After winning the opening coin toss and deferring to the second half, the Bengals defense looked promising on the opening drive, stuffing two runs and then getting a sack by Michael Johnson on third-down to force a three-and-out.
After getting the ball at the CIN-38, Andy Dalton was sacked on first-down and appeared to fumble, but was ruled “in-the-grasp”, making the play unchallengeable. After a short run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Dalton fired deep for A.J. Green down field, but Sean Smith batted the pass down to force a Bengals three-and-out.
After a false-start and a run for no-gain on first-down, Armon Binns caught a 7-yard out route to set up a manageable third-down, but Dalton’s pass went incomplete and they settled for a Mike Nugent 42-yard field goal to remain perfect on the season (8 of 8) as the Bengals took an early 3-0 lead.
Ryan Tannehill would then get hot, completing 4/4 passes for 49 yards, but Nate Clements forced a fumble on RB Jorvorskie Lane and Terrence Newman recovered it at the CIN-21.
The ensuing drive would be sparked by a Bernard Scott 29-yard run, but the drive stalled at the MIA-35, but on 4th-and-2, Dalton hit Jermaine Gresham for a 20-yard gain to the MIA-15. After a Scott 6-yard run to the MIA-4, the drive would go no further and the Bengals settled for another FG to take a 6-0 lead. The Bengals now have seven TDs in 13 red zone possessions this season versus six field goals and three no scores. They clearly have to improve their redzone efficiency.
On the ensuing Dolphins drive, Leon Hall would force a three-and-out with a nice pass breakup on third-down. The Bengals would be unable to capitalize as Dalton continued to struggle to find his rhythm, and Kevin Huber’s punt would be partially blocked as it went out-of-bounds at the MIA-37.
Tannehill would later hit TE Charles Clay for 24 yards down to the CIN-19. He would then hit his other TE, Anthony Fasano, for 14 yards to the CIN-5, and RB Daniel Thomas would punch it in to put the Fins up 7-6.
Disaster would strike on the ensuing Bengals drive as A.J. Green caught an 11-yard pass but fumbled it away. After a long review however, it was ruled he regained possession as he went to the ground and the Bengals got the ball back. Their luck wouldn’t last as Armon Binns later fumbled the ball away on a short reception and the Fins took over at the CIN-48. After three-straight runs left the Fins with a 4th-and-1, a run up the middle by Jorvorskie Lane was stuffed and the Bengals defense held.
The Bengals would drive to the CIN-49, but Dalton’s pass to Gresham sailed high and they punted once again, this time to the MIA-2 yard-line, and they ran the clock out to take a 7-6 lead into the half.
Andy Dalton is 11/18 for 83 yards and has been rather inaccurate thus far.
Bernard Scott does have 40 yards rushing on just five carries, but limed off with a knee injury and is questionable to return.
Jermaine Gresham has 2 catches for 31 yards and Green has 4 for 26 yards.