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Breaking Down Jay Gruden’s Thursday Night Breakdown

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4) Bengals Opening Possession in OT

A FG wins it. Of the first 5 plays, the Bengals ran twice with BJGE for 2 yards (-1 and 3) and passed 3 times for 32 yards (Dalton was 3-3). So, 1st and 10 from the Dolphins 41 (6-10 yards from good FG range), Gruden breaks the rhythm with a run (2 yards). Dalton then goes 0-2 and the drive stalls at the worst possible spot – you can try a 57 yarder or play field position.

I don’t blame Lewis for his decision. In the history of the NFL, only about 30 FG have been made from 57+. If he tried the 57 yarder and Nugent missed (as he likely would have) we would have all crucified him for giving the Dolphins the ball in a sudden death situation 20 yards from FG range, going against a defense without Atkins, Hall or Maualuga.

Oct 31, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake (91) sacks Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (hidden) in the end zone for a safety in overtime at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 22-20. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

5) Final Possession

On the final possession, 2nd and 10 from the Bengals 8, Gruden calls a deep ball again – why not? It had clearly been so successful up to this point. Surprisingly, the ball hit the turf (as the deep ball had all night) and left the Bengals with 3rd and 10 from the 8…and Gruden calls a shotgun snap that takes Dalton into the endzone for the game winning safety. There is no more dramatic way to end a night of brilliant play-calling than a walk-off saftey.

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