with a hip injury and the performance of our special teams players over the last couple of weeks. Also although our tight ends don’t need to play at Eifert level for us to be successful, they do need to block adequately and not give away penalties. I think the Steelers may start quicker but we will always be within reach. Then in the second half, Dalton and Green will keep their heads while all the Steelers about them are losing theirs and blaming it on each other leading to a late charge to get us the win by more than three. Steelers 28 Bengals 34

Adam Walford
@TouchdownTips 

It’s Tuesday and I’m already equally excited and worried about this game. Tomlin has been mouthing off to the media about the refs trying to get them onside. They already pre-judge Burfict and will be all over everything he does. Not a great start. The Bengals have shown some real grit this season, smashing the Ravens in primetime, beating the other birds on the final drive and coming back from 17-0 this last week against the Dolphins. That’s something we have been lacking and the media constantly criticise. A win this week against this bunch will go some way to lessening that. We usually seem to lead in this matchup then do nothing in the second half, but we seem to have finally figured how to adjust at half times in the games this season, so I’m hopeful. Stopping the run will again be the key here, Connor had a good game for them last week and we were poor stopping the Dolphins average run game, but WJ3 knows how to deal with AB, Dre will have to step up on Juju, and Jessie Bates is an under-the-radar DROY at the moment. Hopefully he can show the neutrals how good he is in this one. I would like us to convert more takeaways – we still seem to struggle with INTs. Strangely I think the defensive lines are probably the best units in this game. TJ Watt did very well last week for them and Atkins and Dunlap, in particular, have somehow stepped up even further since signing their contracts. We’re a different team to the ones over the last few years. The youth and energy around the offense are clear for all to see so far. Boyd, Ross, Mixon should all rise to this challenge and I think we’ve got what it takes to put up points against a poor defense, and this AJ Green bloke doesn’t look too bad either. Steelers 28 Bengals 31

Jim Bingham
@DWidnes

Here it is then. A big one. Before last week I was feeling quietly confident we could take care of business at home. The loss of 85 is looking to have a severely detrimental effect, and Gio not being there makes me nervous, especially if 28 takes a big hit or two, which he obviously will on Sunday. TJ Watt will give Glenn nightmares, as has every speed rusher in the last few weeks. We need to run on them and succeed early. If we fall 17 points behind there’ll be no comebacks this week. However, Dalton is looking different class this year, we all know how good AJ and Boyd have been, and the Pburgh D can be thrown on. Both teams desperate for this win should make it a fierce, fun battle. Hopefully enough fans turn up to give us a clear home field advantage, but those towels travel well. Such a hard call…. Pittsburgh 24 Bengals 21

Sam Ainger
@sam_ainger 

From watching the Chiefs game from this past weekend, and now the Steelers, I’m more worried about the Steelers D than the Chiefs O. Yes Mahomes is amazing, but he’s not infallible. The Steelers D were sacking Ryan left, right and centre this weekend past, and we all know what being under pressure used to do to Andy. For me, the Steelers are the real test. Unfortunately, they seem (to me) to have hit their stride. I’m seeing the Steelers game – as I always do – as a must-win game. They’ve stolen our hearts for many years and to get one over them and go 2-0 in the division would be phenomenal. The reason I AM worried is the fact that they always know what to do against us, no matter if they’re playing from behind or not, and they always seem to find a way. The reason why I’m somewhat more at ease is because I feel we’re a different team this year – the wins, the coordinators, the new schemes and most of all…the WAY we’ve won games of late. Steelers 27 Bengals 31 (Dalton: 3 TDs, 285 yards; Mixon: one rushing TD, 80 rushing yards, 45 receiving yards; Green one TD, 75 yards)

Phil Hatten
@bengalblueboy 

Head versus gut here. My gut says things will go wrong including injuries and decisions, per most Steelers games. However, my head says we are becoming the real deal and may put it all together and step on their necks. Let’s go with my head. Steelers 20 Bengals 31

