TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 5: Miami Dolphins At Cincinnati Bengals

Dolphins
Bengals
Oakland Raiders v Miami Dolphins
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
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

Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
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.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

  2. PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off to Le\'Veon Bell #26 during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on December 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

    The red-hot Steelers head to KC for a rematch with a Chiefs team they throttled 43-14 in the regular season.

  3. HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans hands off to Lamar Miller #26 at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots points to the defense during the 1st quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

    The Texans head to Foxboro, the site of a 27-0 loss in the regular season and now have to face Tom Brady this time around.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Philly

Win a Trip to Las Vegas To See Britney Spears
GRAMMY’s Fly Away Trip To LA
Best 24 Hour Diners In Philadelphia

Listen Live