Sunday, October 7, 2012
Wrap-up: Dolphins 17, Bengals 13
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Cincinnati Bengals' 17-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium:
What it means: The Bengals (3-2) slipped into second place and one game behind the Ravens in the AFC North because they failed to do what they've done since the start of the 2011 season: beat a team they were supposed to beat. Cincinnati jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter and then watched the Dolphins (2-3) score 17 straight points. This ended a three-game win streak for Cincinnati. The Bengals fell to 1-7 at home against the Dolphins.
Offense crashes: This wasn't the same Bengals offense that averaged 33 points in three straight wins. Quarterback Andy Dalton was 26-of-43 for 234 yards with two interceptions. On the Bengals' final drive, Dalton's overthrown pass at midfield with 1:22 left was intercepted. Wide receiver A.J. Green caught nine passes for 65 yards and scored the team's only touchdown.
Concerns at running back: The Bengals made the NFL's top-ranked run defense look even better. After three fumbles in two games, Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis managed 14 yards on nine carries. Backup Bernard Scott led the Bengals with 40 yards on five carries. But Scott left the stadium on crutches. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, it is believed to be an ACL injury.
Third-down struggles continue: The Bengals were 2-of-14 on third downs against Miami and are now 4-of-25 in their past two weeks. In the second half, Dalton was 1-of-5 on third downs against the Dolphins and was sacked once.
No longer perfect: Cincinnati's Mike Nugent missed a 41-yard field goal attempt late in the fourth quarter that could have cut the Bengals' deficit to one point. He had been 9-for-9 on the season before that miss.
What's next: The Bengals play their fourth road game in six weeks when they take on the winless Cleveland Browns (0-5).