Duncan Price
@DastardlyDuncan 

These games with the Steelers almost exist in a bubble, whether either team is doing well or not, it’s always a battle. I certainly think the Bengals can win, but I wouldn’t be shocked if we got our asses handed to us either – as the Steelers showed last week they will score points on a defense that isn’t necessarily playing its best football. I do think we have an advantage though, we’re on a roll, spirits are high, and this game is in our yard. We just need to come out the gates hard, no let up, no bad quarters, consistent quality play. Steelers 21 Bengals 24

Paul Hirons
@Son_Of_Ray
This one is very hard to predict. If we had played the Steelers two weeks ago, I would have predicted a home win without too much hesitation. But the Steelers’ performance against the Falcons last week was impressive, especially on defense. They seem to be coming into a bit of form, which is worrying. Add into the mix all the psychological stuff and the rivalry, and I just don’t know. If we could beat them – and we are capable of beating them, make no mistake – it would be huge. I don’t really care what the national media say or how we’re perceived, I care about cold, hard winning, and if we win this game it would widen the gap between us and them in the division and put us in a tasty position in the AFC as a whole. That’s all that should matter, so I want this team laser-focused and mentally up for the job. No stupid, daft stuff. Just win and move on. We need to play a full game, and we need big games from the offensive line and our secondary, who looked much better in the second half against the Dolphins. Coin flip game, but Conner worries me, TJ Watt worries me and Vance McDonald worries me. Heck, third downs worry me. However, I’m a Bengals fan, so what are you gonna do? Home win. Steelers 35 Bengals 38

Week 5 predictions: Dolphins at Bengals

Jamie Wroe
@trequartbeasta
What looked a simple game on paper a month and a half ago now seems more even. Two 3-1 teams meet, but the Dolphins are fresh off a New England arsekicking. We’ll have to be strong for this one, take our opportunities on defense and not be as sloppy in that respect as we were v Atlanta. Still, our offense is putting up record numbers and this will carry us through. Dolphins 23 Bengals 34

Jim Bingham
@DWidnes

Well. This is it. We’re all fuzzy and warm after Atlanta. 14 playing at a career level. Receivers looking good. 55 back. Home games, a gimme? No. We fall here with one eye on Pittsburgh. The secondary continues to struggle and an overweight VB looks stodgy on his return. The lack of 85 is apparent as we drop one unexpectedly. Dolphins 17 Bengals 14

Phil Hatten
@bengalblueboy 

Good to be wrong about the Atlanta result – that’s the type of game we usually end up the wrong side of. Very encouraging. The D is currently the concern but I get the impression the issues are more mental than capability. I think they’ll improve as a bend-don’t-break/turnover type of unit. If they do and the O avoids (further) injuries, this could be a very enjoyable season! Bookies have us at 28 points versus the Dolphins and as six-point favourites. I think they are bang on. Dolphins 21 Bengals 28

Duncan Price
@DastardlyDuncan 

It’s dangerous to underestimate the Dolphins, after all their only loss this season has been to the Pats and they have a win over a team everyone seems high on at the moment in the Titans. That being said I do think we are the stronger side and we need to come out and show it in front of the fans at PBS. Whether our defense improves markedly with Burfict back remains to be seen, although just to have him there at all will surely give the unit a mental boost at the very least. If we can keep the Fins under 25 points I feel like that’ll be enough with the way our offense is rolling right now – even if Mixon is still a scratch. These games are a must win if we’re going to the playoffs, and I think we handle our business. Dolphins 23 Bengals 34

Sam Ainger
@sam_ainger
I, once again, see a Bengals win. I believe that Tez coming back will help the run AND pass defence hugely. I feel us getting stronger and stronger as the weeks go by. The confidence level is absolutely sky high right now. We’ve seen this before, when we get off to a good start, it continues throughout and I see the same happening this season. Even if Mixon is out this week, I reckon Gio can get it done again against a team that I’d much rather play than the Falcons. Price and Mixon back for the Steelers game, perhaps? Oh man, oh man! Can I feel a WHO DEY? Dolphins 13 Bengals 34

