The Cincinnati Bengals won against their AFC cross division rival Miami Dolphins by a score of 22 – 7 Thursday night.
Despite winning by only 15 points the Bengals looked more dominant against their opponent on both sides of the ball than they have all season. Outside of a 74 yard touchdown from Tannehill to Stills on their second play, the Dolphins offense was unable to score.
After receiving the kickoff to start the contest, Andy Dalton managed to string together an impressive drive which included hitting no less than four different receivers. That drive was aided by Hill’s solid running game. Unfortunately, Cincinnati had to settle for a field goal from their increasingly consistent kicker Mike Nugent. The Dolphins quickly recovered to take the lead of 7-3, but was unable to muster any additional points.
The Bengals offense continued to be impressive including 10 receptions from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green. Dalton managed just less than 300 yards going 22 for 31 and averaging almost 9 yards per pass. The Bengals retook the lead with just over 3 minutes left in the first quarter. It was a 90 yard drive, where Green had 77 of the yards and capped it off with a seven yard touchdown.
Unfortunately, this was the Bengals only touchdown of the evening and Dalton’s first touchdown pass in the red zone this season. Despite moving the ball with relative ease on many offensive series the Bengals relied on Nugent to kick a record tying five field goals. While the Bengals were only able to amass 77 rushing yards, the Bengals 37 attempts kept a Dolphins team plagued by injury this season, guessing.
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Outside of the Bengals secondary allowing the early Stills touchdown, the defense was dominant. The return of Vontaze Burfict from suspension helped the defense. He made three tackles and broke up one passing play. The defense managed to force two turnovers and accumulated five sacks. Without making big mistakes or turning the ball over, the Bengals offense was able to dominate time of possession.
Ultimately, the Dolphins were unable to overcome several injuries. Miami looked weak and unproductive in several facets most evidently on their offensive line. Penalties also hampered the Dolphins game plan. The team had seven totaling 68 yards. A bad unnecessary roughness penalty on fourth down resulted in one of Nugent’s five field goals.
Cincinnati will take their 2-2 record on the road against the Cowboys and Patriots the next two weeks. The Bengals then have the Browns at home. The team will close October travelling across the pond to play the Redskins in London right before their bye week.