Miami Dolphins 22 – Cincinnati Bengals 20 / OT
It is not every day that one gets to witness the unexpected and on Thursday Night Football we all got our chance. Out of 537 over time games played in the NFL in total, only 3 have ever been decided by a safety and the Dolphins – Bengals game was one of them. But beyond the safety and the great defensive play of the Miami Dolphins, the real reason for this win was more than just having 3 interceptions and 5 sacks. What made this close win by the Dolphins possible was the balance in the offensive line and the pursuit of the running game.
Although the statistics will not show it, especially in the third quarter where the Dolphins held the time of possession for only a mere 2 minutes and 11 seconds – Miami established the run and maintained that game plan for the entire game. having the ball for 6 minutes in the 1st quarter the Dolphins ran the ball 8 times for 34 yards – in the 2nd quarter for 8 minutes the Dolphins ran the ball for 107 yards on 13 attempts – The third quarter however there was only one run for -1 yards, but holding the time off possession for just over 2 minutes takes away options and attempts. In the 4th and Overtime combined, Miami ran the ball 5 times for 17 yards with a time of possession of 00:11:45.
The Dolphins 2rd quarter was the best example of how to use the run to maintain momentum and keep opposing offenses off the field. By keeping the game close and making the Bengals defense be weary of the run, Tannehill was able to go to the air at times to move the chains and take the Dolphins into an over-time win by putting Kicker Sturgis in a position to tie the game up with 11 seconds left in the game. This is where the tired Miami Defense stepped up and took over. They limited Dalton to 3 of 7 for 32 yards and the Dolphins special teams managed to stick the Bengals deep in their side on the 8 yard line. Here is where the Dolphins defense truly showed up and when it counted the most, the man to man coverage was excellent and Dalton had nowhere to go.
In the end Cameron Wake ran a simple rip call on a blitz zone. The outside linebacker gives Wake the rip-call, Koa Misi comes in from the outside and the safety walks up and comes in on the hunt. Kevin Zeitler is now one on one against Cameron Wake and he just could not hold the block as Wake rips through him to get to Dalton and win the game for the Miami Dolphins.
Next week the Miami Dolphins visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and if they maintain the balance that they showed against the Bengals they will have a real shot at being over .500 and back on track for what was hoped to be a playoff year.
By Sergio Peralta