- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are three things to watch from Miami’s perspective:
Must-win situation: Make no mistake, this is a must-win game for Miami if the team has any dreams of making a push for the playoffs. That seems a long ways away amid a four-game losing streak. A win over the Bengals would put the Dolphins back at .500 at the midpoint of the season. A loss would put the Dolphins at 3-5 with a steep hill to climb. There is a big difference between the two scenarios.
Sophomore slump: Tannehill began the year as a possible MVP candidate following Miami’s 3-0 start. However, he has hit a wall in his second season and is suffering from multiple turnovers. Tannehill has 10 turnovers -- seven interceptions and three lost fumbles -- in his past four games. He still makes some terrific throws. But Tannehill’s turnovers are hard to overcome and putting Miami in tough spots. Tannehill needs to get back to playing efficient, mistake-free football for Miami to have a chance of beating Cincinnati.
Kicking issues: Miami’s kicking game has suddenly gone awry in recent weeks. After making 10 straight field goals to start the year, Dolphins rookie kicker Caleb Sturgis has missed 4 of his past 5 field-goal attempts. Sturgis could be an important player Thursday against Cincinnati if this is a close and competitive game. He must get out of his recent funk with the Dolphins.