The Miami Dolphins finally put 60 minutes of football together and came away with a win against the Cincinnati Bengals today. The team started off slowly in the first half, only to turn it on starting in the second period. They then dominated the third quarter, and relied on the defense to save the win in the fourth quarter.
After watching the Bengals jump out to a 6-0 lead at the end of the first period, the Dolphins responded with a second quarter touchdown run from Daniel Thomas, to take a 7-6 lead; the Dolphins would not trail again on the day.
In the third quarter, Reggie Bush was able to find pay dirt with a 13-yard run to open the period, then Dan Carpenter extended the lead to 17-6 with a 46-yard field goal. Just before the end of the third period, Carpenter made it three straight game with at least one missed field goal, all from 47 yards or beyond. Today's miss came from 51 yards and was just wide left.
The Bengals then drove the field following the miss to score a touchdown just after the fourth quarter started. After some questionable four minute offense play calling, with the Dolphins passing instead of running the ball, and a horrible mental mistake by Charles Clay to ru out of bound two yards short of the sticks on third down - both stopping the clock and forcing a Miami punt - the Bengals began to drive again before Reshad Jones picked off an Andy Dalton pass to seal the victory for Miami.
The win puts the Dolphins' record at 2-3. If the Patriots were to lose to the Broncos and the Bills lose to the 49ers today, as well as losses by the Jets to the Texans on Monday night, the entire AFC East could be tied again.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill continued to be impressive, going 17-for-26 for 223 yards, finishing the game with a passer rating of 92.3.
The Miami running game was held in check today, with Reggie Bush having a game high 19 carries and a game high 48 rushing yards. Daniel Thomas, who left the game late in the fourth quarter with a possible head injury, was second for the Dolphins in both categories with 10 carries for 29 yards.
Brian Hartline led the team with four receptions for 59 yards.
The defense played well throughout the day, ending with the Jones interception. Dalton was also intercepted by nose tackle Randy Starks. Miami had three sacks on the day, one by Cameron Wake, and a half each from Kevin Burnett, Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, and Jared Odrick.
The Dolphins completed their 19th straight game with not allowing a 100 yard rusher, with Bernard Scott's 40-yards on 5 carries being the Bengals' high.
It was not the Dolphins' best played game of the season, losing the offensive yardage battle 298 to 279 and time of possession 31:11 to 28:49, but the team did enough to win.
And, at the end of the day, coming away with a win feels much better than dominating a game only to lose like has happened the last two weeks. Now, it's time for the team to get ready for the St. Louis Rams next week and get on a winning streak heading into Week 7's bye week.