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Thursday, October 31, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Miami Dolphins

By James Walker


MIAMI -- A few thoughts on the Miami Dolphins' 22-20 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

What it means: The Dolphins (4-4) climb back to .500 at the midpoint of their season. The game was won on a safety in overtime by defensive end Cameron Wake, who had three sacks in the game. Miami also snapped a four-game losing streak by beating a solid Bengals team (6-3). The Dolphins showed flashes of what they can be when everyone is on the same page. Miami suffered through a lot of issues behind the scenes during the week but held the team together to pick up its best win since Week 2 against the Indianapolis Colts. This was a gritty overtime win that might be the game that can energize the Dolphins' season.

Stock watch: Besides Wake, who was the star of the game, Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes also stepped up big. Opponents often have thrown away from Grimes. But the Bengals were not afraid to test him, and they paid for it in the third quarter when Grimes returned an interception 94 yards for a touchdown. It was the first touchdown of Grimes’ career. Miami's defense picked off Dalton three times in the game.

The stock down goes to the second half and overtime for Miami’s offense, which went cold after intermission and allowed the Bengals to get back in the game and force overtime. Miami’s defense was on the field most of the third and fourth quarters. The Dolphins also couldn't get anything going offensively in overtime. Miami's defense scored a touchdown in the third quarter and the game-winning safety in overtime.

Injury wire: The Dolphins lost three key players in this game. Starting guard Richie Incognito suffered a neck injury in the first quarter and didn’t return to the game. Miami starting cornerback Dimitri Patterson also got injured late in the fourth quarter. Backup cornerback Nolan Carroll suffered a concussion in the second quarter and did not return.

What’s next: The Dolphins will host the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-7) on Nov. 11 on “Monday Night Football.” Miami will get 11 days to prepare for this game. This is perhaps the most winnable game of the season for the Dolphins.