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Setting the Scene: Bengals vs. Dolphins

The Bengals are making their first visit to Miami since 1991, looking to close the season on a high note. A win would be Cincinnati’s second straight and third of the last four games.The Bengals enjoyed a satisfying conquest last week, defeating Cleveland 19-14 at Paul Brown Stadium. The result kept the Browns from clinching a playoff spot, and it regained the lead for Cincinnati in the all-time Battle of Ohio series.

“We didn’t want a division rival celebrating the playoffs at our place,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “Our guys went out and kept that from happening, beating a team that had a lot to play for. Now we have a chance to finish strong, with another win at Miami. We wanted more than that out of this season, but this is the opportunity we have. We haven’t done well on the road this season (1-6), but until this year we’ve been pretty good on the road. I think we’ll be ready to play our best game.”

The Bengals are locked into a third-place finish in the AFC North, but Lewis has instructed his players that there’s more on the line than the difference between a 7-9 or 6-10 record.

“He’s pointed out to us how a lot of teams last season finished strong, even though they didn’t make the playoffs, and now they’re either in the playoffs this year or making a strong run,” said T.J. Houshmandzadeh. “Pittsburgh was one of those teams. Green Bay was one. And Tennessee is right in there this year. So there can be some carryover, and maybe we can be one of those teams next year.”

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