The Miami Dolphins got back to their winning ways in Week 12 of the 2020 NFL season with a smothering defensive effort against the New York Jets, bringing their season series to New York to a close with two wins by a combined 44-3 score. Needless to say, Miami out-classed and out-coached the Jets in 2020. But there’s more work to be done for these Miami Dolphins and if Miami is successfully going to claim a postseason berth this year, they’re looking at a matchup they cannot afford to lose in Week 13 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
How can the Dolphins take advantage against Cincinnati to score their eighth win of the season? Here are some areas of emphasis for Miami on offense:
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) congratulates Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) after Fitzpatrick threw his third touchdown pass of the game at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, October 18, 2020. [ALLEN EYESTONE/The Palm Beach Post]
Call concepts to the quarterback’s strength
If Tua Tagovailoa is the quarterback, continue to emphasize the run-pass option concepts and took to put defenders in a bind. There will be no shortage of opportunities to attack the Bengals back seven and Miami should have a sufficient athleticism and experience advantage when testing anyone not named Jessie Bates III for the Bengals.
If Ryan Fitzpatrick is the quarterback, expect Miami to continue to spread the field and take quick profits in the passing game. Fitzpatrick’s accuracy may cut a few drives short, but there’s no reason this game couldn’t follow a similar script to the one we saw last week with Fitzpatrick behind center if he’s once again called into action.
Oct 18, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive guard Solomon Kindley (66), offensive guard Ereck Flowers (75) and center Ted Karras (67) in action during the first half against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Pass to set up the run
The New York Giants ran for nearly 150 yards against the Bengals last weekend without RB Saquon Barkley. But that doesn’t mean Miami should simply look to load up the run game and try to smash through gaps. That moves away from what the team does well and would be counterproductive while also inviting a closer game than necessary. The Dolphins should follow a similar script to the one they took on last week against the Jets: lots of passing early and forcing the Bengals to expand their defense before starting to work in draw plays and RPOs with a key to the run in order to manufacture some added room to run.
Dec 29, 2019; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch over New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (24) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
DeVante Parker was back in a big way last week. We expect the same this week, unless Bengals FS Jessie Bates III shades him heavily in coverage. If that happens, then Miami will need to look for Jakeem Grant and Mike Gesicki to make the big plays while sprinkling in plenty of the other tight end contributors. But if the Bengals leave Parker isolated in one on one coverage, saddle up! It shouldn’t matter who is playing quarterback here; Tagovailoa and Fitzpatrick have both shown the ability to rise up and zip passes to Parker when he’s left in one on one coverage this season.