Sunday, September 19, 2004

Week 2: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals (9/19/04)

ESPN broadcaster Pat Summerall (in middle) Posted by Hello

ESPN Tonight, 8:30 ET.

Tonight’s edition of ESPN’s Sunday Night Football showcases two teams going in opposite direction. Despite their 31-14 loss to the J-E-T-S last week, Cincinnati is a team on the rise. Coach Marvin Lewis turned Cincinnati around last season, barely missing the playoffs at 8-8. During the off-season, Cincinnati dumped serially disenchanted RB Corey Dillon. This move could go a long way to improving club camaraderie. On the other hand, Miami is not looking very promising this year. It’s hard to see what has changed since last week’s shellacking at the hands of Tennessee.

Cincinnati comes in a comfortable 4.5-point favorite against Miami tonight. That doesn’t mean Miami can’t exploit Cincinnati’s weaknesses. Unlike Steve McNair last week, Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer is relatively inexperienced. His first NFL start came last week against N.Y. Miami’s front four will have to fluster Palmer in order to have any success. Look to see a lot of running by 4th year back Rudy Johnson. Offensively, this team has talent. Peter Warrick and Chad Johnson are both very adept WR’s.

I’m going out on a limb again and say that Miami wins a very low scoring affair. Last year, Miami was defeated opening week against Houston. In Week 2, they were able to rebound on the road versus the rival J-E-T-S. I liked what I saw of A.J. Feeley last week. With a full week of preparation, I think he can salvage the offensive gameplan. We should have Rob Konrad to help out of the backfield. Feeley showed a great ability to find TE Randy McMichael, who caught 8 passes last week. The key to this week will be mistakes. Tennessee was too veteran a team to allow themselves to hand Miami the game. One defensive TD could be enough to carry the Dolphins to victory.

Finally, for those of you watching tonight on TV, I have some disturbing news. ESPN’s regular play-by-play announcer, Mike Patrick, is on leave after heart surgery. Veterans Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire are still in the booth, but one addition does trouble me. He’s a Texan, an alcoholic, a George W. Bush supporter, an unparalled orator, and John Madden’s life partner. Of course, I am referring to Pat “The Pats have won the Super Bowl. Unbelievable!” Summerall. It’s painful to listen to him call a game. He’s always getting the spots wrong and has to be corrected by the analysts. I’ll probably listen on WQAM 560 with Jim Mandich and Howard David on the call.

My prediction: Miami Dolphins 10, Cincinnati Bengals 6
Record for year: 0-1 (.000)
Next week: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (9/26)


Blogger Eric Cioffoletti said...

Yes Summerall is no longer a good announcer. I did see part of his coverage last week and it seemed like he got names wrong all the time. This deserves more analysis. I think when you're 75 years old, it's hard to have a mind that can keep up with younger guys.

September 19, 2004 at 4:21 PM  

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