With all due respect to the Miami Dolphins, the TuAnon disciples and Tyreek Hill for unrelentingly hyping up his new quarterback, I'm gonna go ahead and pencil in a Thursday Night Football victory on Sept. 29 for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4 when they rock this nasty, all-white gridiron getup.
Tua bears the unenviable status of being the QB who was drafted between Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. Not his fault. Just that the Dolphins have pretty much sabotaged him at every turn, but even the offensive wizardry and press conference brilliance of new coach Mike McDaniel won't be enough for Miami to overcome this devastating helmet-uni combo the Bengals are rolling out in prime time.
Fanboy bias can get in the way when you're trying to map out your team's entire 17-game schedule and project what record your team might finish with. If anything I'm the opposite. Didn't think it was realistic to expect that Cincinnati would make the playoffs this past season given how serious Joe's knee injury was and all the uncertainty going in. Never been happier to be proven wrong.
Alternate jerseys have this certain mystique. Sometimes they're seen as a jinx. I'm sorry but these Bengals clearly don't believe in any trivial, outside forces working to sabotage them. They're too cool for that. Beyond the sheer intimidating visual aesthetic, think about it from a football standpoint. The Bengals are simply the better team. Having the home crowd on their side and these incredible uniforms are mere bonuses.
Joey B. isn't gonna let his draft classmate Tua beat him straight-up. I don't care that Miami has Tyreek and Jaylen Waddle. We've got Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd. Plus a better, vastly improved o-line.
It's an interesting first quarter (-ish now that it's 17, not 16 games) of the 2022 campaign for dem Bengals. Home vs. Pittsburgh, then on the road against the Cowboys and Jets, with the latter being a revenge game from last year. I smell a hot start.
I don't have any data for this handy but a rookie head coach on a short week of preparation going against the reigning AFC champs seems like a tall order for McDaniel, much as I love that man. Speaking of aforementioned jinxes, if I can reverse-psychologically jinx the Bengals far enough in advance, I really do believe they have a 0.0% chance of losing. OK my brain is in a pretzel over how much I may or may not have just contradicted myself. Anyway, chalk it. Week 4 is a "W." That whole mythic video reveal alone is enough to offset any jinxing vibes I've put out there.
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