Peter Dadswell
@Dadders
The battle of the 3-1s. A battle between two teams whose results this season have surprised the so-called neutrals. However, those results are massively different. Miami fans will be delighted with their start, but stats can be deceiving. They’ve beaten two cupcake teams (Jets and Browns) and outstayed Titans in a weather-affected marathon. The moment they come up against a decent opposition (the Pats) they folded pretty quickly. Contrast that with the Bengals whose form stands up to closer scrutiny far better. Their statement win on the road against a prolific Falcons team reminded me of the statement win at home to a mighty Seahawks team in 2015. The 2018 Bengals (and the Falcons win) epitomises the Vince Lombardi quote: “The difference between men is in energy, in the strong will, in the settled purpose and in the invincible determination.” For the Dolphins game, the team should be buoyed by the return of their star RB. A team with its offensive QB playing at an MVP level will also welcome back its defensive QB in Burfict. I suspect we won’t see the best of him for a week or two, although he may make the Squeelers live up to their name, but his vocal organisation of the defence will be needed. I just don’t think the Dolphins are all their record says they are, and provided the Bengals keep grounded, they should run out comfortable winners. I can see this offence dropping a 40-bomb on a team soon, but maybe I’ll leave that one to next week! Dolphins 17 Bengals 31

Dean Owen Jones
@WordSherbert
If Tez is in football shape (not 100% sure in that vid I saw on Twitter of him ambling across the practice field, and I know he’s had weight/conditioning issues in the past), then I think the defense steps up another level in the middle, so our opponent hopefully has a lower-scoring game. If Mixon is back 100% or close to it, then I think we’re capable of running up a similar score-line to this week. Miami were humiliated last week, but we’re at home. Dolphins 21 Bengals 38 

Simon Hunter
@SimonHunter_
I think we will win and we should win but maybe the Dolphins just ran into a buzzsaw in the Patriots last week. I think the emotional lift of last week’s win and the emotional lift of getting Mixon and Burfict back should lead to a fast start and I think from that point we can keep the Dolphins at bay for a time. I think the Dolphins have looked a well-built team these past few weeks and are nearer to us than people might think but I think Dalton is playing well enough to keep the team going until next weeks big game. Dolphins 21 Bengals 31

Matt Moon
@mattm00n 

With the Bengals at home, and with Dalton playing at a high level – and with post-game talk of a new team spirit different from previous years – I see this as a game the Bengals should be able to win. Even though the Bengals have a habit of playing up or down to the level of the opponent, I think on this occasion they win by more than a score, although this does assume that Bernard is available to play. The Dolphins do come to Paul Brown with a 3-1 record although I think that is partly down to schedule. They do have some good, fast players but I fully expect our defense to improve as the season goes on under our new DC (and hopefully get our early season habit of forcing turnovers back on track ahead of the Steelers match). It will also be great to have Burfict back – although he may be a yard off the pace for this game, the way he organises the defense will be a great help overall. Dolphins 20 Bengals 31

Paul Hirons
@Son_Of_Ray
Real, steely-eyed focus is needed here. Forget the Steelers next week, and the Chiefs after that. One game at a time and all that. No slip-ups. Fair play to the Dolphins and Adam Gase (who’s even less animated in press conferences than Marvin is, which is saying something) – they’ve started the season well, although looking at the teams they’ve beaten and the conditions they’ve beaten them in tells a fuller story. In terms of stats the Dolphins are a below-average team, but they’re finding a way to win with a bit of trickery thrown on offense and plenty of turnover-tastic opportunism on defense. The Bengals, on the other hand, should come back to PBS full of confidence and should win this game. I’m a bit edgy about it because it’s one of those games that, if we don’t continue to play at a high level, could lose. With all due respect to the Dolphins, it’s a potential banana skin. Dalton and the offence – so impressive so far – needs to continue the good form, do what they’ve been doing well and ride the wave. As for the defense, this is the perfect game to improve in. Whether Burfo’s return will be an immediate fillip remains to be seen. Home win. Dolphins 17 Bengals 24