The Dolphins' season is on the brink and it pretty much all hangs in the balance tonight. On national television. Against a good opponent.
Obviously, the Dolphins are an underdog because they're 3-4 and losers of four consecutive games while the Bengals are 6-2 and have won four in a row.
But there is no NFL bylaw that states the Dolphins must lose tonight. There is no understanding that the team in freefall must continue its dive to irrelevance.
The Dolphins can save their season tonight with a victory. They have to get good games out of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, their secondary and defensive line and, of course their offensive line -- particularly Tyson Clabo.
But all those things are possible.
Will it happen? We'll find out in a few hours.
And we can find out together on the live blog. Join me there.
[Update: The Dolphins inactive tonight are Mike Gillislee, Pat Devlin, Dallas Thomas, Will Davis, Danny Watkins, Jonathan Martin, and Dion Sims.]
[Update 2: A club source tells me the team is giving Jonathan Martin wide latitude in deciding when he wants to return to the team and that there has been no return date set. The source tells me the club is concerned about the relationship between Martin and some teammates.]