The now-6-3 Cincinnati Bengals fell to the 4-4 Miami Dolphins in overtime on Thursday Night Football. The Bengals played a solid game overall; however, miscues from the wide receivers slowed the passing game for the evening. Multiple drops—some resulting in interceptions—doomed the Bengals.
Cincinnati will now try to right the ship against the Baltimore Ravens next week.
Cincinnati Bengals - 20
Miami Dolphins - 22
|First-Half Grade||Final Grade|
vs. Dolphins Week 9
Game Analysis for the Cincinnati Bengals
Pass Offense: Andy Dalton did not start the second half in glorious fashion. He threw the second red-zone interception of his career, which resulted in a pick-six and a 14-point lead for the Dolphins. Mohamed Sanu had a huge drop in the red zone which resulted in a Dalton pick in the fourth quarter. Drops haunted the Bengals throughout the contest.
Run Offense: The Bengals finally started to run the ball in the third quarter, and it resulted in a great touchdown drive led by rookie running back Giovani Bernard. Later, Bernard took the game into his own hands with a spectacular 35-yard touchdown run which tied the game at 17.
Pass Defense: The Bengals were consistent against the pass all night. However, a huge pass interference penalty by Terence Newman drove the Bengals into terrible field position, which resulted in a safety and a loss.
Run Defense: Cincinnati clamped down against the run in the second half and only allowed an average of 5.2 yards per carry for the contest. This was a very admirable feat after the pounding that the Bengals took over the first half of the contest.
Special Teams: Mike Nugent remained incredibly clutch. He nailed a 54-yard field goal inside of the two-minute mark. Nugent has been extremely reliable this season and has now connected on his third go-ahead field goal with under two minutes remaining this season.
Coaching: The coaching staff made necessary changes at the half. The offense began to run more often, and the defense clamped down on the run. Unfortunately, the execution on the field was not enough to deliver a win despite the valiant efforts of head coach Marvin Lewis and Co.
First-Half Analysis for the Cincinnati Bengals
Pass Offense: Andy Dalton did not have a poor half—until he was intercepted late in the second quarter. His late throw stalled a Bengals drive that could have brought the team closer to Miami at the half. He completed 13 of 22 passing attempts and seemed on point for most of the game. The unbalanced offense, along with a crucial drop by A.J. Green and a terrible interception, limited his performance thus far.
Run Offense: Cincinnati must bring a greater balance to their offense during the second half. They have been relying on the arm of Dalton and have not given their talented backfield enough carries. The Bengals have currently passed 22 times and rushed just nine times in a very close contest.
Pass Defense: The Bengals' banged-up secondary did a great job containing Ryan Tannehill over the first half. They held the second-year quarterback to 98 passing yards. However, Tannehill was efficient, completing eight of 12 passes for a 91.7 passer rating.
Run Defense: Cincinnati was simply gashed on the ground during the first half against the Dolphins. Miami ran 22 times for 142 yards and averaged 6.5 yards per carry. After losing defensive tackle Geno Atkins to injury, the Bengals must improve in this department if they expect to come away with a win on Thursday.
Special Teams: Kicker Mike Nugent made his only field-goal attempt during the first half of play. Punter Kevin Huber was on point, as he averaged 48 yards over two punts. Coverage units were solid over the course of the half and did not allow the Dolphins substantial field position.
Coaching: The coaching staff has come in with a game plan that must be adjusted. The offense is relying on the pass far too much, and the defense has lost star defensive tackle Geno Atkins. With the offense failing to score points and the defense accumulating injuries, many adjustments must be made heading into the second half of tonight’s contest.