What it means: Thursday night's game was about one thing for the Bengals: survival. They nearly did just that. Unfortunately, in the end, it was the Dolphins' defense that had more mettle. Miami was able to come through with the win after bringing relentless pressure on Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton in the middle of the overtime period. It was Cameron Wake's blitz past Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler that led to the game-winning safety. This loss doesn't mean the Bengals are a bad team, it just means that they didn't have quite enough gas in the tank after a rough nine-week stretch to start the season.
Stock watch: Giovani Bernard continues to impress. The rookie's weaving, winding, tackle-breaking 35-yard touchdown run near the start of the fourth quarter wasn't just the latest in a stream of highlights for the South Florida native; it may have been the best array of moves he has showcased since donning a Bengals uniform. Reminiscent of the king of extending the play, Barry Sanders, the run started with a pitch right, saw a cutback to the left sideline and concluded as a score in the middle of the field. The Dolphins missed five tackles on the play. Bernard finished with 79 yards on nine carries and two scores. One of his touchdowns came at the end of a drive in which he carried the ball four times for 27 yards. It sparked the comeback. Bernard's successful game might have had a minor cost, however: He was run from it with a rib injury.
Geno sacked: The Bengals lost one of their big defensive stoppers in the second quarter when defensive tackle Geno Atkins suffered a right-knee injury. It wasn't clear by the end of the game exactly how much time, if any, he might miss because of the injury, but the ailment itself appeared at the time to be rather significant. He needed assistance as he gingerly walked off the field.
What's next? The Bengals take their 6-3 record on the road to face Baltimore on Nov. 10. With nine days to heal their very weary bones, the timing of the AFC North matchup couldn't be better. It will also be the end of a four-cities-in-five-weeks tour, on which they are now 3-1.