This game was a perfect example of how quickly things can change in the NFL. The Miami Dolphins came out firing and racked up a 14 point halftime lead over the Cincinnati Bengals. Once the Dolphins went into the locker room, however, Ryan Tannehill went on to once again add fuel to the naysayer’s fire. He was not aided by the play-calling of his head coach Adam Gase.
Once again a successful running game which averaged 5.8 yards per carry became an afterthought. Kenyan Drake bounced back with 46 rushing yards and 69 receiving yards while also catching a touchdown pass. Frank Gore continues to be his consistent and productive best. You cannot ask for more out of the running backs, but you can ask for more to your running backs. Drake simply needs to get the ball into his hands more.
That run after the catch is nice, but let’s talk about Kenyan Drake killing a man on his pass pro. pic.twitter.com/MD5QPMRdVx
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) October 7, 2018
Jakeem Grant continues to amaze on special teams and any time he gets an opportunity. Albert Wilson has a dynamic skill set that you see glimpses of every week.Dolphins’ fans were spoiled in the first three weeks with incredible play calling and exciting moments. The last two games have mostly reversed any positivity from the Miami base. To lose a game in this fashion raises more questions to the legitimacy of this team.
Miami was outscored 27-3 in the second half, giving up two defensive touchdowns and falling apart on offense. Instead of relying on their 1-2 punch and use clock with the lead, Gase and Tannehill decided to get cute instead. The offensive line was doing a decent job in the running game as attested by the stats, but they simply cannot be relied on to protect Tannehill more than a couple seconds. When the route combinations take forever to develop, the interior line simply does not hold up. The loss of left tackle Laremy Tunsil did not help matters. This team is becoming decimated by injuries across both lines, amongst other positions. There is simply not enough talent or chemistry to continually overcome personnel losses.
On defense for most of the day Miami was solid. They gave up plenty of yardage but adhered to the bend but don’t break mantra fairly well. Kiko Alonso keeps finding the ball, and Miami intercepted their league leading 10th interception early on. On special teams the Dolphins keep making big plays. Jakeem Grant is playing at a Pro-Bowl level as a return specialist.
Jakeem Grant has unbelievable speed pic.twitter.com/MOdNYPYSkm
— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) October 7, 2018
The Bengals were held scoreless in the first half and then went on to score 24 points in the final quarter. It was a complete and utter collapse from the Miami offense. Michael Johnson had an amazing pick-six that bounced off multiple helmets before falling into his hands. Sam Hubbard then followed up on a fumble return for a touchdown that put the final touches on the win to the delight of the home crowd. What was once a promising outlook for Miami turned into a flaming dumpster fire.
The return of running back Joe Mixon also helped as he racked up 93 yards on 22 touches in his return back from injury, both these teams desperately needed a win to stay on top of their respective divisions and the bengals just simply wanted it more.
The Dolphins will look to bounce back against Khalil Mack and his Chicago Bears that have started off very hot through the first month of this season, while the Cincinnati Bengals will look to solidify their grip on the AFC north division against their rival the Pittsburgh Steelers.