The Cincinnati Bengals were looking to extend their lead in the AFC North with a win over the struggling Miami Dolphins, who had been on a four-game losing streak, on Thursday Night Football. Many thought the Bengals would be able to win convincingly, but this was a game that came down to the wire. In the end, it was a very rare occurrence that gave Miami the two-point win, 22-20.
Andy Dalton needed to pull off another come-from-behind drive if he wanted to lead his team into field goal range, but it wouldn’t be easy as he was up against the clock.
To make matters worse for the Bengals offense, they were without running back Giovani Bernard, who was taken to the locker room with a rib injury. Considering this beautiful 35-yard touchdown run from Bernard earlier in the game, you can see why the Bengals offense would have loved to have him in the huddle.
Bernard did jog back out to the field with a minute and a half remaining in the game, but he didn’t get the opportunity to enter the game.
Dalton airmailed a ball well out of reach of Mohamed Sanu on a third-and-four, which led to a 54-yard field goal attempt from Mike Nugent. Nugent was able to nail the kick right down the uprights, which gave the Bengals a 20-17 lead with 1:24 left on the clock. It was the second-longest field goal of Nugent’s career and it was seventeen unanswered points for the Bengals.
The Dolphins had early leads for two consecutive weeks, but they blew the 17 point leads thanks to some questionable play calling.
However, Mike Sherman could get his redemption with some quality play-calling on the final drive for the Dolphins.
Ryan Tannehill did a heck of a job on the final drive, which was highlighted by a beautiful 20-yard throw and catch from Tannehill to Hartline that put the team in field goal range. The Dolphins were able to drive the ball deep in Bengals territory in under a minute and thirty seconds to set up the 44-yard game-tying field goal attempt from Caleb Sturgis, which he was able to drill to force overtime.
For the opening coin toss, the Dolphins won the toss and would have the chance to build off of the momentum they gained at the end of regulation with the first possession in overtime.
Unfortunately for Miami, their offense sputtered on the first drive, which led to the team once again relying on their defense to stop the the Bengals attack.
Thanks to the stop from their defense, the Bengals would just need a field goal to win the game.
Miami’s defense was able to force a fourth-and-eight, which would have resulted in a 56-yard field goal. In order to play it safe and control the field position game, the Bengals brought on the punt team and gave Tannehill another shot at the win.
On the very first play on the Dolphins second overtime drive, Mike Wallace was able to torch Terence Newman who was forced to dive into his legs early and draw the pass interference flag that put the Dolphins in Bengals territory.
Once the Dolphins made it inside of the Bengals territory, they were unable to move the ball and the punt team came on to give the ball back to Andy Dalton. We were drawing nearer and nearer to the dreaded tie. Miami downed the ball inside of the ten, and that was all the team would need for the win.
Miami was able to nail Dalton in the endzone and bring him down for the safety, which was all they needed to get the win in overtime. Cameron Wake was the man who made the big play. It was only the third time in NFL history that a game ended with a walk-off safety in overtime.
After a one month skid, the Dolphins are back in the win column with the 22-20 win.