It was a tale of two halves. The Dolphins were playing some sloppy football during the first half against one of the worst teams in the league. Whatever Brian Flores said during half time worked as the team came out firing on all cylinders. After getting their crap together during halftime the Dolphins took control of the game and came away with another victory.
Dolphins 19 - Bengals 7
First Half Recap
The Dolphins won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, meaning Brandon Allen and the Bengals offense got the ball first. The drive started out well with a 9 yard run by Giovani Bernard, who would then convert on the next play. However, the Dolphins defense held up on the next three plays forcing the Bengals to punt. Eric Rowe was injured during the drive and went to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion.
The Dolphins drive starts off with a short two yard run by Myles Gaskin and it’s great to see Tua Tagovailoa back under center for the offense. Again, another short run up the middle by Gaskin sets up a 3rd and 4th, which is then followed by an incompletion to Mike Gesicki. Dolphins punting after a 3 and out.
Bengals get the ball back and quickly convert for two first downs both on catches by Tee Higgins. But stop me if you have heard this one before: XAVIEN HOWARD INTERCEPTION.
Tua on first down rolls out and hits DeVante Parker for a 5 yard gain. Tua then hits Lynn Bowden over the middle for a first down. A short Gaskin run followed by two incompletions forces the Dolphins to punt again.
Bengals get two short plays off before Allen hits Boyd on a short route who takes it 72 yards to the house. Bengals 7 - Dolphins 0.
Defensive pass interference, a short pass to Gesicki, followed by a completion to Bowden gets Miami across midfield finally. Tua throws a pick but it’s not going to count as the Bengals get called for DPI again followed by a block in the back during the return. Dolphins accept the DPI putting them at the 35. Tua has the scramble out of the pocket and picks up 5 yards and now we have Ereck Flowers injured. Haven’t been keeping up with the injuries here, but here’s the list of injured Dolphins so far and the first quarter hasn’t even ended yet: Flowers, Rowe, Bowden, and Elandon Roberts. Bowden is back in though and takes the handoff for 11 yards and gets the Dolphins offense into the redzone at the end of the first quarter. Bengals 7 - Dolphins 0.
Tua hits Gesicki for an 8 yard gain to start the second quarter. Bengals jump offsides and gives the Dolphins another first down setting up at the 7 yard line. Handoff to Gaskin gets them to the 2 yard line who is then stuffed on his very next run. Handoff to Gaskin again but can’t get anything up the middle. Dolphins try a crazy play where Matt Haack runs in for a touchdown but is called back because Robert Hunt did not report as an eligible receiver. Jason Sanders has to kick the field goal. Bengals 7 - Dolphins 3.
Two straight runs and great coverage from the Dolphins defense forces the Bengals into a 3 and out after Kyle Van Noy records the sack.
Dolphins start at their own nine and Tua goes deep to Jakeem Grant who drops an easy pass. Screen to Gaskin gets the Dolphins 16 yards and fresh set of downs. Tua flips it to Grant out of the backfield who goes for 20 yards and gets Miami close to midfield. Tua gets drilled 2 plays later and throw/fumbles with the play not being ruled dead. Bengals scoop up the ball and take it back for a touchdown. After reviews though, the ruling is that it is an incomplete pass. Dolphins punt.
Dolphins are just playing sloppy today with two straight penalties against the defense. That’s 5 already for the day. Dolphins jump early for another penalty and now that’s 6. The Bengals are near midfield after Haack had them pinned deep after the punt. A wide open Drew Sample gets the Bengals across midfield down to the 41. Bengals get down to the twenty after a Higgins catch and a Bernard run. Defense holds though but Xavien Howard and Tyler Boyd get ejected for some shoving and punching. Only a penalty against the Bengals pushes them way back for a 53 yard attempt and the Bengals end up missing it.
With 58 seconds left in the half Tua hits Bowden, who fights for 9 yards to get them past midfield. Tua hits Gesicki for 2 yards to get the first, followed by a dump off to Patrick Laird for 11 yards. With 23 seconds to go Tua hits Laird for 5 again and spikes the ball on the next play. Jason Sanders drills the 48 yard field goal to end a whacky first half. Bengals 7 - Dolphins 6.
Second Half Recap
Dolphins get the ball to start the second half and after a five yard completion to Durham Smythe, the offense gets penalized for a false start. Tua throws a dart to Gesicki over the middle to get the team to the 40 yard line. Offense goes no huddle to try and get something going but Gaskin only gets two yards on the carry up the middle. Tua hits Parker for a 14 yard gain and the offense is across midfield. Tua scrambles out of the pocket two plays later and hits Gaskin for 35 to get them into the redzone. Tua tries a fade to Parker in the endzone which ends up incomplete. 50/50 ball to Gesicki results in a touchdown! Dolphins 13 - Bengals 7.
Ordered seems to have been restored for the time being as the defense forces a three and out resulting in a Bengals punt.
Tua starts the drive off by tossing the ball to Grant out of the backfield for 22 yards. The two had a miscommunication on the next play as Grant went short while Tua threw deep. Durham Smythe gets in on the action as he catches it short and gets 11 yards. Gaskin goes for 5 up the middle, then Tua hits Parker for 8. Tua hits Gesicki over the middle for a big gain to get them to the 9 yard line and now Gesicki is shaken up. Two straight short runs from Gaskin only gets the team to the 5 yard line and the fade to Parker falls incomplete. Sanders hits the 23 yard attempt. Dolphins 16 - Bengals 7.
Defense again forces a three and out this one ending with another Van Noy sack.
Tua completes two straight to Gesicki for a fresh set of downs. I love the play calling from Chan Gailey right now as Tua is just cooking right now. Dolphins eventually get into a 3rd and 1 situation, with Gaskin just short on the run. On fourth and one though, Tua does it himself and keeps the drive going with a sneak. The fourth quarter begins and Gaskin takes the ball up the middle to get the offense to the goalline. Offense can’t get anything done though which results in a Sanders 19 yard field goal. Dolphins 19 - Bengals 7.
Guess what? Another three and out for the Bengals offense. Shaq Lawson capped this one off with a sack.
Well, Grant got creamed again on the return resulting in the Dolphins bench coming across the field led by Brian Flores to come to the defense of Grant. Parker and Hollins have been ejected, a Bengals player ejected, but the guy who started it all, Mike Thomas, is not ejected. Thomas has two cheap shot on Grant already and is still in the game...unreal.
Tua hits Gesicki to get them across midfield. That’s 9 receptions for the tight end, a career high. Two straight runs from Laird gets 5 yards followed by an incomplete pass. PUNT.
Well that was quick. Emmanuel Ogbah strip sack, Christian Wilkins scoops it up for the score. But wait, it’s coming back because Allen’s arm was coming forward and Ogbah is only awarded a QB hit. Zach Sieler gets in on the action and gets a sack. Allen hits his receiver who ends up one yard short and gets a fresh set of downs with a QB sneak on 4th and 1. Lawson smothers Allen for another Dolphins sack, they have 5 so far and also Allen is hurt now. Which means Ryan Finley is in at quarterback for the Bengals now. Lawson and Van Noy welcome Finley into the game with a nice little sack. PUNT.
Well, just when the Dolphins finally convert a third down, Gaskin coughs up the ball after a huge gain.
Finally at the two minute warning after the Bengals move down near the redzone. Nik Needham decides to end the game with an interception. Ball game.