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Bengals at Dolphins halftime report: Score, recap, and immediate reactions

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Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals have reached halftime in their Week 16 contest, a battle between two teams in contention for the first-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Dolphins have taken it to the Bengals in the first half.

Halftime Score

Bengals 6 - Dolphins 21

Recap

The Dolphins received the opening kickoff, with the offense immediately finding a rhythm. the drive started with Patrick Laird picking up two yards on a run, then quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick looking to Allen Hurns for 14 yards, then an incomplete pass to DeVante Parker. Laird then picked up seven yards followed by Fitzpatrick picking up 12 yards on a pass to Albert Wilson. After a run for no gain from Laird and an 11-yard Fitzpatrick to Laird pass was negated on a holding penalty, Fitzpatrick looked deep to Hurns for 27 yards, then came back after Myles Gaskin gained no yards, to find Albert WIlson for 14 yards. Another pass to Wilson for seven yards set up a 2nd-and-Goal from the one-yard line, with defensive tackle Christian Wilkins checking in as a fullback and catching the pass at the goal line, fumbling, then recovering the fumble in the endzone. Dolphins 7-0.

The Bengals’ opening drive started with a two-yard gain from Joe Mixon, but was effectively ended on second down when Zach Sieler sacked quarterback Andy Dalton for an eight-yard loss. Dalton connected with Tyler Boyd for seven yards, leading to a punt on the three-and-out possession.

Miami started at their own 25-yard line after the punt, then went backwards on a pass from Fitzpatrick to Wilson for a two-yard loss. They quickly made up for it, however, as Fitzpatrick turned to DeVante Parker, who caught a 19-yard pass down the seam, then added another 51-yards on a flea flicker from Fitzpatrick, pushing Parker over 1,000 yards for the season:

Parker was not done on the drive however, catching the seven-yard touchdown pass after an incompletion from Fitzpatrick. Dolphins 14-0.

The Bengals again went three-and-out, with John Ross III picking up a yard then ixon picking up a yard, and an incomplete pass from Dalton.

Miami’s drive was not any better, with two incomplete Fitzpatrick passes, then a seven-yard completion on 3rd-and-10 leading to a 57-yard punt from Matt Haack.

Cincinnati picked up their first first downs of the game on their next possession. The drive started with a sack for no loss as Dalton was chased out of bounds at the line of scrimage by linebacker Jerome Baker and defensive tackle Davon Godchaux, but then Dalton connected with Boyd for 19 yards. Mixon picked up four yards, then Eric Rowe jumped the snap and gave the Bengals five free yards, setting up 2nd-and-1, with Giovanni Bernard picking up three yards as the first quarter ended. An incomplete pass started the second period before Dalton connected with Ross for 34-yards down the sideline. Mixon picked up three yards, then another eight yards, another two years, and another yard before losing one yard on a 3rd-and-Goal play from the Miami one. The Bengals settled for a field goal. Dolphins 14-3.

Miami could not respond on their next possession, going three-and-out after a De’Lance Turner carry for five yards, another for one yard, and an incomplete pass from Fitzpatrick.

The Bengals returned the three-and-out favor, with Ross picking up five yards, Mixon adding two yards, and Dalton throwing an incomplete pass.

Miami continued the three-and-out streak, with a no gain on first down from Gaskin from the Dolphins’ six-yard line. Fitzpatrick then three two incomplete passes before a 60-yard punt from Haack.

Cincinnati started at their own 34 with a pass to C.J. Uzomah for five yards, then a Mixon run for no gain. On 3rd-and-5, Baker faked the blitz, then dropped perfectly into Dalton’s passing lane, breaking up a pass that likely would have converted the first down. The Bengals punted.

Miami started at their own 13 with an incomplete pass. Fitzpatrick then scrambled for 15 yards, followed by a two-yard completion to Mike Gesicki, a 35-yard catch and run from Albert Wilson, a four-yard pass to Isaiah Ford, and, finally, a 31-yard pass to a wide open Gesicki for the touchdown. Dolphins 21-3.

Dalton threw incomplete on first- and third-downs on the next possession, with a two-yard loss on a pass to Boyd on second down. Cincinnati again punted after a three-and-out drive.

Miami picked up a first down with a Myles Gaskin two-yard run then a pass to Gesicki for 15 yards, but saw two incomplete passes from Fitzpatrick sandwiching a pass to Gesicki for seven yards lead to a put.

The Bengals started at their own 15-yard line, with Dalton picking up 14 yards on a pass to Boyd, then another four yards on a pass to Alex Erickson. After a timeout, Dalton was incomplete looking deep, ten threw incomplete again but a pass interference penalty gave the Bengals a new set of downs. Dalton was incomplete again on first down, with all three incompletions targeting Ross. He then completed a six-yard pass to Tyler Eifert on second down, then a three-yard pass to Bernard setting up a 4th-and-1 with 11 seconds remaining. Dalton was able to find Ross for 12 yards along the sideline to set up a 52-yard field goal attempt with seven seconds left in the half - with the kick pushed wide left, but the Dolphins having called timeout. After the timeout, the Bengals missed the field goal again - this time to the right - but a false start penalty backed up Cincinnati and they tried again. This time, he managed to hook the ball inside the right upright. Dolphins 21-6.

After the touchback, Fitzpatrick knelt to kill the clock.

Immediate Reactions

Congratulations to Parker for his first 1,000-yard season! He has been a beast this year, and deserved that four-year contract extension. Impressive breakout for a player who less than a year ago was largely considered a draft bust for Miami.

The Dolphins were supposed to be the worst team ever - but they are just embarassing the Bengals right now. This is a straight-up beat down for Cincinnati.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has broken the Dolphins record for passing yards in a first-half, surpassing Dan Marino’s 236 in a game against the New England Patriots in 1991. Fitzpatrick ended the half with 252 yards.

In other games Miami is watching, the Tennessee Titans are leading the New Orleans Saints while the Pittsburgh Steelers are tied with the New York Jets. The Titans can overtake the Steelers for a Wildcard position and give Miami a better draft pick (Miami has Pittsburgh’s first-round pick from the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade). The New York Giants are leading the Washington Redskins, with those two teams tied at 3-11 with Miami entering the week.