CINCINNATI BENGALS (6-2) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (3-4)
DATE: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013
TIME: 8:25 p.m. ET
SITE: Sun Life Stadium
TV ANNOUNCERS: Brad Nessler, play-by-play; Mike Mayock, analysis
DOLPHINS RADIO NETWORK: Clear Channel, WBGG (105.9 FM) and WINZ (940 AM) and a network of affiliates throughout Florida; WQBA (1140 AM-Spanish)
RADIO VOICES: English broadcast — Jimmy Cefalo, Bob Griese, Joe Rose, Keith Sims; Spanish broadcast — Raul Striker, Joaquin Duro
SERIES RECORD: Miami leads 15-5 (including playoffs)
AT MIAMI: Dolphins lead 6-2
AT CINCINNATI: Dolphins lead 9-3
LAST MEETING: 2012 at Cincinnati; Dolphins 17, Bengals 13
HISTORY LESSON: In an odd scheduling twist, this year’s matchup will mark only the third time in 11 meetings the game will take place in Miami. That, however, hasn’t been a problem for the Dolphins, who have won seven of the previous nine battles in Cincinnati. The run started in 1987 with a 20-14 Dolphins victory and includes the 17-13 victory last October.
SERIES TREND: The biggest reason the Dolphins have dominated the Bengals through the years has been their defense. Miami is 13-4 in the teams’ last 17 meetings and held the Bengals under 17 points in 14 of those matchups. The only time the Dolphins lost against Cincinnati despite holding the Bengals under 17 points was in 2004 (16-13).
BENGALS’ RECORD: 6-2
LAST GAME: Won vs. N.Y. Jets, 49-9
OVERVIEW: The Bengals are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances, something the franchise hadn’t accomplished since the 1981 and 1982, and they appear well on their way to making it an unprecedented three in a row. Cincinnati has taken command of the AFC North Division with a strong start, one that might have garnered more attention if not for the remarkable starts put together by both Denver and Kansas City. Marvin Lewis, the second-longest-tenured coach in the NFL behind only Bill Belichick, has assembled a team that appears to have all the ingredients to succeed, starting with a strong offensive line, one of the best wide receivers in football in A.J. Green, and a tremendous defense led by perhaps the best front four in the league. The one question mark around the Bengals is whether quarterback Andy Dalton can take a team to a Super Bowl and he has put together so far the best season of his three-year career, highlighted by his five-touchdown performance against the Jets on Sunday.
KEY NEW FACES: TE Tyler Eifert (draft-1st round), RB Giovani Bernard (draft-2nd), DE Margus Hunt (draft-2nd), LB James Harrison (Pittsburgh), LB Michael Boley (N.Y. Giants), QB Josh Johnson (Cleveland)
KEY VETERANS GONE: RB Bernard Scott, DB Nate Clements, QB Bruce Gradkowski, DB Jason Allen