The Miami Dolphins pulled a trick against the Cincinnati Bengals by winning on an overtime safety for only the third time in NFL history to end a four-game losing streak
After both the Dolphins and Bengals decided to play field advantage by punting on what would be more than 50-yard field goal attempts in overtime, the Dolphins defense was able to create havoc like it had all game for QB Andy Dalton. This time, it would be the difference of the game.
Pinned back at their own 8-yard line, the Bengals thought it best to pass on three consecutive plays; first over the middle to A.J. Green that went incomplete, then a deep pass down the right sideline when Dalton had Miami’s defense caught off gauard – the pass was deep and out of bounds. That brought up third down. Dalton dropped back close to the 1-yard line before Dolphin defensive end Cameron Wake broke through the line and hit Dalton right at the goal line.
In order for it to be a safety, the ball has to be behind the goal line when the player is hit. In this case, Dalton tucked the ball back in which brought it at the edge of the plane. After review, the play stood and the Dolphins completed the upset at Sun Life Stadium
Andy Dalton went from the best game of his career, to one of his worst within four days. After passing a career-high five touchdowns against the New York Jets, Andy Dalton had three passes intercepted, one a 92-yard touchdown interception by Dolphins’ cornerback Brent Grims.
In fairness to Dalton, the Dolphins’ defense was putting a lot of pressure on the third-year quarterback and one of the intercepted passes came off a tipped ball by receiver Mohamed Sanu. Besides the three interceptions, the Dolphins’ D was able to strip Dalton of the ball in the first quarter at Cincinnati’s own 25 yard line. Luckily for Cincinnati, Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis missed a 34-yard field goal for the fifth time in four games keeping the game tied 0-0 going into the second quarter.
The loss by the Bengals spoiled an otherwise good performance by some key players – especially rookie running back Giovani Bernard who continues to dazzle.
If you haven’t thanked the Bengals for picking up Giovani Bernard, or happened this miss the accolades he grabbed during the first half of this season, this game opened your eyes. There were three plays that I counted in which Bernard churned butter out of alcohol.
In the third quarter and at the Dolphins’ 40-yard line, the Bengals go with Bernard on a sweep. Tyler Eifert missed a block against Dolphin cornerback Brent Grims on the outside as he hits Bernard in the backfield. Bernard turned his shoulder before the hit and was able to stay on his feet. He then changed directions and went to the left sideline and worked his way up field behind a blocking convoy of Bengals’ lineman and QB Andy Dalton. Bernard then cut to the middle of the field and shook off another would-be tackle by Grims before doing a summersault into the end zone.
It was the longest run by a Bengal this season – and possibly one of the greatest runs by a Bengal
Bernard would finish the game with 79 yards on nine carries, and two touchdowns
Dalton, who was just named the AFC offensive player of the month, didn’t finish it out the way he started. A chunk of his throws were off target which resulted in his interceptions and finishing the game with 32 passes caught on 53 attempts. A.J Green, who had his fourth consecutive game with 100 yards or more of receiving, had a crucial drop on third down in Dolphins territory early in the game, and was targeted on the Grims’ interception.
If the offensive woes weren’t enough detriment to the Bengals, pro bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins left the game in the second quarter after suffering a knee injury. Even though it appeared minor at the time, head coach Marvin Lewis said that it is an ACL related injury – not something you want to hear about your top defensive player.
Luckily for the Bengals, they still have a 2.5 game lead in the AFC North heading into their Bye week with Baltimore in second place at 3-4. The week break couldn’t have happened at a better time given the injuries the team has sustained.