The Miami Dolphins put two consecutive overtime defeats behind them and pulled out a 17 to 13 victory over the Bengals in Cincinnati.
The Dolphins overcame several questionable calls early in the game to win, when safety Reshad Jones intercepted Andy Dalton at midfield with 1:22 left. Ryan Tannehill completed 65.4 percent of his passes, threw for 223 yards and had a respectable 92.3 passer rating.
It was not the prettiest game for Miami as the offense again struggled to put the Bengals away in the fourth quarter. The Miami defense however was up to the challenge causing three turnovers including the game sealing interception. “We still didn’t end it the way we wanted to end it on offense. The defense bailed us out,” said Brian Hartline.
The Dolphins overcame an early turnover when Reshad Jones had a Bengals punt hit him in the back. The ball looked to have been recovered out of bounds but was upheld upon review. Plays like the third down on the Bengals’ first series of the third quarter when Randy Starks put his hands up and the ball somehow ended up in them, rescued Miami. The offense converted the INT into a TD when Reggie Bush scampered 13 yards for a 14-6 lead.
Kevin Burnett may have said it best after the game, “the last couple games came down to turnovers, the key thing was, we didn’t turn the ball over when it mattered, and we got them when it mattered. It don’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.”
Ryan Tannehill managed to have a “clean game,” as Dan Marino said afterward. He was sacked only two times and the 65.4% completion percentage and 92.3 passer rating were the best of his young career. “He’s showing a lot of maturity,” Reggie Bush said, “making the right reads and the right checks to get us in positions to win.”
The secondary held up well in the absence of Richard Marshall. Nolan Carroll stepped in and did not miss a beat. Sean Smith limited AJ Green to nine catches for 65 yards, but gave up another fade for a TD. The Dolphins intercepted Andy Dalton twice, while holding him to 234 yards and a 63.5 rating.
It wasn’t prettiest game, but the Dolphins will take it. The resiliency Joe Philbin has talked about was evident as Miami broke the string of overtime defeats. The Dolphins are poised for a showdown with Jeff Fisher and the Saint Louis Rams next week in Miami.